At this time, opera became available to the public, not just aristocracy entertainment. By 1700, 16 public opera houses opened (Columbian Encyclopedia, 2008), At that time, opera was considered an Italian music for-n, Lyrics were written in Italian only. Christopher Cluck is a German composer credited with changing the face of opera with Refer et Eurydice in 1 762, staged in Vienna. Refer et Eurydice is said to have changed opera because of its emphasis on drama (Said, 2007).
The opera was the first of many “reformed operas” composed by Cluck, and influenced composers like Mozart Refer et Eurydice set the standard for the modern opera style we see today. Opera finally emerged in German, French, Spanish, and Russian in the 19th century. Prance produced the Grand Opera that would last four to five hours and include ballet dancers. Wagner Ring Cycle followed this pattern, thus taking opera to epic proportions (Music Lessons Online web site, 2010).
Characteristics of the Opera Genre Opera is characterized by almost continuous music With solos, duets, trios, quartets, and choral pieces designed to dramatist and display the main characters vocal abilities. Opera may have some spoken dialogue, and, if so, With musical accompaniment (Columbian Encyclopedia web site, 2008). Three basic types of opera exist: grand opera, opera buff, and operetta (Spore, 2009). Grand opera is a five act, tragic opera, Opera buff is a comical opera that uses satire.
Operetta is a “light style” of opera including a romantic mood and humorous tone with a lighthearted and sappy plot (2009), Most operas are still written in Italian, thus, one has to overcome a language barrier to comprehend. An opera begins with an overture. Next, the plot is revealed through recitative, which is dialogue that is sung). Dance and ballet interludes smooth the transition of scenes. Arias provide emotion and poetry of an opera and bell canto is a style f singing used in opera to “emphasize the beauty of sound” (Spore, 2009).
Famous or Well Known artists associated with Opera Claudio Monteverdi is credited to expanding the opera art form by adding an aria. An aria provided depth to the opera story by allowing the performer to show technique and emotion. In 1612, Monteverdi was promoted to the Master of Music for the Venetian republic (History World web site, 2010). His work became a standard for composers who followed him because of his introduction of bell canto and buffo styles, and his dramatic mood Of music. Mortification Chest and
Pitter Francesco Cavil developed an international style by featuring virtuoso soloists instead Of choruses. In addition, comedy and parody was introduced into the opera genre by Alexandra Straddled in 18th century (Columbian Encyclopedia, 2008). Jean Baptists Lully introduced French opera to the grand opera style characterized by “lavish stage settings and scenery along with the ballets, choruses, and long disquisitions of love and glory” (History World web site, 2010). The English Opera in 1656 by poet laureate Sir William Deviant with The Siege of Rhodes. George Frederic Handel was best known for his oratorio
Messiah, Crowned the reigning English composer, he wrote famous operas such as Ronald, Gigolo Cesar, Redefined, and Alicia (2008). Opera influences on society and culture Richard Wagner provided opera with an “organic unity’ that is still present in today’s theatrical productions (Spore, 2009). Richard also made popular the use of small orchestras. American composers John Adams and Phillip Glass continue to compose operas to keep the opera style alive. Prom Italian to Russian, each form of opera influenced the next as the genre spread like the pop style of today in early Europe.
A newer version created in American called “happier” is a hip hop version of the opera style. Hip hop artists such as Robert Kelly and Beyond’ Knowles both made their own versions Of the hip hopper style. Composers such as Mozart and opera singers such as Placida Domingo are household names to opera lovers worldwide. Opera has evolved since the 16th century and its characteristics of drama and music continue to entertain many. Its style continues to influence many musical artists to adapt various parts Of opera into any genre of music.