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Encyclopedia > Grand opera

Grand Opera is a genre of 19th-century opera generally in four or five acts, characterised by large-scale casts and orchestras, and (in their original productions) lavish and spectacular design and stage-effects, normally with plots based on or around dramatic historic events. The term is particularly applied to certain productions of the Paris Opéra from the late 1820s to around 1850, and has sometimes been used to designate the Paris Opéra itself, but is also used in a broader application in respect of contemporary or later works of similar monumental proportions from France, Germany, Italy and other European countries.[1]. For other uses, see Opera (disambiguation). ... Exterior of the Palais Garnier. ...

Contents

Origins of Grand Opera

Paris at the turn of the nineteenth century drew in many composers, both French and foreign, and especially those of opera. Several Italians working during this period including Luigi Cherubini demonstrated that the use of recitative was suited for the powerful dramas that were being written. Others, such as Gaspare Spontini, wrote works to glorify Napoleon. These operas were composed on a suitably grand scale for the Emperor. Other factors which led to Parisian supremacy at operatic spectacle was the ability of the large Paris Opéra to stage sizeable works and recruit leading stage-painters, designers and technicians, and the long tradition of French ballet and stagecraft. The first theatre performance ever lit by gas, for example, was Aladino at the Opéra in 1823; and the theatre had on its staff the innovative designers Duponchel, Cicéri and Daguerre. This article is about the capital of France. ... Portrait of Luigi Cherubini. ... Gaspare Spontini (14 November 1774 – 24 January 1851) was an Italian opera composer and conductor. ... Napoléon I, Emperor of the French (born Napoleone di Buonaparte, changed his name to Napoléon Bonaparte)[1] (15 August 1769; Ajaccio, Corsica – 5 May 1821; Saint Helena) was a general during the French Revolution, the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from... Exterior of the Palais Garnier. ... Louis Daguerre Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1787 - 1851) was the Basque artist and chemist who is recognized for his invention of the Daguerreotype process of photography. ...


Several operas by Gaspare Spontini, Luigi Cherubini, and Gioacchino Rossini can be regarded as precursors to French grand opera. These include Spontini's La vestale (1807) and Fernand Cortez (1809, revised 1817), Cherubini's Les Abencérages (1813), and Rossini's Le siège de Corinthe (1827) and Moise (1828). All of these have some of the characteristics of size and spectacle that are normally associated with French grand opera. Another important forerunner was Il crociato in Egitto by Meyerbeer, who eventually became the acknowledged king of the Grand Opera genre. In Il crociato, which was produced by Rossini in Paris in 1825 after success in Venice, Florence and London Meyerbeer succeeded in blending Italian singing-style with an orchestral style derived from his German training, introducing a far wider range of musical theatre effects than traditional Italian opera. Moreover, Il crociato with its exotic historical setting, onstage bands, spectacular costumes and themes of culture clash, exhibited many of the features on which the popularity of Grand Opera would be based. Gaspare Spontini (14 November 1774 – 24 January 1851) was an Italian opera composer and conductor. ... Portrait of Luigi Cherubini. ... Portrait Gioacchino Antonio Rossini (February 29, 1792 – November 13, 1868)[1] was an Italian musical composer who wrote more than 30 operas as well as sacred music and chamber music. ... La Vestale (The Vestal Virgin) is an opera composed by Gaspare Spontini to a French libretto by Etienne de Jouy. ... Le Siège de Corinthe (The Siege of Corinth) is an opera in three acts by Gioacchino Rossini to a French libretto by Luigi Balocchi and Alexandre Soumet, based on Maometto II by Cesare della Valle. ... Moise (d. ... Il crociato in Egitto (The Crusade in Egpyt) is an opera in two acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer, with a libretto by Gaetano Rossi. ... Giacomo Meyerbeer Giacomo Meyerbeer (September 5, 1791 - May 2, 1864) was a noted opera composer. ... For other uses, see Venice (disambiguation). ... Florence (or Firenze, Florentia and Fiorenza) is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany, and of the province of Florence. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...


Ballet in Grand Opera

A notable feature of Grand Opera as it developed in Paris through the 1830s was the presence of a lavish ballet, to appear at or near the beginning of its second act. This was required, not for aesthetic reasons, but to satisfy the demands of the Opera's wealthy and aristocratic patrons, who were more interested in the dancers themselves than in the opera, and did not want their regular meal-times disturbed. The ballet therefore became an important element in the social prestige of the Opéra[2]. Composers who did not comply with this tradition might suffer as a consequence, as did Richard Wagner with his attempt to stage a revised Tannhäuser as a Grand Opera in Paris in 1861, which had to be withdrawn after three performances, partly because the ballet was in Act I. Richard Wagner Wilhelm Richard Wagner (22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or music dramas as they were later called). ... Tannhäuser or Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf die Wartburg (Tannhäuser and the Singers Contest on the Wartburg) is an opera in three acts, music and text by Richard Wagner, based on the two Germanic legends of Tannhäuser and the song contest at Wartburg. ... Tannhäuser or Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf die Wartburg (Tannhäuser and the Singers Contest on the Wartburg) is an opera in three acts, music and text by Richard Wagner, based on the two Germanic legends of Tannhäuser and the song contest at Wartburg. ...


France

The first Grand Operas (1828-1829)

The golden age of
Grand Opera, 1828-1850

La muette de Portici, Auber, (1828)
Guillaume Tell, Rossini (1829)
Robert le diable, Meyerbeer,(1831)
Gustave III, Auber, (1833)
La Juive, Fromental Halévy, (1835)
Les Huguenots, Meyerbeer, (1837)
Guido et Ginèvre, Halévy (1838)
Le lac des fées, Auber, (1839)
La favorite, Donizetti, (1840)
Les martyrs, Donizetti, (1840)
La reine de Chypre, Halévy (1841)
Charles VI, Halévy, (1843)
Dom Sébastien, Donizetti, (1843)
Jérusalem, Verdi, (1847)
Le prophète, Meyerbeer, (1849)
L'enfant prodigue, Auber, (1850) Image File history File links Paris_Opera_-circa_1865. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Daniel François Esprit Auber (January 29, 1782 _ May 13, 1871), French composer, the son of a Paris print-seller, was born in Caen in Normandy. ... William Tell is an opera by Gioacchino Rossini. ... 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. ... Robert le Diable (English: Robert the Devil) is an opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer, often regarded as the first grand opera. ... Giacomo Meyerbeer Giacomo Meyerbeer (September 5, 1791 - May 2, 1864) was a noted opera composer. ... Gustave III, ou Le bal masqué (Gustavus III, or The Masked Ball) is an opéra historique or grand opera in five acts by Daniel Auber, with a libretto by Eugène Scribe. ... La Juive (The Jewess) is a opera in five acts by Jacques Halévy to an original libretto by Eugène Scribe. ... Jacques Fromental Halévy Jacques-François-Fromental-Élie Halévy (May 27, 1799 - March 17, 1862) was a French composer. ... Les Huguenots is a French opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ... La favorite (The Favorite) is an opera in five acts by Gaetano Donizetti to a French libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz, based on the play Le comte de Comminges by Baculard dArnaud. ... Categories: People stubs | 1797 births | 1848 deaths | Opera composers | Romantic composers | Italian composers | People born in Bergamo, Italy ... Gaetano Donizetti Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti (29 November 1797–8 April 1848) was a famous Italian opera composer. ... La reine de Chypre (The Queen of Cyprus) is a grand opera composed by Fromental Halévy to a libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges. ... Dom Sébastien, Roi de Portugal (Don Sebastian, King of Portugal) is a French grand opera in five acts by Gaetano Donizetti. ... Jérusalem is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to a French libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz. ... VERDI is an acronym for the Italian unification movement, named after the composer Giuseppe Verdi (ardent supporter of the movement) VERDI stands for Vittorio Emmanuelle, Re D Italia (Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy) Categories: Historical stubs ... Le prophète (The Prophet) is an opera in five acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ...

The first opera of the Grand Opera canon is, by common consent, La muette de Portici (1828) by Daniel Francois Auber. This tale of revolution set in Naples in 1647, (and ending with an eruption of Vesuvius into which the heroine precipitates herself), embodied the musical and scenic senasationalism which were to be Grand Opera's hallmark. The libretto for La muette was by Eugène Scribe, a dominant force in French theatre of the time who specialised in melodramatic versions (often involving extremes of coincidence) of historical topics which were well-tailored for the public taste of the time. This was his first libretto for the Opéra; he was to write or be associated with many of the libretti of the most successful Grand Operas which followed. La muette's reputation was enhanced by its being the touchpaper for a genuine revolution when it was produced in Brussels in 1830. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Daniel François Esprit Auber. ... Location of the city of Naples (red dot) within Italy. ... Mount Vesuvius (Italian: Monte Vesuvio) is a volcano east of Naples, Italy, located at 40°49′N 14°26′ E. It is the only active volcano on the European mainland, although it is not currently erupting. ... Augustin Eugène Scribe (December 24, 1791 - February 20, 1861), was a French dramatist and librettist. ... This article is about the settlement itself. ...


In 1829 this was followed by Rossini's swan-song Guillaume Tell. The resourceful Rossini. having largely created a style of Italian opera to which European theatre had been in thrall, recognised the potential of new technology, larger theatres and orchestras and modern instrumentation and proved in this work that he could rise to meet them in this undoubted Grand Opera. But his comfortable financial position, and the change in political climate after the July revolution, persuaded him to quit the field, and this was his last public composition. Guillaume Tell (William Tell) is an opera in four acts by Gioacchino Rossini to a French libretto by Etienne de Jouy and Hippolyte Bis, based on Friedrich Schillers Wilhelm Tell. ... // The French Revolution of 1830, also known as the July Revolution, saw the overthrow of King Charles X, the last of the House of Bourbons, and the ascension of his cousin Louis-Philippe, the Duc dOrléans, who himself, after eighteen precarious years on the throne, would in turn...


The golden age of Grand Opera - 1830-1850

After the Revolution, the new regime determined to privatise the previously State-run Opéra and the winner of the contract was a businessman who acknowledged that he knew nothing of music, Veron. However he soon showed himself extremely shrewd at discerning public taste by investing heavily in the Grand Opera formula. His first new production was a work long contracted from Meyerbeer, whose premiere had been delayed by the Revolution. This was fortunate for both Veron and Meyerbeer - as Berlioz commented, Meyerbeer had 'not only the luck to be talented, but the talent to be lucky'[3]. His new opera Robert le diable chimed well with the liberal sentiments of 1830s France. Moreover, its potent mixture of melodrama, spectacle, lubricity (including a ballet of the ghosts of debauched nuns) and dramatic arias and choruses went down extremely well with the new leaders of taste, the affluent bourgeoisie. The success of Robert was as spectacular as its production. Privatization (sometimes privatisation, denationalization, or — especially in India — disinvestment) is the process of transferring property, from public ownership to private ownership. ... Portrait of Berlioz by Signol, 1832 Louis Hector Berlioz (December 11, 1803 – March 8, 1869) was a French Romantic composer best known for the Symphonie Fantastique, first performed in 1830, and for his Requiem of 1837, with its tremendous resources that include four antiphonal brass choirs. ... Robert Francois Damiens (1715 - 1757), was Frenchman who attained notoriety by his unsuccessful assassination attempt on Louis XV of France in 1757. ...


Over the next few years, Veron brought on Auber's Gustave III (1833, libretto by Scribe, later adapted for Verdi's Un ballo in maschera) and Fromental Halévy's La juive (1835, libretto also by Scribe), and commissioned Meyerbeer's next opera Les Huguenots (1836, libretto by Scribe and Deschamps), whose success was to prove the most enduring of all Grand Operas during the 19th century. Gustave III, ou Le bal masqué (Gustavus III, or The Masked Ball) is an opéra historique or grand opera in five acts by Daniel Auber, with a libretto by Eugène Scribe. ... VERDI is an acronym for the Italian unification movement, named after the composer Giuseppe Verdi (ardent supporter of the movement) VERDI stands for Vittorio Emmanuelle, Re D Italia (Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy) Categories: Historical stubs ... Un ballo in maschera, or A Masked Ball, is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi with text by Antonio Somma. ... Jacques Fromental Halévy Jacques-François-Fromental-Élie Halévy (May 27, 1799 - March 17, 1862) was a French composer. ... La Juive (The Jewess) is a opera in five acts by Jacques Halévy to an original libretto by Eugène Scribe. ... Les Huguenots is a French opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ...


Having made a fortune in his stewardship of the Opéra, Veron cannily handed on his concession to Duponchel, who continued his winning formula, if not to such financial reward. Between 1838 and 1850 the Paris Opéra staged numerous Grand Operas of which the most notable were Halévy's La reine de Chypre (1841) and Charles VI (1843), Donizetti's La favorite (1840) and Dom Sébastien (1843, librettos by Scribe), and Meyerbeer's Le prophète (1849)(Scribe again). 1847 saw the premiere of Giuseppe Verdi's first opera for Paris, Jérusalem, an adaptation, meeting the Grand Opera conventions, of his earlier I Lombardi alla prima crociata. La reine de Chypre (The Queen of Cyprus) is a grand opera composed by Fromental Halévy to a libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges. ... Categories: People stubs | 1797 births | 1848 deaths | Opera composers | Romantic composers | Italian composers | People born in Bergamo, Italy ... La favorite (The Favorite) is an opera in five acts by Gaetano Donizetti to a French libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz, based on the play Le comte de Comminges by Baculard dArnaud. ... Dom Sébastien, Roi de Portugal (Don Sebastian, King of Portugal) is a French grand opera in five acts by Gaetano Donizetti. ... Le prophète (The Prophet) is an opera in five acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ... Verdi redirects here. ... Jérusalem is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to a French libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz. ... I Lombardi alla prima crociata (The Lombards on the First Crusade) is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based epic poem by Tommaso Grossi. ...


For production statistics of Grand Opera in Paris, see List of performances of French Grand Operas at the Paris Opéra.


Grand Operas of the 1850s and 1860s

The most significant development - indeed transformation - of Grand Opera after the 1850s was its handling by Giuseppe Verdi, whose Les vêpres siciliennes (1855), proved to be more widely given in Italy and other Italian language opera houses than in France. The taste for luxury and extravagance at the French theatre declined after the 1848 revolution and new productions on the previous scale were not so commercially viable. The popular Faust (1859) by Charles Gounod started life as an opéra comique, and did not become a grand opera until rewritten in the 1860s. Les Troyens by Hector Berlioz (composed from 1856-1858, later revised), was not given a full performance until nearly a century after Berlioz had died, although portions had been staged before - but the spirit of this work is far removed from the bourgeois taste of the Grand Operas of the 1830s and 1840s. Verdi redirects here. ... Les vêpres siciliennes (The Sicilian Vespers) is an opera in five acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to a French libretto by Charles Duveyrier and Eugène Scribe from their work Le duc dAlbe. ... Faust is an opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré from Carrés play Faust et Marguerite, in turn loosely based on Goethes Faust, Part I. It debuted at the Théatre-Lyrique in Paris on March 19, 1859. ... Year 1859 (MDCCCLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Charles Gounod. ... Opéra comique is a French style of opera that is a partial counterpart to the Italian opera buffa. ... Cover of the score of La prise de Troie, the first two acts of Les Troyens. ... Lithograph of Berlioz by August Prinzhofer, Vienna, 1845. ... 1856 was a leap year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1858 (MDCCCLVIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


By the 1860s taste for the grand style was returning. The first significant entry was La reine de Saba by Charles Gounod. This was rarely given in its entirety, but the big tenor aria, "Inspirez-moi, race divine" was made famous in a recording by Enrico Caruso. The great Meyerbeer died on 2 May, 1864, thus his L'Africaine was premiered posthumously in 1865. Giuseppe Verdi returned to Paris for what many see as the greatest French grand opera ever, the immortal Don Carlos (1867). Massenet's Le roi de Lahore is assessed by Grove as 'the last grand opera to have a great and widespread success'.[4] Ambroise Thomas contributed his Hamlet in 1868, and finally, to close out the decade, the revised Faust was premiered at the Opéra in its Grand Opera format. Charles Gounod. ... For the song Caruso by Lucio Dalla, see Caruso (song). ... LAfricaine (The African Woman) is an opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ... Verdi redirects here. ... This article refers to the opera Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi (and its revised Italian version, known as Don Carlo). ... Hamlet is an opera in five acts by the French composer Ambroise Thomas. ... Faust is an opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré from Carrés play Faust et Marguerite, in turn loosely based on Goethes Faust, Part I. It debuted at the Théatre-Lyrique in Paris on March 19, 1859. ...


Late French Grand Operas

During the 1870s and 1880s, a new generation of French composers continued to produce large scale works in the tradition of Grand Opera but often breaking its melodramatic boundaries. The influence of Wagner's operas began to be felt, and it is a moot point whether these works can be simply called Grand Opera. Jules Massenet had at least two large scale historical works to his credit (Le roi de Lahore (Paris, 1877), and Le Cid (Paris, 1885). Other works in this category include Polyeucte (Paris, 1878) by Charles Gounod and Henry VIII by Camille Saint-Saëns (Paris, 1883). Ernest Reyer had started to compose his Sigurd years before, but, unable to get it premiered in Paris, settled for La Monnaie in Brussels (1884). What may have been one of the last successful French grand operas was by an unfamiliar composer, Emile Paladilhe: Patrie! (Paris, 1886). It ran up nearly 100 performances in Paris, and quite a few in Belgium, where the action takes place, but has since disappeared without a trace. Wagner may refer to more than one place in the United States: Wagner, South Dakota Wagner, Wisconsin Wagner may refer to more than one person: Richard Wagner, German composer Cosima Wagner, daughter of Franz Liszt and wife of Richard Wagner Heinrich Leopold Wagner, dramatist and author John Peter Honus Wagner... Jules Massenet Jules (Émile Frédéric) Massenet (May 12, 1842 – August 13, 1912) was a French composer. ... Le roi de Lahore is an opera in five acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Louis Gallet. ... Le Cid is an opera in four acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Louis Gallet, Edouard Blau and Adolphe dEnnery. ... Charles Gounod. ... For the play, see Henry VIII (play). ... Charles Camille Saint-Saëns () (9 October 1835 – 16 December 1921) was a French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist, known especially for his large-scale orchestral works The Carnival of the Animals, Danse Macabre, Samson et Dalila, and Symphony No. ... Ernest Reyer (1823 – 1909) was the adopted name of French opera composer and music critic Louis Étienne Ernest Rey. ... Sigurd is an opera in four acts by the French composer Ernest Reyer on a libretto by Camille du Locle and Alfred Blau. ... Façade of De Munt / La Monnaie Logo of De Munt or La Monnaie The Koninklijke Muntschouwburg in short: De Munt (in Dutch), or Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in short: La Monnaie (in French) is a theatre in Brussels, Belgium. ... Emile Paladilhe (1844 - 1926) was a minor French composer of the late romantic period. ...


Decline of French Grand Opera

There are three distinctly separate aspects to the decline of French grand opera:

  • Fewer new operas were being composed in the grand opera format as the style became less fashionable (and more expensive to produce)
  • The disappearance of works from the repertory to make way for new fashions (e.g. verismo).
  • Contempt for the format by the supporters of Wagnerian opera.

The expensive artefacts of Grand Opera (which also demanded expensive singers) - Les Huguenots was known as 'the night of the seven stars' because of its requirement of seven top-grade artistes - meant that they were economically the most vulnerable as new repertoire developed. Hence they lost pride of place at the Paris Opéra (especially when many of the original stage-sets were lost in fire in the late 19th century). But there were other theatres in Paris, apart from the Opéra itself, such as the Gaité Lyrique, which would engage artists of the first rank and give the old favorites. La Juive was performed there regularly, and, in 1917, they devoted an entire season to these older works, including Halévy's La reine de Chypre. Verismo was an Italian literary movement born approximately between 1875 and 1895. ... La Juive (The Jewess) is a opera in five acts by Jacques Halévy to an original libretto by Eugène Scribe. ... La reine de Chypre (The Queen of Cyprus) is a grand opera composed by Fromental Halévy to a libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges. ...


However, Wagner had aggressively attacked Grand Opera in his article Das Judentum in der Musik (1850, revised and expanded 1868) and more specifically in his long essay Oper und Drama ('Opera and Drama').(1851). With the rise in influence of Wagnerian music and ideas, several French composers, notably Vincent d'Indy, Ernest Chausson, and Gabriel Fauré, sought to follow Wagner with works like Fervaal, Le roi Arthus and Pénélope, respectively. Das Judenthum in der Musik (Judaism in Music or Jewishness in Music) is an anti-Semitic article which was published in the Neue Zeitschrift. ... Photograph of Vincent dIndy Paul Marie Théodore Vincent dIndy (March 27, 1851 – December 2, 1931) was a French composer and teacher. ... Ernest Chausson (January 20, 1855 – June 10, 1899) was a late-blooming French romantic composer who died in an accident just as his career was beginning to flourish. ... Gabriel Urbain Fauré (May 12, 1845 – November 4, 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. ... Fervaal is an opera by the French composer Vincent DIndy. ...


French Grand Opera today

Today these works are rarely given live performance, as their sheer length and the expense of staging them can still be prohibitive, even for the largest opera houses. However, they are increasingly being resuscitated for CD recordings, and many are revived at opera festivals and regional opera houses such as that at Compiègne. New York State Theater, Lincoln Center, home of the New York City Opera Bolshoi Theatre. ... CD may stand for: Compact Disc Canadian Forces Decoration Cash Dispenser (at least used in Japan) CD LPMud Driver Centrum-Demokraterne (Centre Democrats of Denmark) Certificate of Deposit ÄŒeské Dráhy (Czech Railways) Chad (NATO country code) Chalmers Datorförening (computer club of the Chalmers University of Technology) a 1960s... Compiègne is a commune in the Oise département of France, of which it is a sous-préfecture. ...


Grand Opera outside France

Italy

French Grand Opera was generally well received in Italy, where of course it was always performed in Italian translation.


Italian operas with their own ballet started to become relatively common in the late 1860s and 1870s. Some of these, such as Il Guarany by Antônio Carlos Gomes were designated as "opera ballo" (i.e. 'danced opera'). Others, such as La Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli were not, although they qualified for the description. They constituted an evolution of Grand Opera. Il Guarany is an italian opera by Carlos Gomes, based on the brazilian novel O Guarani, written by José de Alencar. ... Antônio Carlos Gomes (July 11, 1836 - September 16, 1896) is one of the most distinguished nineteenth century classical composers, being the first New World composer whose work was accepted by Europe. ... La Gioconda can refer to: A famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci, better known as Mona Lisa; An opera by Amilcare Ponchielli. ... Amilcare Ponchielli (August 31, 1834 – January 17, 1886) was an Italian composer, largely of operas. ...


Verdi's Aida, despite having only four acts, corresponds in many ways to the Grand Opera formula. It has a historical setting, deals with 'culture clash' and contains several ballets as well as its extremely well known Grand March. It was a huge success, both at its world premiere in Cairo and its Italian premiere in Milan, resulting in an increase in the scale of some of the works by other composers that followed it. This was particularly noticeable in works by Gomes (Fosca (1873) and Salvator Rosa (1874)), Marchetti (especially Gustavo Wasa (1875), and Ponchielli: (I Lituani (1874) and La Gioconda (Milan, 1876, revised 1880), today only remembered for its ballet music 'The Dance of the Hours'). Verdi redirects here. ... This article is about the opera. ... Antônio Carlos Gomes (July 11, 1836 - September 16, 1896) is one of the most distinguished nineteenth century classical composers, being the first New World composer whose work was accepted by Europe. ... Fosca is a British indie band, combining indie pop songwriting with synth pop instrumentation. ... self-portrait by Salvator Rosa, 1640. ... Poster from the Lithuanian Opera Company of Chicago production of I Lituani in 1991 (Ada Sutkus) I Lituani (in English, The Lithuanians) is an opera consisting of a prologue and three acts by Amilcare Ponchielli to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on the historical poem Konrad Wallenrod written... La Gioconda can refer to: A famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci, better known as Mona Lisa; An opera by Amilcare Ponchielli. ...


Other operas on this scale continued to be composed by Italian composers during the 1880s and even 1890s, but with less frequency; examples being Marchetti's Don Giovanni d'Austria (1880) and Ponchielli's Il Figluol Prodigo (also 1880)[5]. Amilcare Ponchielli (August 31, 1834 – January 17, 1886) was an Italian composer, largely of operas. ...


Germany

French Grand Operas were regularly staged by German opera houses; an early article by Richard Wagner depicts German opera managers hurrying to Paris to try to identify the next 'hit'.[6]. The Dresden performances of Le prophète (in German) in 1850 were the occasion for a series of articles by Wagner's disciple, Theodor Uhlig, condemning Meyerbeer's style and crudely attributing his aesthetic failure to his Jewish origins, inspiring Wagner to write his anti-Jewish diatribe Das Judentum in der Musik. Richard Wagner Wilhelm Richard Wagner (22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or music dramas as they were later called). ... Le prophète (The Prophet) is an opera in five acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ... For other uses, see Jew (disambiguation). ... Das Judenthum in der Musik (Judaism in Music or Jewishness in Music) is an anti-Semitic article which was published in the Neue Zeitschrift. ...


Meyerbeer himself was German by birth, but directed nearly all his mature efforts to success in Paris. Richard Wagner's Rienzi, the composer's first success (produced Dresden, 1842) is totally Meyerbeerean in style, Wagner at that time being a sincere admirer of the older composer, who assisted him in arranging performances of Rienzi and Der fliegende Holländer in Dresden and Berlin. As described above, Wagner attempted in 1860/1861 to recast Tannhaüser as a Grand Opera, and this 'Paris version', as later adapted for Vienna, is still frequently produced today. Götterdämmerung, as noted by George Bernard Shaw[7], shows clear traces of some return by Wagner to the Grand Opera tradition, and a case could also be argued for Die Meistersinger[8]. Richard Wagner Wilhelm Richard Wagner (22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or music dramas as they were later called). ... Rienzi, der Letzte der Tribunen (Rienzi, the Last of the Tribunes) is an early opera by Richard Wagner in five acts, with the libretto written by the composer after Bulwer-Lyttons novel of the same name. ... This article is about the city in Germany. ... The Flying Dutchman (original German title: Der fliegende Holländer) is an opera, music and libretto by Richard Wagner, in three acts. ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ...   (Twilight of the Gods – see Notes) is the last of the four operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), by Richard Wagner. ... George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856–2 November 1950) was a world-renowned Irish author. ... Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Master Singers of Nuremberg) is an opera in three acts, written and composed by Richard Wagner. ...


Meyerbeer's only mature German opera, Ein Feldlager in Schlesien is in effect a Singspiel, although Act II has some of the characteristics of grand opera, with a brief ballet and an elaborate march. The opera was eventually transformed by the composer to L'étoile du nord. Ein Feldlager in Schlesien (A Camp in Silesia) is a Singspiel in three acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ... 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. ... Létoile du nord (The North Star) is an opéra comique in three acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. ...


In many German-language houses, especially in Vienna, where Eduard Hanslick and later Gustav Mahler championed Meyerbeer and Halévy respectively, the operas continued to be performed well into the 20th century. The growth of anti-Semitism in Germany, especially after the Nazi Party obtained political power in 1933, spelled however the end of the works of these composers on German stages until modern times when some (e.g. La Juive at Vienna) have been revived. For other uses, see Vienna (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Mahler redirects here. ... The Eternal Jew: 1937 German poster. ... National Socialism redirects here. ...


See also

List of performances of French Grand Operas at the Paris Opéra


Bibliography

  • Bartlet, M Elizabeth C: Grand opéra in 'The New Grove Dictionary of Opera', ed. Stanley Sadie, Macmillan Publishers Limited, London, 1992 ISBN 0-333-73432-7
  • Charlton, David: The Cambridge Guide to Grand Opera ; Cambridge University Press, 2003
  • Crosten, William Loren: French Grand Opera: an Art and a Business; Columbia university, 1948. A landmark text, in many ways still not superseded.
  • Gerhard, Anselm: The Urbanization of Opera: Music Theater in Paris in the Nineteenth Century; University of Chicago Press, 1998
  • Huebner, Steven: French Opera at the Fin de Siécle: Wagnerism, Nationalism, and Style; Oxford University Press, 1999
  • Soubies, Albert: Soixante-sept Ans a L'Opéra en une Page, 1826-1893; Paris, 1893;
  • Wolff, Stephane: L'Opéra au Palais Garnier 1875-1962; Paris n.d. but probably 1963

The New Grove Dictionary of Opera is an encyclopedia (or encyclopedic dictionary) of opera, considered to be one of the best general reference sources on the subject. ...

Notes

  1. ^ See definition in Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Grand opera and Opera
  2. ^ see Crosten, pp. 31-32
  3. ^ Hector Berlioz, tr. D. Cairns, Memoirs, London ,1969. p. 569
  4. ^ Grove, Opera
  5. ^ see chapter on Italian opera by Fiamma Nicolodi in Charlton ((2003), pp. 383-402
  6. ^ Richard Wagner , A First Night at the Opera, in Robert Jacobs and Geoffrey Skelton, Wagner Writes from Paris, London, 1973, pp. 163-164
  7. ^ G. B.Shaw, ed. Dan Laurence, Shaw's Music, 3 vols., London 1981, vol. 3, p. 469
  8. ^ See Grove, Opera.
The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is a dictionary of music and musicians, generally considered to be one of the best general reference sources on the subject. ... Ballad opera is a genre of 18th century English stage entertainment. ... The Comédie en vaudeville was a theatrical entertainment which began in Paris towards the end of the 17th century, in which comedy was enlivened though lyrics using the melody of popular vaudeville songs. ... Comédie mêlée dariettes (comedy mixed with brief arias) is a form of French opéra comique that developed in the mid 18th century following the Guerre des Bouffons dispute over the respective merits of the French and Italian styles, between serious drama and comedy in opera. ... 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. ... Farsa (English farce, plural farse) is a genre of opera, associated with Venice in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. ... The term festa teatrale refers to a genre of drama, and of opera in particular. ... Madrids Zarzuela theatre Género chico (literally, little genre) is a Spanish genre of short light dramas. ... Music drama is the term ascribed to the revolutionary medium of artistic expression created by the German composer Richard Wagner. ... Opéra-ballet was a popular genre of French Baroque opera. ... Opera buffa (a form of comic opera), also known as Commedia in musica or Commedia per musica, is a genre of 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. ... A caricature of a performance of Handels Flavio, featuring three of the most well-known opera seria singers of their day: Senesino on the left, diva Francesca Cuzzoni in the centre, and art-loving castrato Gaetano Berenstadt on the right. ... Operetta is a genre of light opera, light in terms both of music and subject matter. ... Pastorale héroïque is a genre of French Baroque opera. ... Romantische Oper (literally German romantic opera) was a genre of early nineteenth-century German opera, developed not from the German Singspiel of the eighteenth-century but from the opéras comique of the French Revolution. ... 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. ... In the 19th century, Spieloper was understood to mean a comic opera genre, developed from Singspiel. ... The French lyric tragedy (French : tragédie lyrique or tragédie en musique) is a specific French form of opera introduced by Jean-Baptiste Lully and used by his followers until the second half of the eighteenth century. ... Verismo was an Italian literary movement born approximately between 1875 and 1895. ... For other uses, see Zarzuela (disambiguation). ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Opera (3590 words)
Opera refers to a dramatic art form, originating in Europe, in which the emotional content is conveyed to the audience as much through music, both vocal and instrumental as it is through the lyrics.
Traditional opera consists of two modes of singing: recitative, the dialogue and plot-driving passages often sung in a non-melodic style characteristic of opera, and aria, during which the movement of the plot often pauses, with the music becoming more melodic in character and the singer focusing on one or more topics or emotional affects.
All types of singing in opera are accompanied by musical instruments, though until the late 18th century generally, and persisting until even later in some regions, recitative was accompanied by only the continuo group (harpsichord and 'cello or bassoon).
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