Dramatic Opera, Ode and Oratorio : Theatre III.
Zámbóné Kocic, Larisa
This lesson discuses in the origin of the musical theatre (opera, oratorio and ode) particularly as it pertains to the literary debates of the age. The primary objective is to see how the critical debate (and the contemporary objections) against opera as a foreign cultural import informed and affected the development of English dramatic opera. Of especial interest will be the perceived opposition and tension between the dramatic text (the Delight of Reason) and the music (the Delight of Sense) and how English playwrights, Dryden in particular, employ this opposition in the plotlines of their operas. As the lecture’s focus is on the literary aspect of musical theatre, the work of Henry Purcell and George Frideric Handel will be mentioned in relation to their ties to the English literary “classics” of their age. Topics to be discussed: • The origin of the English dramatic opera • The critique of the opera in contemporary English discourses • The collaboration of Dryden and Purcell o The State of Innocence o King Arthur, or the British Worthy • Handel: From Opera to Oratorio