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Fashionable acts : opera and elite culture in London, 1780-1880

Author: Jennifer Hall-Witt
Publisher: Durham : University of New Hampshire Press ; Hanover : Published by University Press of New England, ©2007.
Series: Becoming modern.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"In a reassessment of British aristocratic culture, Hall-Witt demonstrates how the transformation of audience behavior at London's Italian opera - from the sociable, interactive spectatorship of the 1780s to the quiet, polite listening of the 1870s - served as a sensitive barometer of the aristocracy's changing authority. She explores how the opera participated in the patronage culture and urban sociability of the  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Jennifer Hall-Witt
ISBN: 9781584656258 1584656255
OCLC Number: 122973092
Description: ix, 390 pages : illustrations, music ; 25 cm.
Contents: Act one : Georgian patterns. Overture : fashionable acts ; Opera as an "event" : the aesthetics of audience behavior ; A subscription culture : gender and the sociopolitical foundations of opera-going ; To see and to be seen : opera and the "theater of the great" --
Act two : Victorian adaptations. Overture to act two ; The commercialization of the opera : entrepreneurs and the expansion of the public ; The refashioning of fashionable society : gender and the transformation of operatic culture ; Listening in new ways : audience behavior and the cultural politics of opera reviewing --
Finale : opera and the reform of elite culture --
Appendixes. Prices at the King's/Her Majesty's theatre, 1780s-1880 ; Prices at Covent Garden, 1847-1879 ; London's Italian opera managers, 1705-1878 ; Additional tables.
Series Title: Becoming modern.
Responsibility: Jennifer Hall-Witt.
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A vibrant look at changes in British elite culture through the lens of opera-going  Read more...

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," . . scrupulously researched, sharply focused. . . [an] admirable piece of scholarship."--Times Literary Supplement "Following in the footsteps of scholars like Rachel Cowgill, Hall-Witt discusses Read more...

 
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    schema:reviewBody ""In a reassessment of British aristocratic culture, Hall-Witt demonstrates how the transformation of audience behavior at London's Italian opera - from the sociable, interactive spectatorship of the 1780s to the quiet, polite listening of the 1870s - served as a sensitive barometer of the aristocracy's changing authority. She explores how the opera participated in the patronage culture and urban sociability of the British elite prior to the Reform Act of 1832 when the opera served as the central meeting place for the ruling class during the parliamentary session. The vertical tiers of boxes at the opera highlighted not only the gendered nature of elite political culture, but also those features of aristocratic society most vulnerable to critique by political and moral reformers." "Hall-Wittshows how the elite adjusted its behavior in public venues, like the opera, partly in response to such criticisms. Offering a revised chronology for the decline of the British aristocracy based on such cultural compromises, Hall-Witt reveals how the very adaptations that helped the landed elite to survive as the ruling class into the Victorian period also undermined its ability to maintain its power in the long run."--Jacket." ;
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