Opera

Opera (English plural: operas; Italian plural: opere) is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text (called a libretto) and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble.

Opera is part of the Western classical music tradition. It started in Italy at the end of the 16th century (with Jacopo Peri's lost Dafne, produced in Florence in 1598) and soon spread through the rest of Europe: Schütz in Germany, Lully in France, and Purcell in England all helped to establish their national traditions in the 17th century. In the 18th century, Italian opera continued to dominate most of Europe, except France, attracting foreign composers such as Handel. Opera seria was the most prestigious form of Italian opera, until Gluck reacted against its artificiality with his "reform" operas in the 1760s. Today the most renowned figure of late 18th century opera is Mozart, who began with opera seria but is most famous for his Italian comic operas, especially The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze Di Figaro), Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte, as well as The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte), a landmark in the German tradition.

The first third of the 19th century saw the highpoint of the bel canto style, with Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini all creating works that are still performed today. It also saw the advent of Grand Opera typified by the works of Auber and Meyerbeer. The mid-to-late 19th century was a "golden age" of opera, led and dominated by Wagner in Germany and Verdi in Italy. The popularity of opera continued through the verismo era in Italy and contemporary French opera through to Puccini and Strauss in the early 20th century. During the 19th century, parallel operatic traditions emerged in central and eastern Europe, particularly in Russia and Bohemia. The 20th century saw many experiments with modern styles, such as atonality and serialism (Schoenberg and Berg), Neoclassicism (Stravinsky), and Minimalism (Philip Glass and John Adams). With the rise of recording technology, singers such as Enrico Caruso became known to audiences beyond the circle of opera fans. Operas were also performed on (and written for) radio and television.

Read more about Opera:  Operatic Terminology, Operatic Voices, Funding of Opera, Cinema and Internet

Other articles related to "opera, operas":

Opera - Cinema and Internet
... Major opera companies have begun presenting their performances in local cinemas throughout the United States and many other countries ... The Metropolitan Opera began a series of live high-definition video transmissions to cinemas around the world in 2006 ... San Francisco Opera began prerecorded video transmissions in March 2008 ...
Victoria De Los Ángeles - Life and Career
... following year, she made her debut in Salzburg and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Mimì, and in the United States with a recital at Carnegie Hall ... In March 1951, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in New York as Marguérite, and she went on to sing with the company for ten years ... In 1957 she sang at the Vienna State Opera ...
Amilcare Ponchielli - Biography
... Two years after leaving the conservatory he wrote his first opera -- it was based on Alessandro Manzoni's great novel The Betrothed (I promessi sposi) -- and it was as an opera composer ... had won in a competition, he took small-time jobs in small cities, and composed several operas, none successful at first ... The following opera, I Lituani (The Lithuanians) (1874), was also well received, being performed later at Saint Petersburg (as Aldona - November 20, 1884) ...
Johann Adolph Hasse - Early Career
... Hasse's career began in singing, when he joined the Hamburg Opera (his family, who were traditionally church musicians, came from near Hamburg) in 1718 as a tenor ... In 1719 he obtained a singing post at the court of Brunswick, where in 1721 his first opera, Antioco, was performed Hasse himself sang in the production ... not only earned Hasse many commissions from Naples's opera houses, but also, according to Quantz, brought him into contact with Alessandro Scarlatti, who became his teacher and friend ...
Janusz Korczak - In Popular Culture
... In addition to theater, opera, TV, and film adaptations of his works, such as King Matt the First and Kaytek the Wizard, there have been a number of ... and directed by Rudolph Cartier (13 March 1962) Music Korczak's Orphans – opera, music by Adam Silverman, libretto by Susan Gubernat (2003) Kaddish ...

Famous quotes containing the word opera:

    If music in general is an imitation of history, opera in particular is an imitation of human willfulness; it is rooted in the fact that we not only have feelings but insist upon having them at whatever cost to ourselves.... The quality common to all the great operatic roles, e.g., Don Giovanni, Norma, Lucia, Tristan, Isolde, Brünnhilde, is that each of them is a passionate and willful state of being. In real life they would all be bores, even Don Giovanni.
    —W.H. (Wystan Hugh)

    I wish the opera was every night. It is, of all entertainments, the sweetest and most delightful. Some of the songs seemed to melt my very soul.
    Frances Burney (1752–1840)

    To survive there, you need the ambition of a Latin-American revolutionary, the ego of a grand opera tenor, and the physical stamina of a cow pony.
    Billie Burke (1885–1970)