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.
Other articles related to "opera, operas":
... 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 ... court of Brunswick, where in 1721 his first opera, Antioco, was performed Hasse himself sang in the production ... 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 ...
... 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 that he eventually found ... 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) ...
... 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 ...
... The 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 ...
... 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 works about Korczak ... Rudolph Cartier (13 March 1962) Music Korczak's Orphans – opera, music by Adam Silverman, libretto by Susan Gubernat (2003) Kaddish – long poem/song by Alexander ...
Famous quotes containing the word opera:
“A pretty air in an opera is prettier there than it could be anywhere else, I suppose, just as an honest man in politics shines more than he would elsewhere.”
—Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (18351910)
“Are you suggesting that we reopen the Opera with a murder as an added attraction?”
—Eric Taylor, Leroux, and Arthur Lubin. Lecours (Fritz Feld)
“The opera house sparkled with tiers
And tiers of eyes, like mine enlarged by belladonna,”
—James Merrill (b. 1926)