What Is Opera Theatre?
A musical drama, opera tells a story that is divided into acts and scenes. The music is played by a group of musicians called an orchestra. The main roles are sung by talented artists who are known as principals.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) reinvigorated the art of opera with his exquisite melodies for voices and orchestra that speak with dramatic purpose. He explored themes of ancestral enmity and star-crossed love in his work.
Opera is a form of theatre
Opera is a theatre form in which drama is conveyed through song and music. It has a strong visual element with elaborate sets, costumes, and props. It is also a highly complex art form with a wide audience.
Many of the world’s most famous operas are written in foreign languages. However, many composers in the 20th century began to write English-language operas. These include George Gershwin (Porgy and Bess), Scott Joplin (Treemonisha), and Leonard Bernstein (Candide).
An opera’s libretto is the script that is sung along with the musical score. The words are arranged by the librettist to fit the accompaniment. Often, the words are sung in a musical style called recitative. This allows the story to be told without interruption. The opera may also include arias, duets, and chorus songs. Some operas also feature non-singing actors known as supernumeraries. They may have a walk-on role or appear as part of a procession. The blocking of these roles impacts how the action is conveyed.
It is a form of storytelling
An opera is a dramatic performance that features a combination of music, drama and visual spectacle. The performers use singing and acting to convey the story, and the audience watches from rows of seats that face the stage. This style of storytelling requires a large number of people, and it is often accompanied by a orchestra and a chorus.
The first step in a production of an opera is the preparation of a libretto. A libretto is a written version of the script of a play or story that has been adapted to musical setting and singing. A libretto is usually written in poetic verse.
Then, the composers write the music that will accompany the words of the libretto. They often use recurring musical motifs to represent certain characters or emotions. For example, the opening chords of Tristan and Isolde suggest love and sorrow. Lastly, the stage director impacts how the story is told through blocking, which refers to patterns of movement between the actors onstage.
It is a form of music
Opera is a form of music and theatre that uses singing to tell a dramatic story. It requires a composer to create the musical score, a librettist to write the text, and an actor to play a role on stage. It also includes special effects, sets, costumes and props. A successful opera requires a large orchestra and chorus to support the singers.
An opera can be based on any subject, but it is usually a drama or myth. In the 20th century, many English-language operas were based on contemporary historical events. These included works such as The Death of Klinghoffer, Doctor Atomic, Nixon in China, and Dead Man Walking. The songs in an opera are usually sung in the original language of the work, although some have been translated into other languages. In contrast, musicals are generally sung in English.
It is a form of art
The theatre of opera is a multi-sensory art form. Its origins go back to Renaissance Italy, where it was intended as a way to revive ancient Greek drama, using instrumental music and declamation. By the seventeenth century, opera had become a fully integrated entertainment, with dramatic poetry, visual arts and music supporting each other.
The first opera houses were built in the Baroque style and included a stage, pit for an orchestra, audience seating and backstage provisions. They were designed with a U-shaped layout, and later with box seating. The layout has since evolved to a truncated elliptical shape.
Musical themes, sung by famous opera singers such as Anna Netrebko, Maria Callas and Kirsten Flagstad, convey human passions: love, sacrifice, enchantment, tragedy and death. Opera has also depicted war, political uprisings and social injustice.
Classical operas are based on pre-existing works, such as the play The Marriage of Figaro by Beaumarchais or Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Others are based on contemporary history, such as Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking or Benjamin Britten’s re-telling of It’s A Wonderful Life.