Opera buffas break the stereotype that other operas had set. The plots follow common folk rather than heroes and noblemen. They incorporated comedy as an essential element to the plot and connotation of the opera. At first, intellectuals hated this. They believed it broke tradition and made opera look impractical. As time went on, critics and general audiences began to accept opera buffas. There was a lot more depth to comic operas than some would believe. I aim to look at the opera buffa and how the emergence of this sub genre may or may not have contributed to the opera genre. I specifically look at three different sources to that contribute towards opera buffa; The Culture of Opera Buffa in Mozart’s Vienna: A Poetics Entertainment written by Mary Hunter, Francesco Izzo’s Comedy Between Two Revolutions: Opera Buffa and the Risorgimento, 1831-1848, and finally an article by Caryl Clark titled Reading and Listening: Viennese Frauenzimmer Journals and the Sociocultural Context of Mozartean Opera Buffa. By looking into these three specific sources, audiences can fully understand opera buffas and what kind of ideologies they represent.
Mary Hunter’s book, The Culture of Opera Buffa in Mozart’s Vienna: A Poetics Entertainment, discusses Mozart’s opera buffas that were performed in Vienna from around 1770 to 1790, the height of opera buffas success. Hunter investigates the connection that forms between the different works of opera buffa and the audience. She explores the idea of
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This phenomenon was replicated at the University of Michigan’s SMTD performance of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, written by Bertolt Brecht. This play told the story of the rise of gangster Arturo Ui and the corruption of the cauliflower business in order to satirize the rise of Hitler. Despite this being a play, rather than a musical, the use of Copland’s “planes of listening” still apply. Theater-goers can still view the work with different approaches- either purely surface level, meaning-driven, or technical, like the “planes of listening Copland describes.
This very much represents the physical crossing from the ‘normal’ world into a world which is not seen from the outside, and pushed to the edge of society, and further resembles a glimpse of hope for the patients’ recovery. In the later scenes of the play, during the performance of Mozart’s opera, the entire theatre has been transformed into something completely different, with its white walls, the bright, colourful costumes, and Mozart’s “music of the spheres” echoing within the once dark and dismal place. The new theatre in all its splendour metaphorically resembles the transformations of the characters themselves, and from this, the audience is encouraged to realise the significance and therapeutic nature of art, in this case theatre and music: “the music of this opera will keep the world in harmony”, especially in contrast to hopeless treatments such as shock therapy. Through his play, Nowra also encourages the audience to agree with his personal view that war is unnecessary, and in a way is a kind of madness itself, due to its chaotic and uncontrollable nature.
In examining the libretto The Phantom of the Opera, the interactions and attitudes of the characters, and the language used, I will show how the Phantom’s obsession over Christine, although at times destructive, leads to his change from an evil and selfish villain, to a remorseful and compassionate hero. To understand the psyche of the Phantom, one must first have a brief overview of the play.
Sonatas composed from 1773 to 1784 were intended as “public” works from the very beginning, with a clear conception of the taste, preferences, and instruments available to the musical public of Vienna. The Sonata in F Major, Hob. XVI: 23; L38 written in 1773 for solo harpsichord is the best known and most virtuosic of
5. Smart, Mary Ann. Mimomania : music and gesture in nineteenth-century opera. Berkeley : University of California Press, 2004.
In any musical drama, be it opera, oratorio, or even musical theatre, it is possible for a composer to convey the personality of their characters through compositional and musical techniques. Doing so heightens the audience’s understanding of the characters, their motivations, and the relationships between them. Monteverdi, as a pioneer of opera, was one of the first to capitalize on this opportunity to heighten the audience’s understanding of the characters. This is highly apparent in his last opera, L’Incoronazione di Poppea. The music for two of the characters, Poppea and Nerone, is especially well composed to demonstrate personality, and this is no more apparent than in the dialogue which introduces the audience to them, Signor, deh
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven are two of the greatest composers ever to write music. Both men lived in the early 18th and 19th century, but their music and influences are still felt today. The men faced similar experiences, yet they both lead very different lives. All together the pieces that these men composed amounts to over 300 published, and unpublished works of art. The people of their time period often had mixed feelings about these men, some “complained that Mozart’s music presented them with too many ideas and that his melodies moved from one to the next faster than audiences could follow, yet the ideas themselves seem effortless and natural, clear and
“The Saliere of 1781 is an honored and prolific composer in the court of Joseph II, Emperor of Austria, who he has dedicated his life and his talents to the greater honor and glory of God and has obtained fame. Salieri belongs to a clique of Italians who have culturally
One of the problems clarinetists of the 21st century face when performing Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, K. 622, is creating a performance that is memorable while keeping the authentic integrity of the work. Many clarinetists who perform this work are often concerned with how they should the approach and execute the concerto. Any musician who tackles any new work will approach it by researching historical information on the composer and work, do a musical analysis, and gathering recordings of other interpretations of the same work. This approach will not only allow the performer to be fully immersed in the piece but allow for the performer to create a memorable interpretation.
Like the previous eras, Opera continued to be one of the most important music genre is the 19th century, especially in Italy, German and France. Opera served as a form of entertainment for the people of higher social class. Opera music was also popular among the people of other social classes due to the availability of transcribed opera music for them to enjoy in salons or homes of the middle class. This genre was extensively explored and developed by the Italians and Germans. This paper will discuss how Italian and German opera were developed by comparing each composer’s distinctive compositional traits.
As the history of Opera has progressed, characters have become progressively raw and themes increasingly dark. While Comedic Operas delight and entertain spectators, there is just something about controversial, visceral stories that keep audiences yearning for more. This trend does
Opera in the Romantic Period was a time when opera changed drastically, especially in the country of Italy. The recognition of singers as being important, almost irreplaceable, in the art of “bel canto” opera changed the idea of a vocalist in opera forever. A singer’s voice was prized and Italian composers, like Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini wrote operas and works to showcase the voice, it’s color, range and agility. These Italian composers were moving away from the normal style of composition of the time, and the composer Rossini, who set the stage for many other followers. Many of the operas written during this time are still performed today and are highly acclaimed. For the most part, before Italy became a main player, France
Imagine you are in a darkened theater and on stage are the actors. Behind the actors you can see the scenery. Down in front of the stage, in what is called the pit, is an orchestra and a conductor. As the orchestra plays, the actors on stage do not speak their lines they sing them!
On Friday November 3rd I had the pleasure of attending an evening of Opera titled Love Through the Ages with Maria Fortuna and Nancy Townsend at the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. Having never been to an Opera performance I had no idea of what to expect and was looking forward to this new experience. Fortuna was accompanied by multi-faceted pianist Nancy Townsend. These two musicians showed tremendous expertise and were able to keep my attention through the extent of the program.