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The History of Opera

Grade: 10 –1 Subject: Music Teacher: Mrs. D. Williams Words and Meanings ? Opus: A creative work, especially a musical composition numbered to designate the order of a composer’s works. ? March: A piece of music, usually in four beats to the bar, having a strongly accented rhythm. ? Overture: An instrumental composition intended especially as an introduction to an extended work, such as an opera or oratorio. ? Waltz: A ballroom dance in triple time with a strong accent on the first beat. Sonata: A composition for one or more solo instruments, one of which is usually a keyboard instrument, consisting of three or four independent movements varying in key, mood, and tempo. ? Aria: A solo vocal piece with instrumental accompaniment, as in an opera. ? Opera: A theatrical presentation in which a dramatic performance is set to music. ? Interlude: A brief piece of music, dance, etc, given between the sections of another performance. ? Fanfare: A flourish or short tune played on brass instruments, used as a military signal, usually at a ceremonial event. ? Recessional: A hymn that accompanies the exit of the clergy and choir fter a service. [pic] An opera is a play in which all the conversation is set to music and the actors sing the words instead of speaking them. In Grand Opera, all the words are sung and the music is supposed to be of the finest kind, to be played by large orchestras and sung by the best singers. In light opera, or operettas, some of the conversation is spoken and some is sung. The songs are of the kinds that become “popular songs”. Grand Operas are usually tragedies with unhappy endings and light operas are usually comedies with happy endings, though this is not always so.

In Grand Opera, the leading members of the cast sing a certain number of arias, which are solo songs. There are recitatives, which are spoken words set to music but not actually songs. Usually there are large choruses that accompany the leading singers. Many operas have ballets, or dancing acts that are made apart of the story. Before the opera begins, the orchestra plays an overture that is made up of the best melodies used in the opera. The most popular writers of opera were an Italian, Giuseppe Verdi, whose operas include Aida, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, La Traviata, and several others that have remained popular for years.

The most popular single opera is Carmen, by Georges Bizet, a Frenchman. Nearly all great composers wrote operas. The music is the most important thing in an opera; the writer of the words is seldom remembered. There are many famous opera houses or theatres, where operas are presented, throughout Europe and the Americas. Among the most famous are La Scala, in Milan, Italy; The Operas of Paris, Rome, Berlin, and other great European cities; and the Metropolitan Opera Hose in New York City. The most elaborate scenery and costumes are used in presentations at these opera houses. Movies Containing Opera The Phantom of the Opera

From Russia with Love [pic] Mary Poppins Famous Opera Singers Renee Fleming One of the most famous modern day sopranos in the world of opera is Renee Fleming, who is from the United States. The singer is a Grammy award winner. Her most popular recording is Sindarin, which is from the soundtrack The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. In addition to the standard collection, Ms. Fleming has performed many world premieres, including Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire and Conrad Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons with the San Francisco Opera, and at the Metropolitan Opera, John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles.

She also sang Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah in its first productions at the Metropolitan Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In addition to her many appearances at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, her voice has resounded throughout the distinguished venues of Paris’ Opera Bastille and Palais Garnier, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Barb-ican, La Scala, Bayreuth, Vienna State Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Rossini Festival in Pesaro, Grand Theatre de Geneva, Glyndebourne, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera and Carnegie Hall, among others.

Placido Domingo This Spanish opera singer is another one of the most famous in the world. He is a tenor. One of Placido Domingo’s most famous recordings is in the movie Tristan & Isolde. He also made an appearance in the musical Moulin Rouge. Placido Domingo has done duets with a wide variety of talented and well known singers, such as Josh Groban and Vanessa Williams. Dmitri Hvorostovsky Hvorostovsky opera singer is a baritone from Russia. He is very well known for the work that he did in Rigoletto and in The Queen of Spades.

Interestingly, he was also at one point named one of People magazine’s most beautiful people. This singer is very well known and accomplished. Many regard Hvorostovsky as one of the best opera singers in history, let alone one of the best opera singers who is alive at the moment. Anna Netrebko Another one of the most famous sopranos in the world is Anna Netrebko, who is Russian-Austrian. She sang in Romeo et Juliette, which received a lot of positive feedback. She has also worked alongside Dmitri Hvorostovsky.

The singer is one of the youngest on this list and has already made some wonderful contributions to the world of opera. It is expected that there will be many more to come. Anne Sofie von Otter This Mezzo-soprano is from Sweden. Although she is somewhat lesser known than the other opera singers mentioned, she is known to be incredibly talented. The main reason that she gained a lot of popularity is because she did an album with Elvis Costello. Some of her work has gained some controversy because it involves the Nazi concentration camps. It focuses on Auschwitz concentration camp in particular.

In 2003 she received the Schock Prize awarded by a committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. These are just five of the best opera singers the entire world. Each of these singers are very different in their own way, but all of them have contributed to the opera genre throughout the years. The Four Most Famous Opera Singers in the World Renee Fleming Placido Domingo [pic] Dmitri Hvorostovsky Anna Netrebko [pic] The Most Famous Opera Movie The Phantom of the Opera

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