scenery to the magic flute of Karl Friedrich Schinkel
performance of the sold bride 1913-22 in Prague

as opera (ital. opera in musica, of lat. opus: Work, work) one designates a musical kind for approximately 1650, in the oneszenisch dramatic action by music is arranged. To the total effect of the opera unite:

  • Music (implementing ones are here orchestras, singer ensemble and conductor)
  • seal (in shape of the libretto)
  • representing art and play
  • ballet and dance
  • scenery (painting, plastics, decoration and architecture)
  • lightingand various effects
  • mask and costumes

here above all the music becomes the carrier of the action, the tendency and the feelings - contrary to the simultaneous Untermalung of a speech piece with music (Melodram) or the insert-like musical loosening of one Action (Singspiel, stage music).

The variety of the cooperating arts creates many possibilities for an opera of accepting shape lets in addition, contradictions develop. Music history knows therefore many different developments of the opera.

„Opera “one calls also the opera house(the performance place) or the specifying Kompagnie.

Table of contents


operas are coined/shaped from extensive form variety, by differentconventional composition styles, individual solutions of the composers, which is determined respective Sujet of the work and a high number of creative ideas. Therefore no generally accepted formula for the structure of the opera can actually be provided - each epoch of the music has sincethe invention of the kind their own opera form for itself found. Roughly schematically seen one can determine however a development of the beginnings of the opera over the number opera, many different combinations up to the through-composed opera.

number opera

of thatBaroque time into the romance inside is more different the opera a lining up, but in itself closed music pieces (number opera), which are interconnected by Rezitative or ( in the Singspiel) spoken dialogues and a constant action to represent. As also in Play knows an opera in document, into pictures, in scenes and/or. Appearances arranged its. The musical components of the opera are variously compound, have however not all the same weighting. In each opera they, the action or the intentions becomethe composer accordingly, used in different extent. Are possible:

  • At the beginning of independent music piece is the Ouvertüre, ital. often Sinfonia, which opens an opera or an act. Often topic table material from the respective opera is quoted (z.B. in HumperdincksHänsel and Gretel “), or the Ouvertüre describe the substantial courses of the action in advance (Programmouvertüre, z. B. „That free contactor “, Carl Maria von Weber). Classical and romantic Ouvertüren become also separate by thatOpera as pieces of concert used for orchestras. Therefore sometimes two conclusions are present for a Ouvertüre: One, which lead up directly to the opera, and a so-called concert conclusion.
  • That play is usually shorter than a Ouvertüre and goes often directly into thoseMusic of the scene over (z. B. „The Rosenkavalier “, smelling pool of broadcasting corporations bunch).
  • An intermediate play, French Entr'acte, connects different document, pictures or scenes. They are used frequently for rapid changes of the scenery. Within the opera document are sometimes Ballet music and/or. Dances (z. B. in Wagners „Tannhäuser “), marches, rare Pantomimen, Auftrittsmusiken etc. In rare cases also intermediate plays are specified separately from the opera as pieces of concert („Four Sea Interludes “from Benjamin Brittens opera „Peter Grimes“).
  • Singing numbers as closed form:
  • The air is the generic term for all solo singing in the opera. Other names for pieces of solo can be: Song, Couplet, Ariette, Cabaletta, romance, Ballade etc. Airs are often the public-most effective andmost well-known parts of an opera and are given individually, sometimes with Rezitativ, outside of the opera framework in concerts. The air mostly describes a feeling condition, memories or thoughts of the singing figure and lets so the dramatic action stand still.
  • Ensemble for several voices: Duett, Terzett, quartet etc. Ensembles represent usually the final of an opera after the first or last act and continue to lead also often the action (ex.s. „Don Giovanni “, W. A. Mozart).
  • The choir offers alternation tooand the people in most cases explains to the pieces of solo. Some operas offer a main emphasis, which lets the solistischen pieces forget to choirs. (z. B. „Boris Godunow “of Modest mash ensuring ski). Also these pieces can outside of the actualOpera in the concert to be sung.
  • A special form takes here the French Vaudeville , a well-known Strophenlied sung by several soloists, often with common Refrain.
  • Introduktion, intermediate play and final are longer in and/or. leading up or an act terminalForms with changing forms and occupations.
  • Singing numbers with action of describing function:
  • The Rezitativ is a vertonter text, which follows very the language process of the words. It serves to advance the action within an opera and to manufacture transitions between the music pieces. Heresometimes Recitativo are differentiated secco and Recitativo accompagnato, whereby the first Rezitativ is accompanied only with Cembalo, second with orchestra.
  • The scene, ital. Scena, originated in in 19. Century from the Rezitativ and is accompanied with orchestra. Usuallyan air follows.
  • The Melodram designates music-accompanied speaking. (In Ludwig van Beethovens opera „Fidelio “the Melodram within an opera one uses, in order to show that that grey ones of the main heroine Leonore, as it its own manthe grave to dig is to encase itself, no more with music does not leave. This scene remains however the exception in the kind.) the Melodram forms its own form, which covered whole works, however today by the theatres disappeared. On the effecta Melodrams falls back the today's film music to a considerable degree.

Durchkomponierte symphonische large form

smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Wagner created 19 starting from the center. Century a new form, those the musical number structure replaced itself and in which music and sealconnect to a through-composed sinfonischen whole one. Wagners one calls operas music drama, which has an infinite melody to the ideal. Its work „Tristan and Isolde “called Wagner accordingly not as opera, but action in music, whichof the original opera terms „Favola in musica “, or „dramma by musica “reminds. It is accordingly difficult to find from through-composed operas of cutouts for presentation in concerts.

The through-composed opera is relevant in principle for all composers after Wagner, even ifmany composers fell back always closed forms in operas (z. B.Zoltán Kodály or briefly Weill). Some number operas have quite the tendency to the through-composed opera, are however not completely through-composed. In addition the number opera lives in Operette and Musical further.


in the history of the opera one differentiates between roughly two tradition strands, which touch themselves and mix however often: On the one hand the dramatic, tragic or serious works, on the other hand everything that itself within the range of the comedyplays. Between them the Opera moves semiseria as a representative of the Tragikomödie.

The prototype both tragically and amusing works is in the process contained Italian (neutral) Dramma by musica, how in the start time the opera was called. The originally respectable requirementresulted from the resort to antique theatre materials - in particular tragedies - and epische hero seals, which were displaced however ever more by temporally closer-lying historical Sujets. A typical example of the early serious opera is „IL ritorno d'Ulisse in patria“of Claudio Monteverdi. Since the separation of both opera styles was not yet compellingly necessary, one called also cheerful works Dramma by musica, about „IL matrimonio segreto “from Domenico Cimarosa. (In the Italy 19. Centurythe term was resumed as Melodramma. Both Bellinis tragic opera „Norma “and the komödiantische opera „L'elisir d'amore “of Donizetti belong to this category.)

paintings of a theatre scene of H. Daumier
  • tragic operas
as firm term establisheditself the Opera seria only in 18. Century. Combinations or tragikomische contents were impossible with this title designation. Trade opera „Radamisto “is a typical work. As anti-pole to Italy France of their own form of the Opera lent seria thatTitle Grand Opéra. In addition for example „Les Troyens counts “from Hector Berlioz. Their forerunner is the Tragédie lyrique, substantially coined/shaped by Lully and the ballet at yards the Louis' XIV, likewise developed in France.
Thatstrongly into one another interlacing, through-composed music drama riper Wagner („Lohengrin “) finds abroad only in Debussy a correspondence, which the leaning term Drame lyrique for its opera „Pelléas et Mélisande “used. Later the materials could also out Novel, play and novella come. One calls operas, which were composed directly after this model, literature opera. „Death in Venice “and/or. „Death in Venice “from Benjamin Britten after the collecting main of Thomas's man is a quite directConversion of the literary material to music.
  • Cheerful, amusing forms contain frequently spoken scenes and continue to lead historically to Operette and musical, whereby the borders are flowing also here. The materials originate from the folk theatre and the comedy, likewisereference to plays already existing can be taken as into this to last opera here „Falstaff “. The cheerful operas are strongly affected further by the Italian COMM dia. dell'arte, in addition, by the German Hanswurstiade, Posse and vary.
The Opera buffa is the prototype of the cheerful operas, in Germany this term as amusing opera was translated. Examples are „IL of bar beers di Siviglia “from Gioacchino Rossini, „weapon-forge “from Albert Lortzing.
That Singspiel developed following the Italian Opera buffa. First one understood by this rather „a play with music “, whereby the musical portion began to outweigh later ever more. It carries an often popular-civil character, is coined/shaped by simple song and/or.Rondoformen and uses German dialogues, occasionally also Melodramen between the musical numbers instead of Rezitativen. „The kidnapping from the Serail “of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one the most well-known Singspiele. Mozart uses here the form for the representation of also serious contentsand avails itself for the airs of also more complex musical forms, than they were typical for the Singspiel.
The French form of the Singspiels was the Opéra comique. It did not have to be necessarily cheerful contents, bordered themselves however to the Grand Opéraoff, by without ballet and with spoken dialogues one worked. One of the most famous works from the section opéra comique is „Carmen “from Georges Bizet).
  • Tragikomödien
the Opera semiseria forms a combination between both basic tendencies. Beside the main actionamusing Nebenfiguren appears itself and - scenes.
  • Distinction by occupation strength
occasionally is also the term large opera and/or. Grand Opéra as Unterbezeichnung of a work. Thus it is characterized that the orchestra and the choir in large occupation play here andto sing it should that the opera is a quite evening-filling work and can on an additional ballet be counted.
The term of the chamber opera refers in contrast to a work realizable with small personnel. The number of singers is in thatRule any more than five, the orchestra is not likewise limited to a small chamber orchestra. Also the stage is often smaller, which can contribute clearly to an atmosphere rather restraining, which is for the effect of the work of advantage. An examplebut „the man is, that its wife with a hat confounded “from Michael Nyman.

These designations serve only for the more exact classification and became, where necessary, around further sub-titles enriches. Luciano Berio used Passaggio for its work „“aboutthe term Messa in scena („production “), which is otherwise used in no further opera. George Gershwin described its work „Porgy and Bess “as „at American Folk Opera “. In order to distinguish itself from the idea of the opera, modern composers preferoften alternative designations as for instance „azione musicals “(musical action) („Un RH in ascolto “, Luciano Berio). Thus it is to be clarified clearly that the action on the stage represents the actually important.

Other works are called simply „opera “or „Opéra “andleads no further Unterbezeichnung in the title.



already in the antique Greek theatre connected one szenische action with music. The choir had here a basic role: Choir singing was consulted on the one hand for the pantomimischen dances,which arranged the play into different parts; on the other hand the choir had also the task to accompany the action commentating (e.g. „Antigone “, Sophokles). It is not well-known whether the Romans had taken over this tradition. With the destruction of the RomanTheatre in 6. Century are statements concerning this no more to occupy - applies also to all other activities, which concern the theatre.

In the Middle Ages the tradition of music-accompanied action was continued. Religious one topics were consulted, around the simple peopleto make more descriptive the statement of the Bible. Whole parts of a service were represented with the means of the theatre. Popular topic was thereby the birth or Auferstehung Christi. By the whole piece through one sang. If necessary, if it thatPiece required, also instruments was used. From this also the Mysterienspiele specified outside of the church developed. Lay pieces, like z. B. short comedies, were only partly supported in some scenes with music inserts. Adam de la Halles of melody-rich piece „Jeu deRobin and Marion “, which was written around 1280, forms here an exception.

Also in intermedia, dance plays, mask and triumph elevators of the Italian Renaissance one finds the connection of scene and music.

Intermedia maintained the public between the documents of a play.They had to do thematically nothing with the remaining action, used often allegorische elements or personalities, and were under-painted just as musical and/or. by Madrigale and dances loosened up. A evening-filling work could have several intermedia. Scenery and person guidance were often strictsymmetrically. Equipment and costumes were extremely splendourful and came to meet thus the baroque ideal of beauty.

The king yard in France maintained since 1581 clenches de cour and Comédie clenches, that for the further development of the opera in France of importanceto be should.

The earliest documented attempt in Germany to specify a dramatic action with singing Protagonisten and music in a scenery is the performance of Orpheus and Amphion on a simultaneous stage on the occasion of the Jülich wedding of Johann William of Jülich Kleve mountain with Mark countess Jakobe of bathing in Duesseldorf 1585. As a possible composer of the not delivered music Andrea Gabrieli is called. The music was so beautiful, „that it the same/so to it meal rivet present been/and such Musicumconcentum & Symphoniam heard to believe/onmüglich.“The action was certainly primarily a Allegorese in the sense of a prince mirror.

emergence of the opera

Claudio Monteverdi

the opera in the today's sense developed for end 16. Century in Florenz. The Florentiner Camerata, in which the opera developed, was an academic discussion circle, in itself the poet (e.g. Ottavio Rinuccini), musicians, philosophers, noble ones and a Kunstmäzen - first count Bardi took over this role, late count Corsitogether found. This human tried to revive the antique drama in which Gesangssolisten, choir and orchestras were involved. After the Pastoraldramen 16. Century the libretto was arranged and set with the musical means the time in music. Vincenzo Galilei, fatherthe astronomer, belonged likewise to this group. He discovered hymns of the Mesomedes, which are lost today, and wrote a treatise against the Netherlands Polyphonie - to one of the clearest proofs for the desired musical style.

The understandable word was forthe Florentiner Camerata in the vowel music the most important. A clear, simple singing line was explained as the ideal, which itself the economical general bass - company with few and quiet instruments - sounds, Cembalo - to subordinate had. Greatly out-formulated melodische ideas were howeverjust as unwanted, in order not to mask contents of the word with too much singing. One spoke even of one „nobile sprezzatura del canto “, a so-called „noblen Verachtung of the singing “. This kind of singing one called recitar cantando, rezitierendenSinging. The extraordinary Schlichtheit and restriction recitar cantando is to be seen thus as a contrast to the prevailing Polyphonie, which could mask contents of the works completely with their complex clay/tone and text layerings. With Monodie should the word againto its full right come. At this kind to sing new it was that by the words direct subjective feelings, so-called.Affekte, to be transported could. With Monodie the individual voice were associated choirs in Madrigalform or as Motette. The orchestraplayed small Ritornelle and dances.

When first work of the kind opera applies „for La Dafne “from Jacopo Peri (1597) on a text of Rinuccini, from which up to a few fragments no note text remained. Further one important works from the start time of the opera are „L'Euridice “the oldest opera received from Jacopo Peri (1600) as as well as „Euridice “(1602) and „IL Rapimento di Cefalo “from Giulio Caccini. Materials of the early operas one took thatPastoralen (shepherd plays) and above all the Greek mythology. Miracles, charms and surprises became popular components of an opera.

Special meaning has Claudio Monteverdis first opera „L' Orfeo “(1607). It became on the occasion of the birthday of Fr. Gonzagaspecified and the earliest receive remained opera score. Here are compared with its predecessors for the first time rich instrumentation (although this is usually only suggested in the score), more developed Harmonik, clay-pictorial-psychological and graphic interpretation of word and figures as well as oneto hear personcharacterizing selection of the instruments. Trombones for example for the underworld and death scenes begun, strike ago with sleep scenes, for the main figure Orfeo is used the wood organ .

Monteverdi widens the unanimity recitar cantando to a arienhafteren style over.Also the choirs receive larger weight. Its personal development takes in „the Orfeo “only its beginning, its late works „IL ritorno to D' Ulisse in patria “(1640) and „L' incoronazione di Poppea “(1643) set up however in viewthe music drama TIC of high points of the entire opera development. In latter opera one finds still the introduction by three allegorische figures, in which Fortuna (the luck) scoffs Virtù (the virtue), the remaining action remains however in the terrestrial world around thatKaiser Nero, seine ungeliebte Gattin Ottavia und die Gattin des Prätors Ottone - Poppea, die zum Schluss der Oper Neros Gattin und Kaiserin wird.

Here Monteverdi uses characterizing, plakative music also in the singing strongly. Emperor Nero, by oneKastraten represented, is drawn for Neros teacher and advisor Seneca with virtuoser music and a brutal character, Ottone softly, gets the worthy bass voice assigned.

The separation between aristocracy and people carried out itself also in the musical forms of the opera: Belcanto singing and Koloraturreichtumfor the aristocracy and God shapes one used, remaining persons had themselves with plainer Ariosi and songs to be content.

17. Century

the first public opera house, which became Teatro San Cassiano in Venice, 1637 open. In fasterNew play places developed for consequence, and Venice became soon the opera center of north Italy. Historical representations displaced soon the mythischen materials of the first operas, all in front went into it to Monteverdi with „L'incoronazione di Poppea “. The venezianische opera developed rapidly and referredamusing edge figures into the action also.

To the operas came primarily member of the middle class, the play plan determined the money-giving aristocracy on the basis the public taste. The originally fine-mental opera was commercialized with this development and simplified accordingly. The since-capo-air with placed in front Rezitativ coined/shaped for long time the style of the solo singing in the opera, choirs and ensembles were accordingly shortened. Mistakes and plots formed the basic repertoire for the actions, which were enriched with amusing scenes of the popular Nebenfiguren. Francesco Cavalli was beside Claudio Monteverdi and Antonio Cesti of one of the most well-known Italian opera composers of the time.

Jean Baptiste Lully

the dear savingists received their money by the sales from Textheftchen, which were distributed completely with Wachskerzen to the Mitlesen before the conception. Proceeds of theSales was marginal and was not enough not for living costs, so that many dear savingists concerned themselves only sideline with this topic. The lawyer Gian Francesco Busenello and Giovanni Faustini applied in the text seal as in an educated manner and were frequently copied.

Operas becameonly to certain play times (ital.:stagione) given: During the Karnevals, from Easter to the summer break as well as from autumn to the Advent. In the passion and Adventszeit instead Oratorien played.

In richer Rome machine effects and choirs did not only receivea larger weight, but also the element of the clergyman.Alessandro Scarlatti becomes the outrider of the neapolitanischen opera school.

In Paris Jean Baptiste Lully as well as its dear savingists Philippe Quinault developed the French type of the opera, its most outstanding characteristic beside the frequent choirsthe ballet is. Lully wrote after the Italian model „L'ercole amante (the Herkules fallen in love) “, originally an opera of Cavalli, a French version of the work and inserted among other things to ballet, which finally more applause found than the opera actually.„Cadmus et Hermione “finally trained the first completely own Tragédie lyrique and remained modelful for all following operas of France of the time. The opera imported from Italy led the Tragédie lyrique opposite a shade existence in France. Lullys successors tried nevertheless Mark Antoine Charpentier and André Campra to reconcile the French opera and the Italian with one another.

The first German opera was 1627 (missing persons) the Daphne of Heinrich contactor, which the form of the opera with its study stay 1609-1613 in Italyhad learned. G. PH. Harsdörffer composed the first received German opera, a didactic drama in strong proximity for the moralisierenden school drama of the Renaissance. All more important prince and king houses began to afford its own yard theatre. Only Hamburg possessed a public opera house howin Venice, which was completed 1678. As „public and popular “opera house at the goose market one produced many new compositions as well as working on of French and Italian operas. The Rezitative was translated, maintained in the airs the source language. 1738 were closed the opera. Onthat Hamburg opera were among other thingsGeorge Philipp Telemann and George Friedrich trade actively.

Trade became one of the most productive opera composers (more than 45 opera works), however was not always successful it. Its working in London pulled the listeners due to several unfortunate circumstancesnot as desired into its spell, among other things because of the strong competition by the famous Kastraten Farinelli, which sang in the rivaling opera troop. The quality of its works remains however unaffected of it. Above all „Alcina “and „Xerxes “popular trade operas became.

18. Century

the general bass numbering of the early operas disappeared gradually in favor of a out-noted orchestra version. On the one hand the Tragédie lyrique with their fuller equipment for it was decisive, on the other hand the Italian tendency, outto make the original dramma by musica an air concert. The typical instruments of the general bass (z. B. ) Were replaced to bass sounds by the group of strike ago - the Cembalo remained only and did not take mostly a main role with yet the out-instrumented secco- Rezitativen.

In the meantime fifth-hasty since-capo-airs with the succession AA' B-AA'entwickelten itself to further specific sub-groups:

  • The Aria bravura (dt. Bravourarie), those with present Koloraturen provided are
  • the Aria cantabile with beautiful alignment
  • of the Aria mezzo the carattere with clearpronounced orchestra company
  • of the Aria concertata with konzertierenden instruments
  • of the Aria parlante, which described violent feeling outbreaks.

Additionally the star of the evening could push still another Aria in baule („luggage air so mentioned “), which gave him opportunity, itself from its best side topresent. With the actual action the air had to do however nothing. Airs could be exchanged relatively unrestrainedly with one another or used by this relatively clear selection of Unterformen several times. The Belcanto singing became increasing a representation of virtuoser singing techniques, the extremePoint tones, supple trills and far jumps as normally covered.

The general action chaos of the usual opera, developed from the need to become fair many tastes at the same time deterred the Italian dear savingists Apostolo Zeno and Pietro Metastasio. Their earnings/services are it, inof redundant side actions mythischen Allegorien and Nebenfiguren completely released libretto as basis of the new opera to have created. On this basis the Opera could maintain ground seria as conclusive, serious work. In thought out verses the main figures of the opera become afterand after into an apparently unsolvable dilemma led, which turns in the end by an unexpected idea to the good one (lieto fine). Additionally the individual pieces of the opera were durchnummeriert (number opera).

By this consistent separation the amusing parties could do theirown opera develop, which cheerful Opera buffa, which dell'arte from the rich Fundus of the COMM dia. draws. Here the mistake comedies had found their own playing field. The personnel consists usually of one noble Liebespaar and two Untergebenen, often farm servant and servants,those as genuine main persons to function here can, instead of being like only remarkable Nebenfiguren before. Kastratenpartien were avoided in the Opera buffa, instead more realistic being correct situations for man portions were introduced and soon to the matter of course.

Of France counterpart to in Paris disputed Operabuffa the Opéra became comique. The Rezitative was replaced by spoken dialogues. Also this model found abroad success. The new simplicity and life proximity strike themselves even in smaller Arietten and nouveaux airs, those in contrast to thatall-side Vaudevilles admitted were again composed, down.

1752 experienced France a new confrontation between the French and the Italian opera, which entered under the title Buffonistenstreit history. Giovanni Battista Pergolesis opera La serva padrona (German: The farm servant asLady) was the cause for it. Against the artificialness and wording of the conventional French aristocracy opera were above all Jean Jacques Rousseau and Denis Diderot, which sat down against the art and wording RAM from to the resistance. Rousseau wrote beside that consciouslyLe arranged opera simple devin you much situation (German: The village fortune-teller) also a price-crowned treatise with the title Discours sur les sciences et les kind (1750), by explaining a life unspoiled of science and culture as the ideal.It wrote further music articles for the famous comprehensive Encyclopédie of the French clearing-up. The Buffonistenstreit went out finally to Ungunsten of the Italian opera troop, which was sold from the city. Thus the controversy was terminated provisionally, at popularity stood the Grandopéra however still behind the Opéra comique back.

Christoph Willibald Gluck
Christoph Willibald luck

Christoph Willibald luck was finally it, that with its operas Orfeo OD Euridice (1672) and Alceste the serious opera from Italy and France mixed and with it on onenew stage main header (opera reform). The consistently simply held, clearly and logically developed course of action, arranged of Ranieri Calzabigi, gets along without complex plots. The number of the Protagonisten shrinks.

Luck music subordinated itself completely dramaturgy and text, characterizedAnd actually did not stand for situations and persons for the Belcanto singing. Durchkomponierte or strophisch arranged songs replaced the since-capo-air. Thus a new naturalness and simplicity were reached, which worked against hollow pathos and singer mannersisms. The choir switched itself faithfully the antiqueModel actively into the action. The Ouvertüre refers to the action and does not stand any longer than replaced Instruentalstück before the opera. Italian Arioso, French ballet and Pantomime, English and German song as well as Vaudeville were integrated into the opera,not as unique pieces, but as new classical style, standing next to each other.

in Germany usually Italian operas were played. A national counterpart is first missing, later develops the Singspiel following the Opera buffa. Italian operas becameto solemn causes to yards easily, a smaller and more inexpensive variant was a Huldigungs kantate, which could be specified also szenisch. Beside driving Italian opera troops, which were bought for Festivitäten, one obligated also composer, singer or - in rarerCases - musicians. German composers been subordinate completely the Primat of the Italian opera and wrote only in this language.

Also Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart found his own way to deal with the tradition of the Italian opera. After its successful Singspielen Bastien and Bastienne, Zaide (fragment) and the kidnapping from the Serail it created it in his Don Giovanni to approximate Opera again each other seria and Opera buffa. Into the magic flute of 1791 connected Mozart elements of the opera with those of the Singspiels andthe locally prevailing old Viennese of charm theatre, which particularly referred its effect from spectacular stage effects and a fairy taleful action. In addition ideas and symbols came from the free bricklaying (Mozart was even lying member). Mozart operas (and in particular the magic flute) belong until today to the standard repertoirean opera house. It called the opera „large opera in 2 documents “. The success of the magic flute remained (just like Beethovens the following Leonore and/or. Fidelio an individual large act. Here the beginning of the famous revenge air of the queen of the night, alsotheir point tones requires a genuine Koloratursopran:

19. Century

Carl Maria von Weber

the French revolution and the ascent Napoleon showed their effects most clearly to the opera with Ludwig van Beethovens of only opera „Fidelio “and/or. „Leonore “. Dramaturgy and musical language oriented themselves clearly at Luigi CherubinisMédée “(Medea, 1797). The action is based on a true occurence within the revolution, and the liberty urge of the original people movement shows up clearly as ideal thatOpera. „Fidelio “can be ranked among the type „of the rescue opera “, in which the dramatic Errettung of humans from large danger is the article. After the magic flute and the Fidelio the German culture landscape finally needed several approaches, around in the romance oneto develop own opera language. One of the most important preliminary stages for this supplied E.T.A. Hoffmann with its romantic opera „Undine “.

Carl Maria von Weber was finally it, that from the tradition of the Singspiels with much dramatic colorfulness in the orchestra the GermanOpera in shape „free contactor of the “ 1821 being entitled to revive left. Its hardly work played because of the bad libretto „Oberon “measured out so much meaning to the orchestra that itself later considerable composers such as Gustav of meals, Claude Debussy and Igor Strawinsky on it appointed.

Further composers of the German romance were than opera composer hardly the well-known Franz thrust ore, whose friends could not supply a kongeniale text material to it with, Heinrich Marschner, that with its operas around supernatural events and nature descriptions(„Hans Heiling “), Albert Lortzing with its play operas exerted large influence on smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Wagner „Zar and Carpenter “as well as „that game contactor “and finally Otto Nicolai, that with „the merry women of Windsor “something italianità into the German opera carried.

In France prevailed first in the second half the 18. Century developed form of the Opéra comique forwards. Daniel François ESPRIT Auber succeeded to La Muette de Portici with its opera „“, their title heroine of onemute Ballerina was represented, the connection to the Grand Opéra. The dear savingist Eugène Scribe was at this time one of the most in demand poets. The Grand Opéra did in its main actions without dear stories, historical-political motives remained large in the foreground. Approximately starting from 1850mixed themselves Opéra comique and Grand Opéra to an opera form without dialogues.Georges Bizet still wrote its most well-known stage work Carmen to 1875 as Opéra comique; posthum the Rezitative caused by Guirard moves „Carmen “however into the proximity of the Grand Opéra, toohowever the realistic action and the clay/tone do not fit. Further examples of the mixture of Opéra comique and Grand opéra are Charles Gounodsfist “from 1859 - here for the first time the term Drame lyrique is used- and Jacques of open brook „Les of contes d'Hoffmann “and/or. „Of Hoffmann narrations “(1871-80).

Modest P. Mash ensuring ski

finally stepped also Russia with its first national operas on the plan, fed by the import of other coming from the west. Mikhail Glinka composed 1836 with „Iwan Sussanin “(or also: „A life for the Zaren “) the first work with Russian Sujets, was however in music still strongly western influences arrested. Modest mash ensuring ski succeeded the solution of them successfully with „Boris Godunow “at a dramaof Alexander Puschkin. Also Borodins „prince Igor “resumed Glinkas inheritance. Peter Tschaikowsky stood between the Russian traditions and those for the western world and sketched a civil dear drama with „Eugen Onegin “, likewise on oneCollecting main of Puschkin is based.

In Tschechien Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák were the usually-played composers of the national opera, which took the dear USA with Smetanas „“in the new national theatre in Prague their beginning. „The sold bride of “the same composer becameExport hit. Dvořaks opera „Rusalka “linked popular legends and German sources of fairy tale to a lyric fairy tale opera, Leoš Janáček and Bohuslav Martinů resumed their efforts.

Italy purged starting from the year 1813, where its elfte opera „L'Italiana in Algeri“, the young and extremely productive Belcanto composer Gioacchino Rossini was specified. „IL of bar beers di Siviglia “(1816) and „are to be found to La Cenerentola “after the Aschenputtel fairy tale of Charles Perrault until today in the standard repertoire of the opera houses. More springilyRhythm in the orchestra and a treatment of the Singstimme never making excessive demands of let Rossini become one of the most popular composers of Europe. Rossini wrote and prevented to date still usual ornaments of the singers decidedly into his portions thereby ausufernde improvisations. Oneit carried out new formal idea with its scene OD air, which loosened the rigid change up Rezitativ air and kept the principle of the number opera upright nevertheless. Its own political Grand Opéra he wrote over „William Tell “(ital.: „Gulliaume Tell “),in Austria one forbade and one specified at different European places in defused version with other main heroes.

Giuseppe Verdi

Gaetano Donizetti was a not less successful opera composer. „Lucia di Lammermoor “with the famous koloraturreichen insanity scene holds itself besidethe cheerful operas „Don Pasquale “, „L'elisir d'amore “and „La fille you régiment “consistently on the play plans of the opera houses. Vincenzo Bellini, a composer entrissener of Maria Callas again the oblivion, wrote in response largetragic Belcanto operas like „I Puritani “, „I Capuleti OD i Montecchi “and „Norma “(1831), whose air belongs „to Casta diva “to the most famous world.

The widespread melody elbows Bellinis made strong impression on the young Giuseppe Verdi. Since its third opera „it was considered to Nabucco as a national composer to Italy still controlled of the having citizens. The prisoner choir „Va, pensiero, sull' ali dorate “developed for the secret national anthem of the country. This draws in musicMusic a strongly stressed, clear Rhythmik out, over which as simple, expression-strong a melodies as possible develop. In its operas, in which Verdi also often participated in the libretto, sealed by Arrigo Boito, take to choir scenes first an important on position. Verdi leftincreasingly the traditional number opera; constant emotional tension required for a varied mixing of the individual scenes and airs. With „Macbetto “Verdi turned away its way of the intimate character description finally from the number opera and continued to go from individuals, toit with „Otello “and the surprising comedy „Falstaff “the composition gave up. Here the topic of the mentioned „prisoner choir “.

Smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Wagner finally transformed the opera so fundamentally after its ideas that specified above the German composers besideit to suddenly fade had. With „Rienzi “the up to then rather luckless Wagner experienced his first success in Dresden. It could with the support of Ludwig II. finally its own Festspielhaus in Bayreuth open, that specifically for its workswas intended. The specific innovation for the kind opera by Wagner consisted of the fact that it made a complete dissolution of the number opera. Tendencies to the through-composed opera already weber showed in „the free contactor “, was consistently completed this development by Wagner. Also the lengthits operas required singers and listeners much concentration and perseverance off. Special daring he topics of its serious operas are release nearly throughout by love, renunciation or death. In „Tristan and Isolde “he shifted the internal drama of the main figures into thoseMusic - the outside action of the opera is amazingly event-poor. The beginning of this opera is harmoniously difficult to reconstruct. It became so famous that it entered as so-calledTristan chord “music history. With „the ring of the Nibelungen “,the probably most well-known opera cycle in four parts with approximately 16 hours performance time altogether, Wagner created his life's work. „Parsifal “was the last one of its operas, those the music world into two camps split and both imitator (Engelbert Humperdinck, Smelling pool of broadcasting corporations bunch before its „Salome “) and Skeptiker - in particular in France - caused.

turn of the century

after the transfer this conquered the young ists (ital. vero = truely) in Italy the scene. Ungeschönter naturalism was onetheir highest aesthetic ideals - accordingly by säuberlich written verses distance was taken.Pietro Mascagni and Ruggiero Leoncavallo were the most typical composers from this time, Giacomo Puccini however that, which grew at fame beyond them. „La Bohème “,a custom painting from of Paris the turn of the century, „the Politkrimi “„Tosca “and the eastern „Madama Butterfly “, with the unfinished „Turandot “still by a further at Exotismus increased, are particularly because of their melodies to masterpiecesbecome.

20. Century

This article or section requires a revision. Details are indicated on the discussion side. Please to improve it and removes afterwards this marking helps.
Claude Debussy
Claude Debussy

Claude Debussy succeeded itself it finally, ofInfluence of the German to release, and created Mélisande with „Pelléas et1902 one of the nuanciertesten examples of the guidance motive technology taken over by Wagner. Maurice Maeterlincks text material offered much at ambiguous symbolisms, which transferred Debussy to the orchestra language.The singing portions were arranged nearly throughout rezitativisch and offered „to the infinite melody of “Wagners with „the infinite Rezitativ “a counter example. One of the rare exceptions, which darbieten the listener a gesangliche line, is in above example quoted simple song of the Mélisande,because of its shortness and austerity as genuine air to be hardly regarded can.

After smelling pool of broadcasting corporations bunch, which became withSalome “andElektra “first the lateromantic expressionist, itself then however with „the Rosenkavalier “again, created it turned only few composers to earlier composition styles to find a place in the repertoires of the opera houses. Instead (and become) rather the works of the past were maintained. The admission of a contemporary work at the standard repertoire remains the exception.

ArnoldBeautiful mountain, 1948

Alban mountain succeeded nevertheless this with its operas „to Wozzeck “, which was free-tonally put on, and „Lulu “, which availed itself of the twelve-clay/tone music completely. Those first fragment remained “Lulu” became of Friedrich Cerha for those Paris performanceunder Pierre Boulez and Patrice Chéreau in their three share towards shape completes. From both operas in particular „Wozzeck has “, with the content of the piece and musical vision to a unit to find, in the meantime world-wide in innumerable productions at large like smaller stages entranceinto the familiar opera repertoire found and an undisputed position conquers. Quite similarly it behaves with „Lulu “, which can be mastered however because of their expenditure put on in the work often only by larger stages. It inspires however regularly important interpreter inside howAnja Silja, Evelyn Lear, Teresa Stratas or Julia Migenes).

By Arnold beautiful mountain the music drama becomes regular „expectation “- the first opera for only one singer - as well as by the composer consciously unfinished left, highest requirementsto the choir work placing „Moses and Aron “specified. „“, Already 1909 developed for expectation, but only 1924 in Prague with Marie Gutheil Schroder under the direction of Alexander of Zemlinsky uraufgeführt, proved into that to that 2. World war the following years onespecific fascination equally for singers (particularly Anja Silja and Jessye Norman) as for directors (z. B. Klaus Michael Grüber with Silja 1974 in Frankfurt; Robert Wilson with Norman 1995 with the salt citizen festivals). 1930 began beautiful mountain the work on„Moses and Aron “, which it broke off 1937; after the szenischen premiere in Zurich 1957 this opera proved the 1970er internationally particularly for years in numerous performances its special stage fitness. It is furthermore interesting that Moses itself over the entire operaaway a speech singing served, whose pitch is marked, Aron against it sings. Here the conclusion of the second act.

Otherwise the second Viennese school did not leave further traces in the standard repertoire. In music however each modern composer had to argue with the twelve-clay/tone music andit decides whether he continued to work on its basis (Franz Schreker) or rather in tonal courses thought. Schreker created 1912 with „the far sound “one of large opera successes before the Second World War, turned out however later inOblivion, when the national socialism displaced its works from the play plans. After many earlier attempts only the really profound Wiederentdeckung began this composer, those apart from new productions of „the far sound “into the 1980er years (Teatro La Fenice 1984, Viennese state opera1991) also performances of „the drawing “, „the treasure graves “or „Irrelohe “produced. Quite similarly it was issued the Viennese Alexander of Zemlinsky, whose work had it after 1945 likewise heavily. For the 1980er years it succeeded„Dresses make people “to attain particularly however „a florentinische tragedy “, „the dwarf “and „the king Kandaules “a place in the international repertoire again.

Paul Hindemith, 1945
Paul Hindemith, 1945

of the 2. World war designated a large cutin the history of Europe and America, which also the musical world affected. Into Germany hardly still operas with modern sounds were played and came ever more the offside.Paul Hindemith, that among other things the operas Cardillac and Mathisthe painter (of the latter the orchestra music of the same name from the opera often stands on the concert plans) wrote, got this to feel clearly, since Adolf Hitler had taken personal impact at its opera new from the day. Finally its works became into oneRow with the label “degenerate” provided and their performance forbade. Hindemith went, like other artists and composers before and to it, to 1938 into the exile.

After the war years the pent-up demand at new music was in particular in Germany clearly present. Donaueschingen and Darmstadt developed to important centers of musical development.

The opera was seen international ever more strongly dependent on individual influences of the composers than of general currents. The constant operational readiness level „of the classical authors “of the opera repertoire let the requirements rise to modern operas, andeach composer had to find its own way to break in order to go around with the past to continue it to strangers or with it. In the following developed operas, those the borders of the kind blew up again and again and to overcome trachteten. On more in music howtext level left the composers increasingly well-known terrain and referred the stage and the szenische action into - often enough abstract - the musical operational sequence also. Characteristic for the new scenery 20. Century are later action-accompanying the first,more independent video projections.

In increasing individualizing of the music language 20 leaves themselves in the opera the second half. Century recognize currents nevertheless: on the one hand literature operas, whose dramaturgy aligns itself to large parts at the tradition. In addition however more becomes andmore uses current materials and Libretti. Two trailblazing works of this time are calculated nevertheless operas, which use classical authors of the literature as basis, i.e. Bernd Alois Carpenter opera the soldiers after Jakob Michael Reinhold spring and Aribert Reimanns Lear after William Shakespeare. Another example of the literature opera would be Reimanns the lock (after Kafka. Increasingly into the also political material are toned, beginning with Luigi Nono and Hans's Werner Henze, a recent example is Gerhard of rose field opera case of knee inWarsaw (over Willy Brandt, Uraufführung 1997 in Dortmund).

If Luigi Nonos of works cannot be categorized due to its experimental music language no more than literature opera, then also the dramaturgy of the opera collecting main is plumbed on its experimental possibilities. The term operaexperiences therefore a transformation in the second half 20. Century, many composers replace it by concert halls or musical scenes and use the term opera only for explicitly works connected with the tradition. In the works of experimental composers is not only creative handling text and dramaturgy to discover, also the stage, orchestra occupation and not least the music overcomes conservative samples, the category is here no longer clearly limitable. Besides new media are used such as video, electronics,in addition, the play, dance and performance hold introduction into the opera.

Benjamin Britten let the modern England hold on the international opera stages introduction. From its predominantly tonal operas „A avoiding buzzer Night's Dream are based “, on the play William Shakespeares, „Albert Herring “, „Billy Budd “and „Peter Grimes “most well-known. Brittens preference and talent pointed itself in particular again and again to the sound painting in the representation of the sea.

Francis Poulenc wrote second well-knownbecome opera for only one singer. In „La voix humaine “breaks those simply as „a Mrs. “designated person by the unfaithfulness of its loving, which gives it by telephone the run passport. Luciano Berio used in „Passaggio “for thatfemale main figure „it “also a commentating choir.

The composer Philip Glass, which arrested minimum music, used the Beach “no more coherent sentences for „Einstein on, but numbers, Solfège - syllables, Nonsens words. The representation of the events was crucial upthe stage.1976 developed „for Einstein on the Beach “, which first part of a Trilogie, in which also „Satyagraha “are represented and „Akhnaton “- Hommages at personalities, that changed world history: Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi and thatEgyptian Pharao Echnaton. Glass' work particularly proved in connection with the public effectiveness large as kongenial felt productions of Robert Wilson or Achim Freyer.

Mauricio Kagels of stage works are just as often works over music or theatre actually, toearliest as „Szenisch musical action “to classify actual the music is hardly fixed, since Kagel leaves itself to the free improvisation of its interpreters, who play on non--instruments (zippers, baby bottles etc.) or her unusually use, insignificant syllables sings or action and/or musicby coincidence or by improvised Lesart to develop leave. With humor Kagel practiced thereby behind-intimate criticism at state and theatre, military, art enterprise etc. Its most famous work excited scandals „national theatres “, in which the hidden mechanisms of the same are turned to the surface.

Luigi Nono used its music in order to accuse political and social bad states. This becomes particularly clear in „Intolleranza “, where a man on a journey to its homeland demonstrations, protests, tortures, concentration camp, prison detention and abuse up toan inundation it experiences and finally states that its homeland is, where it is used.

In Germany the opera excited „the girl with the sulfur woods “from Helmut Lachenmann 1996 attention. It is based on the well-known Weihnachtsgeschichte of Hans's Christian Andersen one. On self-willed way laughter man converts the feeling of cold weather in sound here.

Further one, here did not consider composers 20. Century are Hans's Werner Henze, Luigi Dallapiccola, Leonard amber, Aaron copilot country and John Cage. Thoseincreasing individualizing and the small temporal distance make the separation between „classical authors of the modern trend “and experiment-joyful, but not necessarily trailblazing opus difficult.

21. Century

Karl Heinz stick living completes 2005 its 1978 Heptalogie begun LIGHT. With itsIt leaves life's work religious topics a treating, monumental Opus. The operas develop on one „superformula “, which three melodies join, which the main figures - Michael, EH, Luzifer - characterize. Original idea of the cycle: The weekdays religious-biological sense apart of consumptionto return and production. The first operas experienced their premiere („Thursday “, „Saturday “, „Monday “) in Milan, in Leipzig „Tuesday “and „Friday “were for the first time played.

Concrete persons or groups are occupied partly several times (EH: 3 Soprane), with an instrument or a oneGroup of the same associates (Michael troop: 3 trumpets, 6 Tutti trumpets, Schlagzeug, Synthesizer), or by a dancer extends. The cycle in abundance offers unusual ideas - in such a way four are set strike ago into four flying helicopters and play from there theirMusic. Two 35-minütige of pieces for choir and orchestra are played simultaneously in two different areas, the listener get only cutouts of it to hear. The of different color dressed choir members sing in Sanskrit, Chinese, Arab, English and Suaheli. Altogetherresults a high-complex picture, which orients itself at the longing of humans after a better world. In its whole that was not specified altogether 29 hours of music comprehensive work LIGHT not least because of the immense organizational difficulties yet.

performance practice of the opera

the large quantity of works makes it simple for theatres and opera houses to meet a selection which is sufficient for a high requirement and also sufficient public finds. Gradually tested in practical applications, more has itself orless close canon at operas developed, which come to the performance. For the production the question often arises whether itself at the time of origin of the respective opera leaning or a contemporary, the today's public organization concerned (direction theatre) tooprefer would be.

language of the performances

up to the center of the 1960er years operas were specified mostly in the respective national language of the performance place. Thus the operas in Germany in German language and daring he operas in Italy in Italian language were sung,as also radio and Fernsehaufzeichnungen occupy. Already before there was however theatre, which specified operas in the respective source language, for instance the metropolitan Opera in New York. Also the salt citizens of festivals always exclusively showed operas in the source language. Due to oneContract with the citizens of Milan Scala, with which itself Italian singers obligated to sing also at the Viennese state opera 1956 introduced harsh ore of Karajan at the Viennese state State of the principle to specify operas in the source language. With its reason, thoseUnit of word and music is lost to operas in the case of translations into another language, gradually ever more in its original form was specified. Also the records and singer market, which itself increasingly internationalized, contributed crucially to this development. In thatGDR gave it however further a large tradition of translations, however became with new transmissions (e.g.Walter rock stone, Siegfried Schoenbohm) tries, contents of the original more exactly to convert linguistically more successfully and above all in music more suitably. Today become in nearly allOpera houses simultaneously for performance over title faded in. At many smaller theatres, particularly in the east of Germany, there are still performances in German language. Also it gives in some cities (e.g. Berlin, Munich, Vienna) several opera houses, of those operas in translations, as for instance the amusing opera specifies Berlin. Now and then there is also an authorized translation (as in case of the operas Leoš Janáčeks, whose German text comes from Janáčeks friend max of Brod, so that also the German textas original to apply may). The performance in source language becomes difficult also whenever dialogues in the work occur. Here there are also combinations, i.e. spoken texts are translated, sung ring out however in source language. Within the range Singspiel, Operette,Musical is far common therefore the translated concert hall performance.

see also


of books

  • Johannes Jansen: High-speed course opera. Dumont book publishing house, Cologne 1998, ISBN 3-7701-4280-2
  • Rudolf Kloiber, Wulf Konold, Robert Maschka: Manual of the opera. 9. Edition. German paperback publishing house (Munich) /Bärenreiter (Kassel and. A.) 2002, ISBN 3423325267
  • Arnold Jacobshagen (Hrsg.): Practice concert hall. A manual. Laaber publishing house, Laaber 2002, ISBN 3890075126
  • Carl Dahlhaus, victory-hard Döhring (Hrsg.): PipersEncyclopedia of the concert hall. Piper, Munich/Zurich 1986-1997, ISBN 3-492-02411-4, ISBN 3-492-03972-3 (6 volumes and a register volume)
  • Ulrich writers: The art of the opera. Büchergilde good mountain, Frankfurt/Main 1988-2005, ISBN 3-7632-3101-3, ISBN 3-7632-5643-1 (4 volumes)
  • Silke Leopold, Robert Maschka: Who'swho in the opera. German paperback publishing house (Munich) /Bärenreiter (Kassel and. A.) 2004, ISBN 3-423-34126-2 or ISBN 3-7618-1780-0
  • Stanley Sadie (Hrsg.): The new Grove dictionary OF opera. Grove, New York/Oxford 2004, ISBN 0195221869 (English)

technical periodicals

  • opera world. Friedrich Berlin publishing house society, Berlin, ISSN 0030-3690
  • the Opernglas. Opera glass publishing house company, Hamburg, ISSN 0935-6398

Web on the left of

Wiktionary: Opera - word origin, synonyms and translations
Commons: Opera - pictures, videos and/or audio files

  > German to English > de.wikipedia.org (Machine translated into English)