Handel's Operas, 1704-1726

Handel's Operas, 1704-1726

Winton Dean, John Merrill Knapp


Boydell Press



The first volume of this monumental study of Handel's operatic works, covering the first seventeen operas.
This first of the classic two-volume survey of Handel's operas was first published in 1987 and reissued in a revised paperback edition in 1995. Now it is brought back into print in a year which has seen numerous productions and recordings of the operas and which marks the 250th anniversary of Handel's death. Their revival in the modern theatre - not a single opera was staged or performed anywhere between 1754 and 1920 - has been among the most remarkable phenomena in the history of the art, and is due in no small measure to the painstaking research of Dean and Knapp in volume one, and Dean himself in volume two, published by Boydell in 2006.

This first volume devotes a chapter to each of Handel's first seventeen operas, offering a full synopsis and study of the libretto, extensive discussions of the music, a performance history, and a comparison of the different versions of the opera. In addition there are several general chapters on the historical and stylistic context of Handel's operatic career to 1726, and a number of Appendices including a list of performances during Handel's life and the location of librettos, Handel's borrowings, Handel's singers, and modern stage productions up to the end of 1993.

WINTON DEAN is a distinguished Handelian scholar and writer on opera. He is a former vice-president of the Georg-Friedrich-Handel Gesellschaft in Halle and a founding Council Member of the Handel Institute in London.
JOHN MERRILL KNAPP died in 1993. He was Emeritus Professor of Music, Princeton University and the editor of two volumes of the German edition of Handel's complete works, and author of The Joy of Opera.


September 2009
17 black and white illustrations
793 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843835257
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
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One of the great monuments of musical scholarship of our day - a mine of information lucidly delved, sharply stimulating...a pleasure to read for its crisply expressed, infinitely discerning and above all loving responses to the works themselves. FINANCIAL TIMES

This volume is a monument to the source-critical method. It is a rigorous investigation of the bewilderingly abundant musical and literary sources of each opera, and its most lasting influence will be on future editions of Handel's music. EARLY MUSIC

This is a volume that every listener to or viewer of Handel's operas will want to purchase, and examine at length...Top marks for this reissue. FANFARE

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