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Title: "Not local beauties" : Handel's bilingual oratorio performances, 1732-1744
Author: Zazzo, Lawrence
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 8006
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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Between 1732 and 1744, Handel inserted Italian texts in 48 out of his 100 English oratorio performances. The extent of Italian material used ranged from the insertion of a few Italian arias into largely English works (Alexander's Feast [1736] and Israel in Egypt [1739]), to an entire character's role being translated/reworked in Italian (Athalia [1735], Sau/ [1741] and Semele [1744]), to the creation of bilingual hybrids in which the two languages are more or less balanced and in which the modifications are of such an extent that they must be considered distinct works in themselves rather than merely adaptations (Acis and Galatea [1732]). Hitherto dismissed by critics as inept or hasty compromises, the increasing attention given by recent scholarship to Handel's performing life in the 1730s calls for a reappraisal of these works. This study traces the rather complicated performance history often of Handel's bilingual oratorios, reconstructing performances where necessary, and determining, with differing degrees of certainty. the singers and librettists involved. Furthermore, an examination of the political and social contexts of their creation, as well as of the interplay between English and Italian texts, reveals that Handel's bilingual oratorio revivals of the 1730s represent an important, if ultimately failed, attempt by the composer to negotiate the competing demands of his Italian singers and his London audiences while still creating effective music drama.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available