Today's the birthday of Inigo Jones,
Architect of buildings for altars and thrones.
On occasion he'd design the stage for a masque*
If the king would command or Ben Jonson would ask.
*A diversion of noble amateurs, the masque was a lavish experience of mythological or allegorical subjects that included poetry, voice, instruments, dance, actors, costume pageantry and scenic decoration. The composers of this period were able at their art, with Campian, Coperario, Lanir, Lawes, Locke and Gibbons among the most notable. Indeed it was out of the English masque the traditions around English opera evolved, be it a very fine line between them. [Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle]