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Portal:Opera Information

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Opera

The Opera Portal

Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work (called an opera) which combines a text (called a libretto) and a musical score. Opera is part of the Western classical music tradition. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery and costumes and sometimes includes dance. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble.

Opera started in Italy at the end of the 16th century (with Jacopo Peri's lost Dafne, produced in Florence around 1597), and was championed by Claudio Monteverdi with works such as L'Orfeo. It soon spread through the rest of Europe: Schütz in Germany, Lully in France, and Purcell in England all helped to establish their national traditions in the 17th century. However, in the 18th century, Italian opera continued to dominate most of Europe, except France, attracting foreign composers such as Handel. Opera seria was the most prestigious form of Italian opera, until Gluck reacted against its artificiality with his "reform" operas in the 1760s. Today the most renowned figure of late 18th century opera is Mozart, who began with opera seria but is most famous for his Italian comic operas, especially The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte, as well as The Magic Flute, a landmark in the German tradition.

The first third of the 19th century saw the highpoint of the bel canto style, with Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini all creating works that are still performed today. It also saw the advent of Grand Opera typified by the works of Meyerbeer. The mid to late 19th century is considered by some a golden age of opera, led by Wagner in Germany and Verdi in Italy. This 'golden age' developed through the verismo era in Italy and contemporary French opera through to Puccini and Strauss in the early 20th century. During the 19th century, parallel operatic traditions emerged in Central and Eastern Europe, particularly in Russia and Bohemia. The 20th century saw many experiments with modern styles, such as atonality and serialism ( Schoenberg and Berg), Neo-Classicism ( Stravinsky), and Minimalism ( Philip Glass and John Adams). With the rise of recording technology, singers such as Enrico Caruso became known to audiences beyond the circle of opera fans. Operas were also performed on (and written for) radio and television.

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Rhinemaidens
The Rhinemaidens are the three water-nymphs (Rheintöchter or Rhine daughters) who appear in Richard Wagner's opera cycle Der Ring Des Nibelungen. Their individual names are Woglinde, Wellgunde and Flosshilde, although they are generally considered as a single entity and act together accordingly. Of the 34 characters in the Ring cycle, they are the only ones who do not originate in the Scandinavian Eddas. Other legends and myths on which Wagner drew, notably the Nibelungenlied, include stories that involve water-sprites (nixies) or mermaids, and it is likely that he created his Rhinemaidens from these sources. The key concepts associated with them in the Ring operas—their flawed guardianship of the Rhine gold, and the condition (renunciation of love) through which the gold could be stolen from them and transformed into a means of world power—are wholly Wagner's own invention, and are the elements that initiate and propel the entire drama. The Rhinemaidens are the first and the last characters to be seen in the operas, appearing both in the opening scene of Das Rheingold, and in the final climactic spectacle of Götterdämmerung when they rise from the Rhine waters to reclaim the ring from Brünnhilde's ashes. The various musical themes associated with the Rhinemaidens are regarded as among the most lyrical in the whole Ring cycle, bringing to it rare instances of comparative relaxation and charm. It is reported that Wagner played their famous lament at the piano on the night before he died in 1883.

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La Wally
Credit:  Adolf Hohenstein, restored by Adam Cuerden
Act 1 costume for Wally as seen in the original production of Alfredo Catalani's opera La Wally (1892).

The opera is best known for its aria "Ebben? Ne andrò lontana" ("Well, then? I'll go far away") from act 1, in which Wally decides to leave her home forever).

It also features a memorable death scene in which the heroine throws herself into the avalanche that has just killed her lover after he called out to her. It is seldom performed, partly because of the difficulty of staging this scene, but Wally's principal aria is still sung frequently.

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Jenny Lind

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Eugenia Tadolini as Adina in L'elisir d'amore
Eugenia Tadolini (née Savorani) (9 July 1809 – 11 July 1872) was an Italian operatic soprano. Admired for the beauty of her voice and stage presence, she was one of Donizetti's favourite singers. During her career she created over 20 leading roles, including the title roles in Donizetti's Linda di Chamounix and Maria di Rohan and Verdi's Alzira. She was born in Forlì and studied music there and in Bologna before making her debut in Florence in 1828. She sang in all of Italy's leading opera houses, as well as in Paris, Vienna, and London before retiring from the stage in 1852. She spent her remaining years first in Naples, where she had been the Teatro San Carlo's reigning prima donna for many years, and then in Paris, where she died of typhoid fever at the age of 63. From 1827 to 1834, she was married to the Italian composer and singing teacher, Giovanni Tadolini.

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Luisa Tetrazzini - Project Gutenberg eText 20069.jpg
I love my coloratura music, and I think my audience likes it too; it goes to the heart—it is all melody, and that is what people like.

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Opera history: Origins of opera • Italian opera • Opera in German • French opera • Opera in English • Polish opera • Russian opera • Hungarian opera • Armenian opera • Opera in Latin America

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Opera genres: Azione teatrale · Ballad opera · Comédie en vaudevilles · Comédie mêlée d'ariettes · Dramma giocoso · Dramma per musica · Farsa · Festa teatrale · Género chico · Grand Opera · Music Drama · Opéra-ballet · Opera buffa · Opéra bouffe · Opéra bouffon · Opéra comique · Opéra féerie · Opera semiseria · Opera seria · Operetta · Pastorale héroïque · Romantische Oper · Savoy opera · Semi-opera · Singspiel · Spieloper · Tragédie en musique · Verismo · Zarzuela · Zeitoper

Opera terms: Aria · Aria di sorbetto · Arioso · Bel canto · Breeches role · Burletta · Cabaletta · Cadenza · Cantabile · Castrato · Cavatina · Chest voice · Claque · Coloratura · Comprimario · Convenienze · Coup de glotte · Da capo aria · Diva · Entr'acte · Fach · Falsetto · Fioritura · Gesamtkunstwerk · Head voice · Intermezzo · Kammersänger · Leitmotif · Legato · Libretto · Literaturoper · Mad scene · Maestro · Melodrama · Melodramma · Monodrama · Messa di voce · Opera house · Passaggio · Portamento · Prima donna · Prompter · Recitative · Regietheater · Répétiteur · Sitzprobe · Spinto · Sprechgesang · Squillo · Stagione · Surtitles · Tessitura · Timbre · Vibrato

Opera voices: Baritenor · Baritone · Bass · Bass-baritone · Coloratura soprano · Contralto · Countertenor · Dramatic soprano · Haute-contre · Lyric soprano · Mezzo-soprano · Soprano · Soubrette · Spinto soprano · Tenor · Tenore contraltino · Tenore di grazia

Opera lists: Opera topics • List of operas by composer • Important operas • Major opera composers • Opera librettists • Opera houses • Opera companies • Opera festivals • Opera directors • Operetta composers • Orphean operas • Zarzuela composers • Opera genres • Operas set in the Crusades • The Record of Singing • Bayreuth canon

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