The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini

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					Romantic Opera
• Plot content:
– – – – Fairy tales Historical (Royalty, Kings) Based on Literature (Biblical, Shakespeare) Verismo:The style is distinguished by realistic, sometimes sordid or violent, depictions of contemporary everyday life, especially the life of the lower classes, rejecting the historical or mythical subjects of Romanticism.

• Libretto-‟Story‟ (text) of the opera • Recitative- a style of delivery in which a singer is allowed to adopt the rhythms of ordinary speech • Aria- a self-contained piece for one voice usually very emotionally expressive • Overture- the instrumental introduction to an opera

• Originally for Kings and Queens ($$) • Written vernacular, sometimes translated • Generally comprising of:
– Two leads, male and female – 2 supporting roles (male, female) – Sometimes: Chorus, dancers, extras

• Cast members sing alone, or combine for duets, trios, etc….

Romantic Opera
• Soprano- High female voice
– Coloratura (very high range, fast notes) – Lyric (graceful, charming voices) – Dramatic (Powerful, intense voices)

• Mezzo Soprano- Medium female voice • Alto-(rare in opera)- low female voice • Tenor- High male voice
– Lyric (bright, light voice) – Dramatic (Full, heroic voice)

• Baritone-medium male voice • Bass- low male voice
– Basso Buffo (comic roles) – Basso Profundo (extreme low range)

The Barber of Seville
by Gioachino Rossini
•First story in the “Figaro Trilogy” by Pierre Beaumarchais • Premiered February 20, 1816 (poor reviews) •Opera Buffa in 2 acts and in Bel Canto style •Bel Canto Style - singing which characteristically focuses on perfect evenness throughout the voice, skillful legato, a light upper register, tremendous agility and flexibility, and a certain lyric, "sweet" timbre. Operas of the style feature extensive and florid ornamentation, requiring much in the way of fast scales and cadenzas. Bel canto emphasizes technique rather than volume.

The Barber of Seville
by Gioachino Rossini • Characters:
– Rosina, Bartolo's ward mezzo-soprano – Doctor Bartolo, Rosina's guardian bass – Count Almaviva, a local nobleman tenor – Figaro, the Barber of Seville baritone

• Synopsis: Set in Seville, Spain (17th C.)
– Almaviva loves Rosina, Rosina loves Almaviva but thinks he‟s „Lindoro‟ – Bartolo loves and controls Rosina – Figaro helps Lindoro and Rosina trick Bartolo

by Georges Bizet • • • • Premiered March 3, 1875 in Paris, France Initial failure Start of „Verismo‟ – controversial In 4 Acts

by Georges Bizet • Characters:
– Carmen, A Gypsy Girl mezzo-soprano – Don José, Corporal of Dragoons tenor – Escamillo, Toreador bass-baritone – Micaëla, A Village Maiden soprano

• Synopsis: Set in Seville, Spain (1830)
– Carmen wants what she doesn‟t have, and sets her sights on Michaela‟s fiancé, Don Jose. – She successfully seduces him, then discards him – He kills her

When will I love you? Good Lord, I don't know, Maybe never, maybe tomorrow. But not today, that's for sure. Love is a rebellious bird that nobody can tame, and you call him quite in vain if it suits him not to come. Nothing helps, neither threat nor prayer. One man talks well, the other keeps silent; it's the other one that I prefer. He never said anything, but I like his looks. Love! Love! Love! Love! Love is a Bohemian child, it has never, ever, known law; if you love me not, then I love you; if I love you, you'd best beware! The bird you thought you had caught beat its wings and flew away ... love stays away, you wait and wait; when least expected, there it is! All around you, swift, swift, it comes, goes, then it returns ... you think you hold it fast, it flees you think you're free, it holds you fast. Love! Love! Love! Love!

by Ruggero Leoncavallo • • • • • • Premiered on May 21, 1892 by Arturo Toscanini “One hit wonder” Prologue and two acts in verismo style Immediate success Play within a play “Sad clown” idea

• Characters:

by Ruggero Leoncavallo

– Canio, head of the troupe (Pagliaccio) tenor – Nedda, Canio's wife,in love with Silvio (Colombina, Pagliaccio's wife) soprano – Tonio, the fool (Taddeo) baritone – Silvio, Nedda's lover baritone

• Synopsis: Set in Southern Italy, 1865
– Nedda, cheating on Canio with Silvio, is planning to elope when her plans are spoiled by Tonio – Canio catches someone sneaking out and is enraged, but prepares for his performance – Losing control at the performance, Canio demands to know the name of the lover, and kills the two of them

Vesti la Giubba
To act! While out of my mind, I no longer know what I say, or what I do! And yet it's necessary... make an effort! Bah! Are you not a man? You are Pagliaccio! Put on your costume, powder your face. The people pay to be here, and they want to laugh. And if Harlequin shall steal your Columbine, laugh, Pagliaccio, so the crowd will cheer! Turn your distress and tears into jest, your pain and sobbing into a funny face - Ah! Laugh, Pagliaccio, at your broken love! Laugh at the grief that poisons your heart!

Giacomo Puccini
December 22, 1858 – November 29, 1924

•Composer of Opera •“Father of Verismo” •Most famous operas:
–La Boheme –Madame Butterfly –Tosca

La Boheme
“The Bohemians”

• Premiered February 1, 1896 by Toscanini • Verismo opera in 4 acts • Inspiration for many shows such as “Rent” & Moulin Rouge

La Boheme
“The Bohemians”
• Cast: – Rodolfo, a poet (tenor) – Mimì, a seamstress (soprano) – Marcello, a painter (baritone) – Schaunard, a musician (baritone) – Colline, a philosopher (bass) – Musetta, a singer (soprano) • Synopsis: Set in Paris
– – – – Rudolfo and friends live Bohemian life style Rudolfo and Mimi fall in love Break up Realize they love each other just before she died

Madame Butterfly
• Premiered on February 17, 1904 • Exoticism in 2 acts • Inspiration for the movie “Fatale Attraction”

Madame Butterfly
• Characters:
– Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly) Soprano – B. F. Pinkerton, Lieutenant in the US Navy tenor

• Synopsis (Set in Nagasaki, Japan)
– Pinkerton marries the young Butterfly who is completely devoted to him – He leaves, promising to come back, but years pass, and he finds another women – He returns to Japan for his child and Butterfly, devistated, kills herself

Giuseppe Verdi
October 9 or 10, 1813 – January 27, 1901 • Mainly operatic composer, composed some of the most famous and standard operas of all time including Aida, Rigoletto, La Traviata, La Forza del Destino, Otello, Don Carlo, etc. • Relied on melody rather than harmony for expression. • Picky with libretti

Richard Wagner
May 22,1813- February 13,1883

•Born in Leipzig, Germany •Early fascination with theatre •Age 14- began writing plays •Age 15- Began studying composition •Wrote opera AND libretti! •1834- began working as a music critic

Richard Wagner
May 22,1813- February 13,1883

• 1836 – married actress Minne Planner • Moved to London, Paris and composed grand operas Rienzi, and The Flying Dutchman. • Returned to Germany in 1842 when his operas were put on. • Politically active and published writings. Had to flee to Switzerland avoid imprisonment.

Richard Wagner
May 22,1813- February 13,1883

• In Switzerland, published famous articles including Jewry in Music, Opera & Drama • Began composing a cycle of „Music dramas‟ which became the “Ring Cycle” (took over 25 years) • During this time, he also composed Tristan and Isolde, and Die Meistersinger von Nuremberg. • 1871- built Bayreuth opera house for himself

The Tristan Chord

The Ring of the Nibelung
• • • • • Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold) Die Walküre (The Valkyrie) Siegfried Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods) Use of „leitmotif‟ (a recurring musical theme, associated with a particular person, place, or idea ) and concept of “Gesamtkunstwerk” (total artwork) which are new and unique to Wagner • Symbolic story of desire for power. • 15 hours total

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