Similarities In Narratives In Romantic Operas

2214 Words9 Pages
To discover similarities in narratives in Romantic operas, I defer to Ernest Newman and George Upton, who are professional music analysts. Newman has written multiple publications on the “great” operas of Don Giovanni, Figaro, Turandot, and others. In his book The Wagner Operas, he analyzes nine of Wagner’s operas (Mastersingers of Nuremburg, The Valkyrie, Seigfired and Parsifial among others). A common theme in many of Wagner’s operas is that they involve the supernatural, and this is in agreement with the immense drama of the Romantic era operas. For example, in The Flying Dutchman, a phantom ship appears and a ghostly Dutchman (as the title suggests) requests the marriage of a sailor’s daughter to ‘redeem’ himself (Newman, 1963). Upton, has compiled plots and music of modern operas into a book published in 1926 as an addendum to his Standard Handbooks on Music. One of the operas he summarizes is that of Gioacchino Rossini’s William Tell. The death of a herdsman’s daughter at the hands of a tyrant’s follower results in the request to Tell to protect the herdsman. In a square, Tell refuses so succumb to the tyrant’s wishes and is jailed. The herdsman rounds up a rescue squad to help him and succeeds. This is a divergence from the Wagnerian obsession with the supernatural, but is still an excellent example of Romantic opera (Upton, 1926).…show more content…
Jacobs (an author for the master musician’s series of texts), has done extensive research on Wagner’s life; yet the scope of this particular text required the omission of all except the major events in Wagner’s life, so this text is not a comprehensive biography of every event that happened to him. In the text (chapter four in particular), Jacobs gives insight into the motivations for Tristan; an interchange between himself, his wife, and another man’s wife form some of the basic struggles that eventually become Tristan and Isolde, and this interchange is explained chronologically in the
Open Document