Cowgill, Rachel and Dideriksen, Gabriella (2008) Opera Orchestras in Georgian and Early Victorian London. In: The Opera Orchestra in 18th-and 19th-Century Europe: Vol. I The Orchestra in Society. Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 259-321. ISBN 9783830514879

The orchestra was the most stable and 'institutional' component of European opera houses during the 19th century. It became an increasingly important element in the production and realization of an opera, and, unlike the singers, it functioned as a stable professional entity that was increasingly identified as an inseparable part of the theatre in which it operated. Studies of the orchestra in general, as a unified whole and of orchestras in different places, are numerous. The opera orchestra, however, has had less than its share of this field of research. These studies of opera orchestras in different countries, capitals, cities,provinces and courts contribute to an expanded knowledge, not only of the historical development and institutionalization of a variety of individual orchestras some of which have scarcely been studied before, but also of the typology, or typologies, of the opera orchestra of the 18th and 19th centuries that evolved out of the development of individual orchestras through the ages. Part one of The Opera Orchestra in 18th- and 19th-Century Europe is made up of case studies of individual orchestras. The emphasis is placed upon the professional, financial and social conditions of the musicians within these orchestras and justifies the subtitle of the volumes, The Orchestra in Society. It was impossible and indeed to some extent not useful to cover the whole of modern Europe, country by country, within this project.Instead, different regions in which opera flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries have been selected for part one, in order to reproduce and synthesize the geography ofEuropean opera, and by consequence that of European theatres and orchestras, as a complex cultural, social and economical system in which internal relationships and influences depended on several heterogeneous factors (e.g. politics, diplomacy, dynastic relations, migration and fashion).

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