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London Voices, 1820-1840Vocal Performers, Practices, Histories$
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Roger Parker and Susan Rutherford

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226670188

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226670218.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 04 August 2021

“The Essence of Nine Trombones”

“The Essence of Nine Trombones”

Luigi Lablache and Models of Masculinity in 1830s London

(p.93) Chapter 5 “The Essence of Nine Trombones”
London Voices, 1820-1840

Sarah Hibberd

University of Chicago Press

Luigi Lablache was the most charismatic and versatile bass of the mid-nineteenth century. For London critics, his imposing physique was inseparable from the combustive power and volume of his voice on the one hand, and his sensitive personality and perceptive characterizations on the other. This chapter examines his reception in London between his 1830 debut and 1835, when he created new roles in operas by Bellini and Donizetti, and situates his reception in the context of voice and body image as they were understood at that time. Drawing on singing treatises of the period and on examples from roles written for Lablache—Giorgio in I puritani and the title role of Marino Faliero—the chapter argues that the particular combination of power and sensitivity that was seen as defining his performances related closely to new British models of masculinity emerging in cultural, political, and domestic spheres.

Keywords:   Luigi Lablache, London, Bellini, Donizetti, masculinity, breath, acting, fatherhood, Puritani Quartet

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