Stage Machinery Of Baroque Theaters

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Stage Machinery of Baroque Theaters The theater’s combination of music and acting made them extremely popular with the whole of Western Europe. The baroque theaters, however, not only wanted to entertain their audiences but also captivate and astound them. Theaters started using special effects to amaze their audiences with the visual as well as the auditory; this made theater the most treasured art form of Europe. In order to amaze their audiences, theaters used extremely elaborate stage machinery as part of their special effects. One example of this is the deus ex machina. The deus ex machina “was first used in ancient Greek and Roman drama, where it meant the timely appearance of a god to unravel and resolve the plot. The deus ex machina was named for the convention of the god’s appearing in the sky, an effect achieved by means of a crane.” Giovanni Legrenzi’s deus ex machina in his opera Germanico sul Reno was very different from the ancient Greek crane. Legrenzi’s deus ex machina was a mammoth stage machine used to make it look as if Apollo was descending from the heavens to rescue the hero while in the background other Greek gods float in the clouds. This stage machinery was monumental because nothing as elaborate and eye catching had ever been used before. Not only did the big, dramatic scenes get more elaborate and impressive, but so did the smaller, more subtle opera scenes. Trap doors were used for dramatic entrances from the underworld. The

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