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Encyclopedia > Operetta

Operetta is a genre of light opera, light in terms both of music and subject matter. It is closely related both to opera and also to other forms of lighter musical theatre, and in many cases, it is difficult to assign a musical theatre work to a particular genre. wow Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... This article is about Opera, the art form. ... The Black Crook (1866) is considered the first musical comedy Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining music, songs, spoken dialogue and dance. ...

Contents

Definitions

Normally some of the libretto of an operetta is spoken rather than sung. Instead of moving from one musical number (literally so indicated in the scores) to another, the singers intersperse the musical segments (e.g. aria, recitative, chorus) with periods of dialogue without any singing or musical accompaniment, though sometimes some musical themes are played quietly under the dialogue) - and short passages of recitative are by no means unknown in operetta, especially as an introduction to a song. Antonio Ghislanzoni, nineteenth century Italian librettist. ... An aria (Italian for air; plural: arie or arias in common usage) in music was originally any expressive melody, usually, but not always, performed by a singer. ... Recitative, a form of composition often used in operas, oratorios, and cantatas (and occasionally in operettas and even musicals), is melodic speech set to music, or a descriptive narrative song in which the music follows the words. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Dialogue (disambiguation). ...


Operettas are often considered less "serious" than operas, although this has more to do with the often comic (or even farcical) plots than with the caliber of the music. Topical satire is a feature common to many operettas, although of course this is also true of some "serious" operas as well. Formerly, opera expressed politics in code in some countries, such as France; e.g., the circumstances of the title character in the opera "Robert le Diable" was a code for the parental conflict and resolution of king of France at its first performance. Look up farce in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... 1867 edition of the satirical magazine Punch, a British satirical magazine, ground-breaking on popular literature satire. ... Robert Francois Damiens (1715 - 1757), was Frenchman who attained notoriety by his unsuccessful assassination attempt on Louis XV of France in 1757. ...


Operetta is a precursor of the modern musical comedy. At the same time it has continued to exist alongside the newer form - with each influencing the other. There is a fundamental but subtle distinction between the two forms - and this distinction is quite useful, provided we recognise that nothing here is clear, simple, or unambiguous. Musical theater (or theatre) is a form of theatre combining music, songs, dance, and spoken dialogue. ...


Most operettas can be described as light operas with acting, whereas most musicals are closer to being plays with singing. This can best be seen in the performers chosen in the two forms. An operetta's cast will normally be classically trained opera singers; indeed, there is essentially no difference between the scores for an opera and an operetta, except for the operetta's lightness. A musical uses actors who sing, but usually not in an operatic style. Like most "differential definitions" we could draw between the two forms, however, this distinction is quite often blurred. W.S. Gilbert, for example, said that he preferred to use actors who could sing for his productions, while Ezio Pinza, a great Don Giovanni, appeared on Broadway in South Pacific, and there are features of operetta vocal style both in Kern's Show Boat (1927), Bernstein's Candide, and Walt Disney's animated Snow White (1937) among others. Comic opera, or light opera, denotes a sung dramatic work of a light or comic nature, usually with a happy ending. ... Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (November 18, 1836 - May 29, 1911) was a British dramatist and librettist best known for his operatic collaborations with the composer Arthur Sullivan. ... Ezio Pinza The Italian bass Ezio Pinza (18 May 1892 - 9 May 1957) was one of the outstanding opera singers of the first half of the 20th century. ... Don Giovanni (K.527; complete title: Il dissoluto punito, ossia il Don Giovanni, literally The Rake Punishd, or Don Giovanni) is an opera in two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. ... This article is about the stage musical. ... Show Boat is a musical in two acts with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. One notable exception is the song Bill, which was originally written for Kern in 1918 by P. G. Wodehouse but reworked by Hammerstein for Show Boat, and two songs... For the Bernstein operetta based on the book, see Candide (operetta). ... Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a 1937 animated feature, the first produced by Walt Disney. ...


History

Operetta grew out of the French opéra comique around the middle of the 19th century, to satisfy a need for short, light works in contrast to the full-length entertainment of the increasingly serious opéra comique. By this time the "comique" part of the genre name had become misleading: Carmen (1875) is an example of an opéra comique with a tragic plot. Opéra comique had dominated the French operatic stage since the decline of tragédie lyrique. Opéra comique is a French style of opera that is a partial counterpart to the Italian opera buffa. ... For other uses, see Carmen (disambiguation). ... ...


Jacques Offenbach is usually credited with having written the first operettas, such as his La belle Hélène (1864). Robert Planquette, André Messager and others carried on this tradition. Jacques Offenbach (20 June 1819 – 5 October 1880) was a French composer and cellist of the Romantic era with German-Jewish descent and one of the originators of the operetta form. ... La belle Hélène (The Beautiful Helen or The Fair Helen) is a French operetta in three acts by French composer Jacques Offenbach to an original French libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. ... Robert Planquette (July 31, 1850 - January 28, 1903), French composer of stage musicals, was born in Paris, and educated at the Conservatoire. ... André Charles Prosper Messager (December 30, 1853 - 1929), French musician, was born at Montlucon. ...


The most significant composer of operetta in the German language was the Austrian Johann Strauss, Jr. (1825-1899). His first work in this genre is Indigo und die vierzig Räuber (1871) although it was his third operetta Die Fledermaus (1874) which became the most performed operetta in the world and remained his most popular stage work. Its libretto was based on a comedy written by Offenbach's librettists. In fact, Strauss may have been convinced to write the operetta by Offenbach himself although it is now suggested that it may have been his first wife, Henrietta Treffz who repeatedly encouraged Strauss to try his hand at writing for the theater. In all, he wrote 16 operettas and one opera in his lifetime, mostly with great success when first premiered although they are now largely forgotten, since his later librettists were not very talented and he worked for some of the time independent of the plot. His operettas, waltzes, polkas, and marches often have a strongly Viennese style and his great popularity has caused many to think of him as the national composer of Austria. In fact, when his stage works were first performed, the Theater an der Wien never failed to draw huge crowds, and after many of the numbers the audience would noisily call for encores. German (called Deutsch in German; in German the term germanisch is equivalent to English Germanic), is a member of the western group of Germanic languages and is one of the worlds major languages. ... Johann Strauss II The Waltz King coming to life in the Stadtpark, Vienna Johann Strauss II (or Johann Strauss the Younger, or Johann Strauss Jr. ... A genre [], (French: kind or sort from Greek: γένος (genos)) is a loose set of criteria for a category of literary composition; the term is also used for any other form of art or utterance. ... Indigo and the Forty Thieves was freely adapted from Tales from the Arabian Nights. ... Scene from the 1984 version. ... Henrietta Treffz born Henrietta Chalupetzky (1 July 1818) - (8 April 1878) was best known as the first wife of Johann Strauss II and also a well-known mezzo-soprano, appearing in England in 1849 to great acclaim. ... The Theater an der Wien is a historic theatre in Vienna. ...


Franz von Suppé, a contemporary of Strauss, closely modeled his operettas after Offenbach. The Viennese tradition was carried on by Franz Lehár, Oscar Straus, Carl Zeller, Karl Millöcker, Leo Fall, Richard Heuberger, Edmund Eysler, Ralph Benatzky, Robert Stolz, Emmerich Kálmán, Nico Dostal and Sigmund Romberg in the 20th century. Franz von Suppé Franz von Suppé (April 18, 1819 – May 21, 1895) was a composer and conductor of the Romantic period notable for his four dozen operettas. ... Lehár Franz Lehár (30 April 1870 – 24 October 1948) was an Austrian composer of Hungarian descent, mainly known for his operettas. ... Oscar Straus (6 March 1870 - 11 January 1954) was a Viennese composer of operettas. ... Carl Zeller (19 June 1842 - 17 August 1898) was an Austrian composer of operettas. ... Karl Millöcker (29 April 1842 - 31 December 1899) was an Austrian composer of operettas and a conductor. ... Leo Fall (born Olomouc, 2 February 1873 - died Vienna, 16 September 1925) was an Austrian composer of operettas. ... Richard Franz Joseph Heuberger (18 June 1850 - 28 October 1914) was an Austrian composer of operas and operettas and a music critic. ... Edmund Samuel Eysler (born 12 March 1874; died 4 October 1949) was an Austrian composer // Edmund Eysler was born in Vienna to a merchant family. ... Ralph Benatzky (5 June 1884–16 October 1957), born in Mährisch-Budwitz as Rudolph Josef Frantisek Benatzky) was an Austrian composer. ... Robert Elisabeth Stolz (August 25, 1880 – June 27, 1975) was an Austrian songwriter and conductor as well as a composer of operettas and film music. ... Emmerich Kálmán (October 24, 1882 - October 30, 1953), also known as Imre Kálmán, was a Hungarian composer of operettas. ... Nico Dostal (actually Nikolaus Josef Michael Dostal) (born 27 November 1895, in Korneuburg, Lower Austria; died 27 October 1981, in Salzburg) was an Austrian operetta and film music composer. ... Sigmund Romberg (July 29, 1887 – November 9, 1951) was an American composer best known for his operettas. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999...


The height of English-language operetta (at the time known in England as comic opera to distinguish it from French or German operetta) was reached by Gilbert and Sullivan, who had a long-running collaboration in England during the Victorian era. With W. S. Gilbert writing the libretto and Sir Arthur Sullivan composing the music, the pair produced 14 "comic operas" together, most of which were enormously popular in both Britain and elsewhere, especially the USA, and remain popular to this day. Works such as H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado continue to enjoy regular performances and even some film adaptations. These comic operas influenced the later American Operettas, such as those by Victor Herbert, and musical comedy. Comic opera, or light opera, denotes a sung dramatic work of a light or comic nature, usually with a happy ending. ... W. S. Gilbert Arthur Sullivan Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian era partnership of librettist W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911) and composer Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900). ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Queen Victoria (shown here on the morning of her accession to the Throne, 20 June 1837) gave her name to the historic era The Victorian era of the United Kingdom marked the height of the British Industrial Revolution and the apex of the British Empire. ... Sir William Schwenck Gilbert Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (November 18, 1836 – May 29, 1911) was an English dramatist, librettist and illustrator best known for the fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan. ... Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (May 13, 1842 – November 22, 1900) was an English composer best known for his operatic collaborations with librettist W. S. Gilbert. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: H.M.S. Pinafore H.M.S. Pinafore, or The Lass that Loved a Sailor, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. ... Drawing of the Act I finale The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. ... The Mikado, or The Town of Titipu, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert, their ninth of fourteen operatic collaborations. ... Victor Herbert Victor August Herbert (February 1, 1859–May 26, 1924) was a popular composer of light opera, and an accomplished cellist and conductor. ... The Black Crook (1866) is considered the first musical comedy Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining music, songs, spoken dialogue and dance. ...


English operetta continued into the twentieth century, with works by composers such as Edward German, Lionel Monckton and Harold Fraser-Simson - but increasingly these took on features of musical comedy until the distinction between an "old fashioned musical" and a "modern operetta" became very blurred indeed. Old fashioned British musicals, in particular, retained an "operetta-ish" flavour well into the (nineteen) fifties. More modern operettas include Candide and, some would claim, musicals like Brigadoon. Sir Edward German (17 February 1862 - 11 November 1936) was a musician and composer. ... Lionel Monckton (December 18, 1861 - September 15, 1924) was a British writer and composer of musical theatre. ... Harold Fraser-Simson (born 15 August 1872 in London; died 19 January 1944 in Inverness, Scotland), was a British composer of light music, including songs, incidental music, and stage works. ... Candide is a comic operetta by Leonard Bernstein, based on the novella of the same name by Voltaire. ... DVD cover Brigadoon is a musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, first produced in 1947. ...


A late 20th century renewal of the importance of recitative and through composing in some modern musicals, in fact, brings some such works closer (in some ways) to traditional opera than to operetta. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... The Whos Tommy, the first album explicitly billed as a rock opera A rock opera is a rock music album or stage production that resembles the form of an opera. ...


See also

Operettas by composer: // Ralph Benatzky Im weissen Rössl Leonard Bernstein Candide (1956) Paul Burkhard Hopsa (1935, revised 1957) Feuerwerk (Der schwarze Hecht) (1950) Rudolf Dellinger Don Cesar (1885) Noel Coward Bitter Sweet (1929) Anton Diabelli Adam in der Klemme Edmund Eysler Bruder Straubinger (1903) Die goldne Meisterin (1927... This article is about Opera, the art form. ... For other uses, see Zarzuela (disambiguation). ... Comic opera, or light opera, denotes a sung dramatic work of a light or comic nature, usually with a happy ending. ... The Savoy Operas are a series of operettas written by Gilbert and Sullivan. ...

References

  • Ganzl, Kurt. The Encyclopedia of Musical Theatre (3 Volumes). New York: Schirmer Books, 2001.
  • Traubner, Richard. Operetta: A Theatrical History. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1983
  • Bordman, Gerald. American Operetta. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981.

External links

  • Extensive site with information about operettas, light operas and their composers

  Results from FactBites:
 
Operetta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (734 words)
Operetta (literally, "little opera") is a performance art-form similar to opera, though it generally deals with less serious topics.
Operetta is often considered less "serious" than opera, although this has more to do with the generally comic plots than with the caliber of the music.
Operetta grew out of the French opéra comique around the middle of the 19th century, to satisfy a need for short, light works in contrast to the full-length entertainment of the increasingly serious opéra comique.
Encyclopedia4U - Operetta - Encyclopedia Article (541 words)
Operetta (literally, "little opera") is a performance artform similar to opera, but with some of the libretto (words) spoken rather than sung.
An operetta is more of an light opera with acting, whereas a musical is a play with singing.
Operetta grew out of the French opéra comique, the form of opera in use for several centuries by most composers after the decline of tragedie lyrique.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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