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Dance in Handel's London Operas


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Places Handel's creative decisions in the wider context of European dance traditions and dance on the London stage, frequently referring to contemporary documents. Answers questions such as how the dissemination of French dances through choreographies or through chamber music might have been reflected in the dance types Handel used in his operas, hence addressing how far the types of dances he employed related to public taste. EARLY MUSIC Impeccably researched. An exemplary model of how to breathe new life into operas that have been studied as a [purely] vocal repertory. [McCleave's] findings will no doubt be of consequence for singers and opera directors looking to revive Handel's operas. Offers an extraordinary amount of useful information. A valuable resource for any dance, theater, or music historian of eighteenth-century England. MUSIC LIBRARY ASSOCIATION NOTES The first full-length study of the subject, likely to transform the traditional view. Weaves a rich tapestry from relationships between Handel's output and the presence of dance in the contemporary theatrical scene. . . .The book explore[s] virtually every aspect of dance in Handel's operas. Packed with fresh information. The amount of fresh, detailed information greatly enhances our view of dance and spectacle [in this repertoire]. Anyone interested in Handel's dances -- not only scholars but also performers, conductors, and directors -- will find [this book] essential. An impressive and much-needed piece of scholarship, this book deserves a warm welcome. JOURNAL OF MUSICOLOGICAL RESEARCH A data-rich study dealing in uncertainties and ambiguities. . . . Instructive and often revelatory. MUSICAL TIMES Dance was a significant area of overlap between opera and other theatrical genres staged in London during the first half of the eighteenth century, and an integral part of the theatrical experience. In Dance in Handel's London Operas, Sarah McCleave shows Handel as the consummate theatrical professional, illuminating his work with and for dancers. --Kathryn Lowerre, author of Music and Musicians on the London Stage, 1695-1705

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