French Opera and Its Italian Influences

France has always maintained a highly operatic tradition since Jean Baptiste Lully, an Italian, set foot into the country. While it is true that Italian opera maintained a strong influence on French Opera, the French variety of this form of composition maintained the much-valued principles of classical French drama.

The linguistic traditions of French Opera have always remained a strong force in Europe due to their strong influence. Lully, the Italian was a boy when he came into France. His leading positions as a lead singer enabled him improve his skills as well as build his opera performance career. French Tragedie Lyrique that was composed as a result of this collaboration had five acts, borrowed heavily from earlier forms which the average Frenchman understood very well. Lully soon became a very influential force and soon dominated music in French theatres. An element of dance play was introduced in most of the plays that were played here.

Opera comique.

Opera comique.

OpÈra Comique was a form of opera that developed from highly popular scenes of ways of life during the18th century. One of the best known venues of this type of operas was the Paris Fair Theaters. Existing tunes helped form lyrical compositions that quickly became popular throughout France. Many traveling companies made up of players from Italy made Continue reading

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A Long Journey of German Opera through History

Many German courts were heavily influenced by both Italian and French opera traditions. The Habsburg Empire which had its headquarters in Vienna was also influenced in an equally significant manner. In fact, great German composers such as Handel and Johan Sebastian succeeded because of their synthesis of these two opera traditions.

Hamburg had time for opera that was composed in German. This scenario remained this way during Handelís brief stint in the opera performances. Emperor Joseph II tried in 1780 to introduce a German opera tradition. Through these attempts, Mozart was able to rise to fame but in the end the emperorís attempts did not bear any fruits.

German Dresden Opernhaus

German Dresden Opernhaus

German Singspiel is the one that has a much longer history. It parallels well with the Italian and French popular comedy. This genre led to the diminishing between serious and comedic opera in Germany. German language opera soon emerged, sometimes in spoken form, covering various topics. A classical example is the Zauberflote or The Magic Flute of Mozart.

Mozart Amadeus Wolfgang was a famous Austrian composer who many opera commentators rank in the same category with the likes of Wagner Verdi. He was a child prodigy whose first works were performed when he was only 11.  Germans who were successful at this time were Don Giovanni who was an instant success in Germany but Continue reading

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An In Depth Analysis of Various Types of Operas

It is not all operas that have a music setting from the beginning to the end. This basically means that there are many types of operas. The most common type of opera is grand opera. This type of opera is set in music only. The Opera Buffe which is of French origin and its Italian equivalent known as Opera Buffa, both are based on light-hearted stories.

Opera Comique is the reference term that denotes a French opera which contains spoken words in addition to music. It is surprising that the term does not denote any comic attributes. In fact, an opera such as Carmen which falls under this category is a tragedy by virtue of the spoken dialogue that is always used in the place of recitatives.

Various types of operas.

Various types of operas.

In Germany, the most common type of opera is Singspiel. In this variety, the storyline is filled with extreme fantasy and there are some spoken words in between various songs. Magic flute by Mozart is a very good example. An operetta is a very short opera that is rather light-hearted and which contains a few spoken words.

In Beijing, opera types are determines by factors such as facial makeup. One of the best ways to classify operas in this city is by looking at the type of the facial makeup that goes with Continue reading

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A brief history of Opera

A historical understanding of the origin of opera is important if the music itself is to be enjoyed. Opera developed in England, Germany, France, and most importantly Italy in the beginning of the 16th century. In fact, the leading role in this development was played by Italy. A story in opera finds expression through musical instruments accompanied by voice.

Opera found its way into England and France through the use of musical instruments that became very popular with royal courts throughout Europe in the early 17th century. Elaborate costumes were orchestrated during these events and dances were accompanied by visual effects. Most of the stories told at this time had their origin in classical mythology. They were used as a manifestation of the grandeur with which kings ruled.

History of opera

History of opera

The years before 1600 saw Italy become very famous for its elaborate musical conceptions that were identified through the use of opera performances. It was not long before the country started exporting opera music to the rest of Europe. Italyís greatest influence throughout Europe in the period between 1500 and 1700 was through music. This is how new genres such as oratorio, concerto and opera found their way into major European countries.

Dafne is the first real opera which was performed by Perin in 1598 in Florence, Italy. Dafne was a pioneer series of productions that were similar and which established a long tradition which came to be known as The Italian Opera. The score sadly no longer exists. One of the greatest known composers of this time was Monteverdi. One of his early works was known as Orfeo and was produced in 1607. This work was composed for the Mantua Court. Thereafter, he wrote for the first opera house that was open for the public. The opera house was in Venice and the year was 1607.

Some opera performances known today as Dido and Aeneas which were produced in 1689 are still performed today. They were composed in English by Henry Purcell. The operas were meant to be half-spoken and half-sung. Soon, professional actors began taking lead roles in the operas and the rarely sung. This form of opera maintained popularity throughout the late 1600ís and well into the 1700ís.

Italians dominated opera in the 18th century. Two flavors had already developed; the Opera Seria or serious opera and Opera Buffo or comedic operas. Opera Seria mainly dwelt on issues that were historic in nature while Opera Buffo revolved around contemporary issues. During this time, Singspien Opera consisted of spoken dialogue mixed with songs, much in the same way like a ballad and was associated with the German language. Opera Comique on the other hand became associated with French. These two strands both have their roots Italian Opera Buffo variety.

Opera in the 19th century was also dominated by Italians. Rossini is a well known opera performer who created over 40 operas in his career spanning for 20 years. Others who rose to prominence include Bellini and Donizetti.

As the 19th century came to a close other famous names such as Verdi came into the limelight. German operas also came to be known as Wagna Operas. These operas were extremely nationalistic and very traditional in nature. An example of these operas is Der Friegende Hollander which in English means ëThe Flying Dutchmaní.

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