Chapter

THE BOXES: A MAJOR SOURCE OF INCOME

Beth L. Glixon and Jonathan E. Glixon

in Inventing the Business of Opera

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195154160
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199868483 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195154160.003.0002
THE BOXES: A MAJOR SOURCE OF INCOME

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This chapter focuses on the development of the opera box as a means of income for the theater. All of the regularly operating theaters had boxes, and the annual rental fees provided significant income for either the impresario or the theater owner. The number of levels and the number of boxes within each level varied from theater to theater, and over the years various impresarios or theater owners would either decrease or increase the number of boxes with the aim of increasing either the income, or the size and comfort of the box. Towards the end of the 17th century, those desiring a box would pay in advance a gift, or regalo, in order to claim ownership indefinitely; these fees eventually made possible the building of new theaters. The systems by which fees were collected from recalcitrant box renters or owners are also discussed.

Keywords: opera box; regalo; impresario; theater owner; box renters

Chapter.  9535 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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