Curtis Price (b.1945)

Henry Purcell and the London Stage

Reading sample

Boek (softcover)

Item no.771195
Author/ComposerCurtis Price
Scope404 pages; 15.2 × 22.9 cm
Release year2009
Publisher/ProducerCambridge University Press
Producer No.9780521105156
50.10 €
Delivery time approx. 1–2 weeks.
add to watch list


This book was the first comprehensive survey of Purcell's dramatic music. It is concerned as much with the London theatre world - playhouses, poets, actors, singers, producers - as with the music itself. Purcell wrote music for more than fifty plays of various types, most of them produced at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, between 1690 and 1695.

The songs, dialogues, choruses, act tunes and larger musical scenes are often active participants in the spoken drama, not simply grafted-on entertainments. The extraordinary semi-operas - Dioclesian, King Arthur, and The Fairy-Queen - are placed in the context of a theatre that thrived mainly on plays that, though less lavish, were no less musical. The traditional picture of a composer trapped within a degraded musical society, his natural predilection for opera ignored, is redrawn to show a consummate dramatist exploiting a remarkably musical theatre.


  • Part I The plays:
  • 1 Music in the Late Seventeenth-Century English Theatre
  • 2 The Serious Dramas
  • 3 The Tragic Extravaganzas
  • 4 The Comedies
  • Part II The Operas:
  • 5 Dido and Aeneas
  • 6 Dioclesian
  • 7 King Arthur
  • 8 The Fairy-Queen