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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter takes into account the broad concerns generally associated with ‘romanticism’—the libertine and irrational, the gothic and medieval, folklore and local colour—but argues that three factors were fundamental in determining the nature of Romantic Opera in Georgian England: the influence of German theatre on the London stage; local theatrical politics; and developments in practical stagecraft, in which the work of Phillipe de Loutherbourg presented new ideas, colours, and lighting to a public eager for novelty. In exploring the effect of these factors, this chapter takes three different points of departure—the staging in London of a version of the French rescue opera, Lodoiska; the fashion in London for plays and operas based on the novels of Walter Scott; and the introduction into London of Weber’s opera Der Freischütz—and explores how their themes represented strands of change in the production of opera in Georgian London.

Keywords: Romanticism, German opera, stagecraft, Phillipe de Loutherbourg, Lodoiska, Walter Scott, Carl Maria von Weber, Der Freischütz

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