A poetics of Handel's operas

Publication Type:



Link, Nathan,


Oxford University Press,, New York, NY, United States, p.xvi, 367 pages : (2023)

Call Number:



(OCoLC)fst01046145, 18th century., fast, Opera, Opera.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 331-345) and index.Introduction -- Song -- Time -- Orchestra -- Character -- Storytellers."A Poetics of Handel's Operas investigates the rich representational fabric of Handel's stories, drawing upon musicology, narratology, drama, and film in offering a study with appeal to scholars, producers and performers, opera afficionados, and anyone fascinated by storytelling. In most storytelling genres, we often distinguish between the story, on the one hand, and the way that story is represented, on the other, without a second thought. We know that a character in a film hears neither her own voice-over nor the ambient music that accompanies it, and that she does not really build a house from the ground up in the three minutes spanned by the cinematic montage that depict its construction. In opera, however, many commentators to this day characterize the medium as "unrealistic," since we know, for example, that people in the real world do not sing to each other, nor does orchestral music accompany their utterances. This said, the vocal and orchestral music, while not literally present in the world of the story surely have a great deal to tell us about the opera's story and its characters, and if we distinguish the performance we see and hear on the stage and in the orchestra pit from the story represented, we enable ourselves to construct stories that are no less coherent than those conveyed by other media. By avoiding conflation of the story and its representation, we enable ourselves to engage more meaningfully with the significance of these and many other unique aspects of operatic storytelling." --