Prelude. (CHWM 442–43)
Opera was popular with audiences of all classes and professions. Librettists addressed issues that spoke to a broad audience and used a variety of subjects and settings. The music itself now became the most important element of an opera’s success, and a permanent repertory of operas began to emerge. Paris became the operatic capital of Europe and French grand opera was designed to appeal to middle-class audiences. In Italy, Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, and Verdi created a new Italian tradition in opera, and their works have been performed ever since. Singspiel was at the root of German opera, and composers intensified its national features while absorbing Romantic elements from French opera.
I. French Grand (and Not So Grand) Opera (CHWM 443–48, NAWM 139, 144, and 146)
Librettist Eugène Scribe (1791–1861) and composer Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791–1864), the leaders of French grand opera, created works with exciting historical plots and spectacular stage effects.
- Les Huguenots
Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots (1836) is typical of French grand opera in combining glorious singing and entertaining spectacle (including an enormous cast, a ballet, dramatic scenery, and lighting effects) with a serious artistic statement. The closing scene of Act II illustrates Meyerbeer’s ability to integrate the expression of deep personal feelings into crowd scenes by using a variety of styles and gestures. Music: NAWM 139
- Other grand operas
Grand opera was admired and emulated by later composers.
- Berlioz, Les Troyens
Berlioz’s Les Troyens (1856–58) drew on grand opera and older French opera traditions.
- Opéra comique
Opéra comique, which used spoken dialogue instead of recitative, featured comic or romantic plots and was on a smaller scale than grand opera.
- Opéra bouffe
Opéra bouffe, founded in the 1850s by Jacques Offenbach (1819–1880), satirized operatic as well as social conventions. Offenbach’s work influenced developments in comic opera in England, as illustrated by The Pirates of Penzance, a later operetta by W. S. Gilbert (librettist) and Arthur Sullivan (composer, 1842–1900). Music: NAWM 146
- Lyric opera
Lyric opera featured romantic plots and focused on melody.
- Gounod’s Faust
The most famous lyric opera is Faust by Charles Gounod (1818–1893).
- Bizet’s Carmen
Georges Bizet (1838–1875) combined exoticism and realism in Carmen, which is set in Spain. It provoked outrage among some at its premiere, but has become one of the most popular operas of all time. Music: NAWM 144
In Context: The Musical Attraction of "the Other"
Many composers used timbres, rhythms, and melodic gestures they associated with other nations or simply used unusual sounds to evoke a distant land or foreign culture. This was called exoticism, and its history extends back into the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth century, exotic settings and plots were often used in opera.See AlsoAmerica's 6 Favorite Craft Stores, According to YelpCairo Travel Guide: 15 Top Things to do in Cairo, Egypt🇪🇬Traveling To Vegas A Guide On How To Travel SafelyFifa 22 Crack With License Key Free Download (April-2022) 🕹️ – LexCliq(Video) Tragedy and Hope Ch 19 part 2
II. Italian Opera (CHWM 448–60, NAWM 137–38 and 142)
Gioachino Rossini (1792–1868), the most popular and influential opera composer of his generation, blended aspects of opera buffa and opera seria in his operas and established new conventions for Italian opera.
- Bel canto
Rossini helped establish bel canto, an elegant singing style that contrasted with the heavier dramatic style that dominated by midcentury.
Biography: Gioachino Rossini
Rossini trained at the Bologna Conservatory and was commissioned to write his first opera at age eighteen. Because he had to compose quickly, he often reworked music from his previous compositions to create new operas. Later, he moved to Paris and became director of the Thé‰tre Italien. Rossini stopped writing operas when he was barely forty and lived the last forty years of his life in financial comfort, composing in other genres.
- Patter arias
Some of the most amusing moments in Rossini’s comic operas are in patter arias, in which clever lines are sung with great speed.
- Rosina’s aria
Rosina’s aria Una voce poco fa (her cavatina, or entrance aria), from Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), conveys her character through changes of style, including both bel canto and patter segments. It consists of two main sections, a slow, lyrical cantabile and a fast, brilliant cabaletta. Music: NAWM 137
- Rossini’s style
Rossini’s operas are known for their tunefulness, snappy rhythms, clear phrases, spare orchestration, and simple harmonic schemes.
Vincenzo Bellini (1801–1835) preferred serious dramas with fast action.
- Norma’s aria
Bellini is known for long, highly embellished, intensely emotional melodies, as in the cantabile section of Casta diva, the cavatina for the title character in Norma (1831). Music: NAWM 138
Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848) was one of the most prolific Italian composers of his generation.
- Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) was the dominant figure in Italian music for fifty years after Donizetti.
- Opera and nationalism
Although Verdi supported and became identified with the Italian Risorgimento ("resurgence"), his operas are not overtly nationalist.
- Italian approach to opera
Verdi took more time to compose than his predecessors, and he used that time to calculate the most effective setting to enhance an opera’s dramatic impact on the audience.
- Verdi’s style
Verdi captured character, feeling, and situation in memorable melodies. He also had strict training in harmony and counterpoint, knowledge of past music, and an ear for colorful orchestration.
- Early operas
Verdi’s early operas, often based on stories of personal tragedy, culminated in 1853 with Il trovatore (The Troubadour) and La traviata (The Fallen Woman).
- La traviata
Many features of Verdi’s mature works are embodied in La traviata. Music: NAWM 142
Biography: Giuseppe Verdi
Verdi studied music as a child, then took his first post in Busseto, where he was married. He suffered great personal losses with the deaths of his two children and wife before moving to Milan to begin his opera career. He poured himself into his music, composing several works that quickly became part of the permanent opera repertory. Later, Verdi slowed his production of new operas, eventually retiring and living off the royalties from his music. His publisher persuaded Verdi to come out of retirement to write his two last operas.(Video) Lecture 20. The Colossal Symphony: Beethoven, Berlioz, Mahler and Shostakovich
- Middle period
Verdi wrote fewer operas in his middle period, as he experimented with Parisian grand opera, daring harmonies, comic roles, and other new resources. This period culminated in Aida (1871).
A Closer Look: Typical Scene Structure of Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera
Rossini and his librettists developed a scene structure in which all solos, ensembles, and choruses contributed to advancing the plot. A scene typically includes an orchestral introduction, a scena (orchestrally accompanied recitative), a primo tempo (first movement), a tempo di mezzo, and a cabaletta. Music: NAWM 138 and 142
- Reminiscence motives
Verdi unified his works dramatically and musically by using reminiscence motives.
- Late works
After ten years of retirement, Verdi wrote two late operas on plays by Shakespeare, Otello and Falstaff.
In Otello (1887), Verdi completely realized a sense of continuity in music and action.
Verdi’s last opera, Falstaff (1893), took comic opera to a new level, particularly in the ensembles.
A Closer Look: Verdi’s Otello, Act IV
In Verdi’s Otello, the conclusion of the drama unfolds without pause, contrasting lyrical arias with dialogue and interludes to carry the action.(Video) Magnificent Century Episode 19 | English Subtitle
- Opera and nationalism
III. German Romantic Opera (CHWM 460–71, NAWM 140–41)
Der Freischütz (The Magic Rifleman), by Carl Maria von Weber (1786–1826), established German Romantic opera, which was characterized by plots from medieval history or legend, often with supernatural elements; country settings; and themes of good versus evil. German operas often used a folklike style, chromatic harmony, and orchestral color for dramatic expression.
- Der Freischütz
Der Freischütz includes rustic choruses, marches, dances, airs, and arias in Italian style. The famous Wolf’s Glen scene uses melodrama (spoken dialogue over music), daring chromatic harmonies, and orchestral effects to represent eerie events. Music: NAWM 140
- Richard Wagner and the Music Drama
- Goals and writings
Richard Wagner (1813–1883), composer of German opera, argued in his writings that the function of music was to serve dramatic expression.
Biography: Richard Wagner
In the early 1830s, Wagner began writing operas, gaining his first great success in 1842 in Dresden, where he directed opera, conducted, and composed at the Saxon court. After fleeing Germany during the 1848–49 insurrection, Wagner settled in Switzerland, where he wrote his most important essays and began Der Ring des Nibelungen. He found a new patron in King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who sponsored his later operas. Wagner built the festival theater at Bayreuth where several of his operas were performed, including the Ring cycle.
Wagner believed that poetry, scenic design, staging, action, and music must work together to form what he called a Gesamtkunstwerk. In his music dramas, vocal lines are part of a complete texture in which the orchestra plays a leading role.
- Other writings
Wagner’s published writings address not only music but also literature, drama, and even political and moral topics.
- Early operas
Wagner drew on Meyerbeer in his grand opera Rienzi (1842) and was influenced by Weber in Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman, 1843).
- The Ring cycle
Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung, completed 1874) is a cycle of four operas linked by common characters and musical motives. A leitmotive is a motive associated with a particular person, thing, emotion, or idea, and Wagner organized each music drama around a number of leitmotives. Wagner used leitmotives to form what many commentators called "endless melody."
- Schopenhauer’s influence
Some of Wagner’s later dramas were influenced by the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860), who argued that music was the one art that could give immediate expression to feelings in concrete form without words.
- Tristan und Isolde
In Tristan und Isolde, Wagner depicts the passion of two lovers whose ardor can be consummated only in death.
A Closer Look: Leitmotives in the Ring Cycle
In the Ring cycle, Wagner created melodic relationships among motives, making the dramatic point that certain characters, scenes, and ideas were bound up with one another. Dozens of such motives bound the operas into a unified whole. This technique of depicting character and mood influenced later composers of opera, film, and television scores.See AlsoFestival de Sevilla 2022: Avance de una programación cargada del mejor cine de autor - Las Furias Magazine - Revista Cultural y FeministaCheapest Shuttles to LAX from $8 (2022 Updated)Los Angeles Recording Studio Types26 Creative Ideas for a Romantic Date Night at Home (on a Budget)(Video) This Video Will Make You Love Malia Obama ★ 2022
In the Prelude to Tristan und Isolde, Wagner communicates desire and yearning by using chromatic harmony and delayed resolutions. Music: NAWM 141a
- Tristan chord
The "Tristan chord," F–B–D-sharp–G-sharp, evokes yet evades traditional harmonic expectations.
- Act I
Throughout Act I of Tristan und Isolde, Wagner strings together leitmotives in what eversequence makes sense (while constantly varying them) to convey the actions and emotions of the drama. Music: NAWM 141b
- Leitmotives in Tristan
Wagner created leitmotives with similar features to show relationships among characters, objects, and emotions.
In Context: Wagner’s Reception, Nationalism, and the Jews
Wagner’s anti-Semitic essay Judaism in Music (1850) was appropriated by the Nazi movement in Germany. In this essay, Wagner attempted to obscure his deep debt to Meyerbeer, who was Jewish.
- Wagner’s influence
More has been written about Wagner than about any other musician; his writings and music dramas affected virtually all later operas and had an impact on the other arts as well.
- Goals and writings
Bel canto, Verdi and verismo
The bel canto opera movement flourished in the early 19th century and is exemplified by the operas of Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Pacini, Mercadante and many others. Literally "beautiful singing", bel canto opera derives from the Italian stylistic singing school of the same name.
The central figure in Italian opera for much of the nineteenth century, Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) wrote twenty-eight operas, nearly half of which have been staples of the international operatic repertoire since their first productions.What is the mixture of the French opera comique and grand opera? ›
In the French lyric opera the theatrical aspect and the simple forms of "opéra comique" were combined with virtuosity and drama of the grand opera. A particular trait in all French opera was the ballet, and it became even more important during the Romantic era.In which style of opera did bel canto singing become important? ›
bel canto, (Italian: “beautiful singing”) style of operatic singing that originated in Italian singing of polyphonic (multipart) music and Italian courtly solo singing during the late 16th century and that was developed in Italian opera in the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries.What are the characteristics of the music in the 19th century? ›
Song-like melodies (lyrical), as well as many chromatic harmonies and discords. Dramatic contrasts of dynamics and pitch. Big orchestras, due mainly to brass and the invention of the valve. Shape was brought to work through the use of recurring themes.What is 19th century music called? ›
INTRODUCTION AND HISTORICAL CONTEXT. This chapter considers music of the nineteenth century, a period often called the “Romantic era” in music. Romanticism might be defined as a cultural movement stressing emotion, imagination, and individuality. It started in literature around 1800 and then spread to art and music.Who wrote first opera? ›
The first opera
Jacopo Peri's Euridice of 1600 is generally regarded as the earliest surviving opera. Opera's first composer of genius however, was Claudio Monteverdi, who was born in Cremona in 1567 and wrote Orfeo in 1607 for an exclusive audience at the Duke of Mantua's court.
These were the Opéra (for serious operas with recitative not dialogue); the Opéra-Comique (for works with spoken dialogue in French); and the Théâtre-Italien (for imported Italian operas). All three would play a leading role over the next half-century or so.Who was the father of music? ›
|Johann Sebastian Bach|
|Born||21 March 1685 (O.S.) 31 March 1685 (N.S.) Eisenach|
|Died||28 July 1750 (aged 65) Leipzig|
|Works||List of compositions|
An opera is composed of four essential elements: the text ('libretto') and the music, the singing and the staging.
- recitative - imitating the pattern and rhythm of speech.
- aria - when a character expresses feelings through a flowing melody.
- bel canto - Italian for "beautiful singing."
- castrato - During the Baroque period, young boys were castrated before they reached puberty to avoid the deepening of the voice.
Opera seria, such as Handel's Rodelinda, tells serious or historical stories and focuses primarily on solo voices singing in a bel canto style. Opera buffa, such as Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, tells comedic stories about domestic subjects and features more vocal ensembles.What are the main characteristics of bel canto opera? ›
Bel canto is supposed to be the quintessential way to sing opera. The style is associated with beautiful melodies, silvery voices and floods of rapid notes curling their way up and down the scale, sometimes only loosely around the framework of what the composer actually wrote.What is the importance of opera music? ›
The unique thing in opera is the use of music to convey an entire story/plot. This is based on the feeling that music can communicate people's reactions and emotions better than words (read or spoken) or pictures.What is the singing style that is favored in 19th century Italian operas? ›
Bel canto literally translates to “beautiful singing,” and it was a popular singing style in Italian opera from the mid-18th to early 19th centuries.What is the 19th century best known for? ›
The 19th century was an era of rapidly accelerating scientific discovery and invention, with significant developments in the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, electricity, and metallurgy that laid the groundwork for the technological advances of the 20th century.How was music heard in the 19th century? ›
There was much opportunity to hear music in the public street, including traveling musical troupes and vaudeville street shows, as well as plenty of local, amateur music making. Such outdoor venues called for loud instrumental music, such as military, wind or brass bands.What was the most popular song in the 19th century? ›
- Good Morning to All (Happy Birthday To You) – 1893.
- Amazing Grace – 1800.
- Jingle Bells – 1857 (by James Pierpont)
- Old MacDonald Had A Farm – 1859.
- Camptown Races* – 1850 (Stephen Foster) ...
- Mary Had a Little Lamb – (1830 Lyrics)
- Rock-a-bye Baby – 1884 (by Effie I. ...
- Alphabet Song – 1834 (copyrighted by C.
19th-Century Music covers all aspects of Western art music composed in, leading to, or pointing beyond the "long century" extending roughly from the 1780s to the 1930s. We are interested equally in the music that belongs to the era and in the impact of the era's music on later times, media, and technologies.What was the most popular instrument in the 19th century? ›
String instruments comprised a large majority of instruments popular during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Popular string instruments that were heard in concert halls and at home included, but were not limited to: violin, viola, cello, double bass, harpsichord, fortepiano, and guitar.
The latter part of the 19th century saw the increased popularization of African American music and the growth and maturity of folk styles like the blues.Who is the father of opera? ›
CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI may be the father of opera, as we are often told, yet his three surviving operas rarely appear at major American houses.Who was the first lady of opera? ›
In photographs made at home and abroad, Lillian Evanti emits elegance in costumes from the two dozen opera roles that eventually entered her repertoire, including Violetta in La Traviata, Rosina in The Barber of Seville , and the titular Lakmé.Why is opera called opera? ›
The English word opera is an abbreviation of the Italian phrase opera in musica (“work in music”). It denotes a theatrical work consisting of a dramatic text, or libretto (“booklet”), that has been set to music and staged with scenery, costumes, and movement.What are the 6 components of opera? ›
- recitative. musical speech that advances the plot or action, vocal style, grew out of the earliest monodies of Florentine Camerata.
- aria. italian for air; song, usually of a highly emotional nature, solo.
- secco. ...
- accompagnato. ...
- overture. ...
- librettist. ...
What is opera? Opera (the Italian for work) is an art form that tells a story through music and singing. Unlike a musical, opera singers do not use microphones to amplify their voices, and the music, played by the orchestra, is completely live.Who wrote music first? ›
The founder of what is now considered the standard music staff was Guido d'Arezzo, an Italian Benedictine monk who lived from about 991 until after 1033.Who started music first? ›
Many cultures have their own mythical origins on the creation of music. Specific figures are sometimes credited with inventing music, such as Jubal in Christian mythology, the legendary Shah Jamshid in Persian/Iranian mythology, the goddess Saraswati in Hinduism, and the muses in Ancient Greek mythology.Who found music first? ›
The short answer is that no one knows who invented music. No historical evidence exists to tell us exactly who sang the first song, whistled the first tune, or made the first rhythmic sounds that resembled what we know today as music.What are the words of an opera called? ›
Libretto. Literally 'little book', the text sung in an opera or oratorio.
Opera's early origins
The stories or themes were taken from classical mythology, often drawing parallels between the present day rulers and mythological gods or heroes. The first recognisable opera, with the story told through song and music, was Orfeo by Monteverdi, first performed in Mantua in Italy in 1607.
Opera is a huge undertaking, made up of many different parts: overtures, acts, arias, and recitatives just to name a few.What is an example of opera? ›
Mozart is a common thread between the two as his famous opera, The Marriage of Figaro, is one of the most well known examples of Opera Buffa. Rossini, whose notable works include The Barber of Seville, is also a prevalent composer in this genre.What is an opera made of? ›
Opera consists of many dimensions: the human voice, orchestral music, visual arts (scenery, costumes and special effects), drama (tragedy or comedy), and occasionally dance. The melding of these elements creates a multi-dimensional theatrical experience.What is the end of an opera called? ›
A finale is the last movement of a sonata, symphony, or concerto; the ending of a piece of non-vocal classical music which has several movements; or, a prolonged final sequence at the end of an act of an opera or work of musical theatre.What are the main instruments in opera? ›
It had form twenty to twenty-five instruments: two to three first violins, two to three second violins, four violas, two cellos, one contrabass, one to two bassoons, two to three oboes, three trumpets and two flutes.What are 3 differences between a musical and an opera? ›
Musicals are performed in theatres. They could be a stage show or film or television show. Operas are performed in opera houses; they are always live performances with a live orchestra. The main emphasis of musicals is on dialogue; though, sometimes some musicals are made which are sung through entirely.What is an opera theater called? ›
An opera house is a theatre building used for performances of opera.What is the most important element of the bel canto era of opera? ›
Though nuanced and complicated, the important elements of bel canto singing are legato (moving smoothly between notes, aided by the open vowels of Italian) and using singing ornamentations such as trills in the higher registers, that demand skill and flexibility in the singer's voice.What are the 7 characteristics of classical music? ›
- Characteristics of Classical Music.
- Contrasting Moods.
- Themes and Melody.
- Instruments used in classical music. Strings. Winds. Percussions.
- Famous Classical music composers.
There have been many famous and talented bel canto singers. The Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé, the Italian tenor Beniamino Gigli, and the American soprano June Anderson are just a few. One of the most famous was Maria Callas, a Greek soprano who lived from 1923-1977.What is the importance of drama in an opera? ›
It is up to the performers to portray the plot of the story which is being displayed in such a way that the audience can follow along. Due to the fact that an opera lacks the typical dialogue of a play, musical theater must make use of dramatic gesture in order to compensate for the telling of the plot.What is the story of opera? ›
The Story of Opera explores the centuries-old tradition in which the emotional power of music is linked to the human issues that can be enacted as stories.What is a musical drama called? ›
Definitions of musical drama. opera in which the musical and dramatic elements are equally important; the music is appropriate to the action. type of: opera. a drama set to music; consists of singing with orchestral accompaniment and an orchestral overture and interludes.What opera style was most popular in the 19th century? ›
Nineteenth-century Paris was to foster and witness the birth of “grand opera,” an international style of large-scale operatic spectacle employing historical or pseudohistorical librettos and filling the stage with elaborate scenery and costumes, ballets, and multitudes of supernumeraries.What is the most significant contribution of Italy to the music of the 19th century? ›
Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of Italian musical form in the 19th century, and that which distinguishes it from musical developments elsewhere, is that it remained primarily operatic. All significant Italian composers of the century wrote opera almost to the exclusion of other forms, such as the symphony.Who were the main composers of Italian opera in the early 19th century? ›
The central figure in Italian opera for much of the nineteenth century, Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) wrote twenty-eight operas, nearly half of which have been staples of the international operatic repertoire since their first productions.What genre of music was popular in the 19th century? ›
Solo performances and chamber music were popular, and included everything from operatic and orchestral transcriptions to sentimental love songs and ballads. In the United States, hymns and folk songs by composers like Stephen Foster (1826–1864) supplemented the European repertoire.What were the three most common types of 19th century French opera? ›
The three most common types of 19th century French opera were Grand Opera, Lyric Opera, and Comic opera.What was a popular form of opera in Germany during the 19th century? ›
By the early 19th century, many German composers had turned to Romantic opera and grand opera instead of Singspiel—though some composers did continue to write in the traditional style. These new massive and emotional productions featured larger-than-life characters, events, and music on highly ornamental stages.
Verismo was a realist style of opera that emerged in Italy in the 1890s. Most verismo operas depict gritty plots and lower-class, contemporary characters and settings. Mascagni's Cavelleria rusticana was the first famous verismo opera. It was followed by Pagliacci, Leoncavallo's tragic tale of a heartbroken clown.Why was 19th century music considered the most romantic of all the arts? ›
in the nineteenth century, why was music considered the "most romantic of all the arts" ? because it provided access to unknown realms, separate from the outer world. how did the Industrial Revolution influence the production and spread of pianos?What are two types of music used in an opera? ›
There are two types of operatic singing: recitative, which is nearly spoken yet sung to pitch, and arias, which are formal songs interspersed throughout the piece.What are the main characteristics of the opera during the romantic period? ›
Opera in the Romanticism underwent a great evolution. It combined drama and music, and it expressed strong feelings or passions like love or death. The middle-class went to the theaters, where it was represented. The composers had freedom to make their compositions in this area.What is the most famous opera piece? ›
- Habanera – Bizet (Carmen)
- The Queen of the Night's Aria – Mozart (The Magic Flute)
- O Mio Babbino Caro – Puccini.
- Pour mon âme – Gaetano Donizetti.
- Deh vieni, non tardar – Mozart (Marriage of Figaro)
- Che gelida manina – Puccini (La Bohème)
Christoph Willibald von Gluck – whose Iphigénie en Tauride is currently playing at the Palais Garnier – was the architect of two major reforms: Italian opera first, then lyric tragedy.