After the formal establishment of an Austrian competitor to the English East India Company (eic) in 1722, the English drew on every resource available to force the Austrian company to close down—not only political pressure and extensive pamphleteering but also the arts. Of the fifteen operas presented by the Royal Academy of Music from 1724 to 1728, twelve, including seven by George Frideric Handel, featured settings in the Orient. Chosen by the directors of the Academy, who were also eic directors and investors, these Oriental settings kept the image of the East in front of aristocratic audiences, including important Members of Parliament, who had the power to assist the East India effort.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.