Opera to Modern Theater Notes
Opera to Modern Theater Notes MUS 127-007
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sara Rice on Friday October 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MUS 127-007 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Professor Timothy Harris in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Intro Into Listening in Music at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.
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Date Created: 10/07/16
Opera to Modern Musical Theater Opera General Terminology Opera – Italian for “work” Historical origins as an attempt to recreate ancient Greek drama as complete works of art, incorporating both music and drama (plot) Libretto – text to which an opera’s music is set, many by Metastasio Mostly divided into recitative and aria o Recitative – Action, plot progresses, often more speech-like Secco – “dry”, which continuo part only Accompagnato – with orchestral accompaniment o Aria – Reflective, character steps aside to sing of emotions, thoughts, previous events, etc. (Role the chorus plays) Italian Opera Seria vs. Opera Buffa Opera Seria o Many Metastasio libretti (poet 1698-1782) mythological/historical plots o Long da capo arias o Castrati as heroes o Intermezzo o Upper class o Underwent reform (Gluck’s Orfeo, music serves drama) Comic Opera (Opera Buffa) o Everyday characters and plots o More comedy (why so serious?) o Lower voices (comic bass) o Lower class Later Italian Opera Important Italian Composers o Mozart – Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, Marriage of Figaro, 22 total operas o Rossini – Barber of Seville, William Tell, total of 39 operas o Verdi – La traviata, Macbeth, Otello o Puccini – Tosca, La boheme, Madame Butterfly German Opera Singspiel – German version of opera that incorporates spoken dialogue, not just sung text. Recitative is largely replaced The Italian tradition was so important, many German composers, like Mozart, wrote operas in the Italian language Mozart and Beethoven also wrote singspiels (as in Beethoven’s Fidelio) Primary composers are Wagner and Strauss – striving to over stimulate listeners, “sensational,” over-the-top emotion Richard Wagner (1813-1883) Most famous German opera composer Leitmotifs – musical themes associated with particular characters or dramatic factors Ring Cycle – series of four epic operas, including Die Walkure (“Ride of the Valkyries”) Other famous musical techniques found in Tristan und Isolde (“Tristan chord”) French Opera Tragedie en musique – more dance and choral music, serious opera Opera comique – more like Singspiel, includes spoken dialogue in place of recitative French overtures for opera became normative; often slow, dotted rhythms, dignified or royal manner Important works o Lully – Armide (1686) o Rameau – Les Indes galantes o Bizet – Carmen Comparison to Modern Musical Theater Inclusion of spoken word Singing, acting, staging, lighting, costumes Action moves forward but songs can still act as arias Important/prestigious theaters Divas!