Study Days

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Art Nouveau and Art Deco

From its origins in the Arts and Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau developed in the 1890s as an attempt to produce something new, and not copied from the past as most Victorian architecture had been.  In the early 20th century it evolved into Art Deco, the brilliant and colourful style of the "Jazz Age" which swept the world.  We look at how this all happened, and the influence that Art Deco in particular still exerts today.

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British Musical Theatre from Gilbert and Sullivan to Andrew Lloyd Webber

We look at how foreign influences have shaped British theatre for over 120 years.  Gilbert & Sullivan developed their distinctive style as a typically English response to the frivolities of French operetta.  In the Edwardian period "musical comedy" arose to challenge traditional operetta, and in the 20th century it was imported American shows that gave rise to the modern musical. All these developments are illustrated with many musical examples.

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The Golden Age of French Operetta

Operetta developed in Paris in the mid 19th Century as a lighter alternative to traditional opera, and it was Jacques Offenbach above all who did most to establish the new genre.  Following his lead other composers wrote operettas with varying degrees of success, well into the 20th century.  However, as in England, the influence of American music led to its decline, though some operettas were still being written in France up to the 1950s.  A day filled with delightful music tells this story.

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