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Encyclopedia > French Opera

In rivalry with imported Italian opera productions, a separate French tradition, sung in the French, was founded by Italian Jean-Baptiste Lully. Despite his foreign origin, Lully established an Academy of Music and monopolized French opera from 1672; and thus an Italian championed the French style in the struggle for supremacy between the French and Italian operatic styles, which raged in the French press for over a century. Lully's overtures, fluid and disciplined recitatives, danced interludes, divertissements and orchestral entr'actes between scenes, set a pattern that Gluck struggled to "reform" almost a century later. The text was as important as the music: royal propaganda was expressed in elaborate allegories, generally with affirmatory endings. Opera in France continued to include ballet interludes and feature elaborate scenic machinery. The Teatro alla Scala in Milan is one of the worlds most famous opera houses. ... Jean-Baptiste Lully, originally Giovanni Battista Lulli (November 28, 1632–March 22, 1687), was an Italian-born French composer, who spent most of his life working in the court of Louis XIV of France. ... The Waltz of the Snowflakes from Tchaikovskys The Nutcracker. ...


Baroque French opera, elaborated by Rameau,[1] was in some sense simplified by the reforms associated with Gluck (Alceste and Orfee) in the 1760s. Gluck's arias and choruses advanced the plot, a significant innovation to the static, even irrelevant, arias and choruses common at the time. While the methods of Gluck were partially derived from those of the more progressive Italians (particularly in comic operas such as Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona, which had been influential in France since its performance there in 1752), he also desired to strip opera of some Italian characteristics he considered superfluous and confusing. In this effort, he adopted such French tendencies as more syllabic text-setting, use of the chorus (still occasionally used in France, unlike Italy), and less adherence to the standard da capo aria form. Because Gluck combined Italian and French methods of undermining opera seria, his reforms united those styles, his response to an ever-continuing controversy. Gluck's example was followed by composers such as Méhul, Cherubini and Spontini. Early in the first half of the 19th, French opera was influenced by the bel canto style of Rossini and other Italians. This international synthesis of styles leads directly into 19th century French "Grand Opera," the most grandiose operatic genre of the 19th century with the possible exception of some Wagner works. Jean-Philippe Rameau, by Jacques André Joseph Aved, 1728 Jean-Philippe Rameau (September 25, 1683 - September 12, 1764) was one of the most important French composers and music theorists of the Baroque era. ... Christoph Willibald Gluck (July 2, 1714 – November 15, 1787) was a German composer. ... Alceste can may refer to: Alcestis, the mythical Greek princess Alcestis (play), the play by Euripedes (438 BC) Several operas based on the mythical Greek princess: Alceste (Lully), an opera by Jean-Baptiste Lully (1674) Alceste (Gluck), an opera by Gluck (1767) Alceste (Schweitzer), an opera by Anton Schweitzer (1772... Comic opera is a subcategory of opera, and denotes a sung dramatic work of a light or comic nature. ... Da Capo may refer to: Da Capo (Ace of Base album), a 2002 album by the Swedish pop band Ace of Base Da Capo (Love album), a 1967 album by the American rock band Love D.C. ~Da Capo~, a 2002 renai game by Circus This is a disambiguation page... Maria Luigi Carlo Zenobio Salvatore Cherubini (September 14, 1760 – March 15, 1842) was an Italian composer. ... The term Bel Canto may refer to: Belcanto, a vocal technique; or Bel Canto, a novel by Ann Patchett. ... Portrait Gioacchino Antonio Rossini (February 29, 1792 – November 13, 1868) was an Italian musical composer who wrote more than 30 operas as well as sacred music and chamber music. ...


Other "comic" styles

French opera with spoken dialogue is referred to as opéra comique, regardless of its subject matter — it can include serious and even tragic plots, such as Bizet's Carmen and Massenet's Manon. German opera of this type is called Singspiel. Depending on the weight of its subject matter, opera comique shades into operetta, which arose as a wildly popular form of entertainment in the second half of the 19th century. Along with the music-hall potpourri called vaudeville, this gave rise to the 20th century genre of musical comedy, perfected in New York and London between the wars. The Opéra-Comique is an opera house in Paris. ... Singspiel (song-play) is a form of German-language music drama, similar to modern musical theater, though it is also referred to as a type of operetta or opera. ... Operetta (literally, little opera) is a performance art-form similar to opera, though it generally deals with less serious topics. ... Vaudeville is a style of multi-act theatre which flourished in North America from the 1880s through the 1920s. ... Musical theater (or theatre) is a form of theater combining music, songs, dance, and spoken dialogue. ...


Romantic opera and French grand opéra

The foyer of Charles Garnier's Opéra, Paris, opened 1875
The foyer of Charles Garnier's Opéra, Paris, opened 1875

The synthesis of elements that is French grand opéra first appeared in Daniel-François-Esprit Auber's La muette de Portici (1828), Rossini's Guillaume Tell (1829) and Meyerbeer's Robert le diable (1831). Grand opera is usually in four or five acts and includes dance interludes for a complete ballet company. While this genre is regarded by some as having reached its apotheosis in a Giuseppe Verdi masterpiece, Don Carlos, the most famous opera in the French grand opera tradition may be Gounod's Faust, particularly in the United States where it was a favorite at the Met for the better half of the 20th century. But it should be noted that Faust started out as an opéra comique, and did not reach grand opera status until later. By mid-century, "opera", to all intents and purposes, meant Grand Opera; the works of Verdi, supposedly a quintessential Italian composer, owe much to this genre, as do those of Wagner, who was both influenced and made acceptable by the sheer extravagance of scale involved in such productions. The similarly extravagant production, including ballet set pieces, of such Russian works as Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin can probably be traced back to the grand opera tradition as well. The Foyer of Charles Garniers Opera, Paris This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... The Foyer of Charles Garniers Opera, Paris This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... ... Charles Garnier (6 November 1825 - 3 August 1898) was a French architect, designer of the Paris Opéra and the Opéra de Monte-Carlo. ... Grand Opera is a style of opera mainly characterized by many features on a grandiose scale. ... Daniel François Esprit Auber. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Portrait Gioacchino Antonio Rossini (February 29, 1792 – November 13, 1868) was an Italian musical composer who wrote more than 30 operas as well as sacred music and chamber music. ... Statue of Wilhelm Tell and his Son in Altdorf, Switzerland (Richard Kissling, 1895). ... Giacomo Meyerbeer Giacomo Meyerbeer (September 5, 1791 - May 2, 1864) was a noted opera composer. ... Robert le Diable (English: Robert the Devil) is an opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer, often regarded as the first grand opera. ... Don Carlos is an opera in five acts by Giuseppe Verdi to a French libretto by Camille du Locle and Joseph Méry, based on the dramatic play Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien by Friedrich Schiller. ... Charles Gounod Charles François Gounod (June 17, 1818 – October 18, 1893) was a French composer, best known for his opera Faust. ... Faust, Charles Gounods operatic retelling of the Faust legend, debuted at the Théatre-Lyrique on 19 March 1859. ... The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, seen from Lincoln Center Plaza A full house at the old Metropolitan Opera House, seen from the rear of the stage, at the Metropolitan Opera House for a concert by pianist Józef Hofmann, November 28, 1937. ... A young Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1874) Tchaikovsky redirects here. ... Eugene Onegin (Евгений Онегин in Russian, Yevgeny Onegin in transliteration) is an opera in three acts by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to a Russian libretto by Konstantin Shilovsky and the composer, based on the novel of the same name by Aleksandr Pushkin. ...

    Opera Lists

    The opera corpus • Important operas • Major opera composers • Opera houses • Important opera companies • Opera festivals • Opera directors Toreador song. ... Software development stages Development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ... Georges Bizet Georges Bizet (October 25, 1838 – June 3, 1875) was a French composer and pianist of the romantic era. ... Poster from the 1875 premiere of Carmen Carmen is a French opera by Georges Bizet. ... This is a list of more than 1,250 works by more than 360 individual opera composers. ... This is a list of notable opera composers. ... Opera House // Africa Egypt Cairo Opera House, Cairo Khedivial Opera House (also known as the Royal Opera House, built 1868), Cairo (burned down in 1971) South Africa Artscape Opera House (Cape Town Opera Company), Cape Town State Theatre, Pretoria Johannesburg Civic Theatre Americas Argentina Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires Brazil... The list of important opera companies is comprised of 61 established, full-time opera companies that present performances during an annual season, selected on various criteria. ... This is an inclusive list of opera festivals and summer seasons, and music festivals that have opera productions. ... This List of opera directors is an inclusive register of famous drama producers and directors who have worked, or are working, in the opera world. ...

    Opera Genres

    Ballad opera • Dramma giocoso • Género chico • Grand opera • Opera buffa • Opéra bouffe • Opéra bouffon • Opéra comique • Opéra féerie • Opera semiseria • Opera seria • Operetta • Savoy opera • Semi-opera • Singspiel • Verismo • Zarzuela Ballad opera is a genre of 18th century English stage entertainment. ... Dramma giocoso (Italian: comical drama; plural: drammi giocosi) is the name of a genre of comic operas with its origins in the mid-18th century. ... Madrids Zarzuela theatre Género chico (literally, little genre) is a Spanish genre of short light dramas. ... Grand Opera is a style of opera mainly characterized by many features on a grandiose scale. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Comic opera. ... Opéra bouffe (plural, opéra bouffes) is a genre of late 19th century French operetta, closely associated with Jacques Offenbach, who produced many of them at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens that gave its name to the form. ... Opéra bouffon is the French term for the Italian genre of opera called opera buffa performed in 18th-century France, either in the original language or in French translation. ... Opéra comique is a French style of opera that is a partial counterpart to the Italian opera buffa. ... Opéra féerie (plural, opéra féeries) is a French genre of opera or opéra-ballet based on fairy tales, often with elements of magic in their stories. ... Opera semiseria (semi-serious opera) is an Italian genre of opera, popular in the early 19th century. ... Opera seria is an Italian musical term which refers to the noble and serious style of Italian opera that predominated in Europe from the 1720s to ca 1770. ... Operetta (literally, little opera) is a performance art-form similar to opera, though it generally deals with less serious topics. ... The Savoy Operas are a series of operettas written by Gilbert and Sullivan. ... Semi-opera is an early form of opera. ... Singspiel (song-play) is a form of German-language music drama, similar to modern musical theater, though it is also referred to as a type of operetta or opera. ... Verismo was an Italian literary movement born approximately between 1875 and 1895. ... Zarzuela (IPA /θarθwela/ in Spain, /sarswela/ in the New World) is a Spanish lyric-dramatic genre, which alternates between spoken and sung scenes, the latter incorporating dances. ...

    Opera Terms

    Aria • Arioso • Bel canto • Cabaletta • Castrato • Coloratura • Comprimario • Convenienze • Da capo • Diva • Intermezzo • Leitmotif • Libretto • Melodrama • Melodramma • Prima donna • Recitative • Regietheater • Sprechgesang This article is about the musical term aria. ... Below is a list of terms used in musical terminology which are likely to occur on printed or sheet music. ... The term Bel Canto may refer to: Belcanto, a vocal technique; or Bel Canto, a novel by Ann Patchett. ... A Cabaletta is form of aria within 19th century Italian opera. ... A castrato is a male soprano, mezzo-soprano, or alto voice produced either by castration of the singer before puberty or who, because of an endocrinological condition, never reaches sexual maturity. ... Coloratura is an ornate, flowery style in classical singing. ... A Comprimario is a secondary role in an opera or singing. ... Convenienze (literally, conveniences) were the rules relating to the ranking of singers (primo, secondo, comprimario) in 19th-century Italian opera, and the number of scenes, arias etc. ... Da Capo may refer to: Da Capo (Ace of Base album), a 2002 album by the Swedish pop band Ace of Base Da Capo (Love album), a 1967 album by the American rock band Love D.C. ~Da Capo~, a 2002 renai game by Circus This is a disambiguation page... A diva is a female opera singer, but now the term also refers to a popular female performer of non-operatic works. ... InterMezzo is a distributed file system written for Linux, distributed with a GPL licence. ... A leitmotif (also spelled leitmotiv) is a recurring musical theme, associated within a particular piece of music with a particular person, place or idea. ... A libretto is the complete body of words used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, sacred or secular oratorio and cantata, musical, and ballet. ... Poster for The Perils of Pauline (1914). ... A Melodramma is an Italian term for opera which was used in the 19th century. ... Look up Prima donna on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Originally used in opera companies, prima donna is Italian for first lady. ... Recitative, a form of composition often used in operas, oratorios, cantatas and similar works, is described as a melodic speech set to music, or a descriptive narrative song in which the music follows the words. ... Regietheater (in English, directors opera; more commonly producers opera) is a term that refers to the modern (essentially post-WWII) practice of allowing a director or producer such freedom in devising the way a given opera is staged that not only may the composers specific stage directions... Sprechgesang (German for speech song) or Sprechstimme (speech voice) is a technique of vocal production halfway between singing and speaking. ...


     
     

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