John dennis essay opera

The Usefulness of the Stage English critic and dramatist, the son of a saddler, born in London in

John dennis essay opera

From an English, roast-beefy perspective, he poked fun, in the Spectator, at the conventions of Italian opera—those conventions that most obviously offended common sense and could not possibly be included under the umbrella of realism.

Dennis and Addison led the charge.


In the years that followed, opera would be accused of being unintelligible, effeminate, addicting its audiences to luxury and thus emasculating them, and of destroying rational, legitimate theater. It comes as something of a surprise, then, to recall that during his European tour, Addison saw no fewer than eight opera performances in Italy alone and that he actually wrote an opera libretto.

The latter fact is the more surprising in that a reader of his history of opera in the Spectator would not have any reason to suspect it. Nowhere does Addison refer to his own Rosamond as part of the early history of opera. The present paper investigates this prima facie paradox. It uncovers a surprising chain of connections that, taken in [End Page ] sum, provide a vantage-point on early eighteenth-century constructions of Britishness, perhaps as revealing as the view from the Great Bridge in Blenheim Palace.

This article will offer three strands of argument: His Grand Tour was the crucible of such views on opera as are expressed in the later Spectator. Opera in Europe, he finds, is a tissue of unrealistic absurdity. In Venice, he is affronted by the observation that castrati are used to voice heroic roles, when plots could be chosen that actually require eunuchs.

Labaree, Mary Schauffler

Operas are another great entertainment of this season. The poetry of them is generally as exquisitely ill, as the music is good.

The inveterate foe of Alexander Pope, John Dennis was a minor dramatist but a major critic of the Queen Anne era. He studied at Harrow and . John Dennis's biography and life Dennis (16 September – 6 January ) was an English critic and was born in the parish of St Andrew Holborn, London, in He was e. (–), poet and dramatist, but best known for his criticism, which combines a respect for neo‐classical theory with a passion for the sublime (particularly as manifested by Milton), and with a dislike for the new sentimental comedy.

The arguments are often taken from some celebrated action of the ancient Greeks or Romans, which sometimes looks ridiculous enough; for who can endure You are not currently authenticated. View freely available titles:College of Wooster Directory. Name Title/Dept/Office Phone Email; ABDUL-SHAKOOR, Ahmed: Secondary Asst.

John dennis essay opera

Football Coach/Physical Education (Scot Center). Free ebooks by authors who died before and whose work is therefore in the public domain in Australia. Rinaldo (), John Hughes's preface to his and Galliard's opera Calypso and Telemachus (t Cibber's preface to his and Pepusch's masque Venus and Adonis Ct), an anony­ mous essay in the PlainDealer (), and an essay in The Touchstone ().

CRITICISM OF ITALIAN OPERA IN. EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ENGLAND Submitted as partial fulfillment of An early attack is John Dennis' Essay on the Operas af¬ * been called forth by the successful presentation of Motteaux's Arsinoe in In the Preface to the essay he says that the Italian opera is a diversion of more pernicious consequences.

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