Raynor Taylor


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(1747?–1825), composer. The English actor-turned-composer came to America in 1792 and settled in Philadelphia where, according to one historian, “As a specialty he cultivated burlesque olios or ‘extravaganzas’ which came dangerously near being music hall skits.” Among his works were his “mock Italian opera,” Capocchio and Dorinna, and his “comic burletta,” Old Woman of Eighty Three, both from 1793. His most important theatrical work was his music for the “New Grand Romantick Drama” The Ethiop; or, The Child of the Desert (1814). One scholar, Victor Fell Yellin, has written, “His overture to The Ethiop is perhaps the finest theatrical overture that has survived from the Federal period.”

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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