1 January 2021 / Members

Early English opera staging – more from the Mullers

image: a reconstruction of Hymen’s masque in Purcell’s Fairy Queen at Dorset Garden Theatre, 1690

Julia and Frans Muller, long-standing STR members with a passion for early opera, have updated their website with new material. They write for us here:

On January 1st 2011, so exactly ten years ago, we put our website online as a way to show Frans’ animation of part of a reconstructed masque from Purcell’s Fairy Queen, which was the subject of an article we wrote for Early Music (Nov. 2005).

Julia and Frans Muller presenting their research on the Dorset Garden Theatre.

The animation and the discussion about the non-musical significance of the scene led to more research and added animations plus iconography.

Our main aim in discussing the semi-operas has always been to show how vitally important all the visual and textual aspects of opera are in grasping the meaning of what one is watching and listening to. This has entailed some serious and extensive criticism of contemporary productions which take no account at all of scholarship.

Over time, we added articles and books we had written or contributed to, translating from English to Dutch and vice versa, as the website is in both languages.

The three new pages now added represent a new phase. We have been using the period of self-isolation to turn some of the thirty years of lectures for conservatories of music, theatre buffs, early opera lovers and other sympathisers into coherent pieces of writing.

Here it is.