Baroque Opera

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Development of the Baroque Italian Opera|
Vanessa Phillips|
ID # 100114020|


Development of the Baroque Italian Opera

The word "baroque" comes from the Italian word "barocco" which means bizarre. This word was first used to describe the style of architecture mainly in Italy during the 17th and 18th century. Later on the word baroque was used to describe the music styles of the 1600s to the 1700s. The Baroque period was a time when composers experimented with form, styles and instruments and saw the development of opera. This new form of music developed because composers of the polyphonic madrigal style were looking for ways to convey dramatic expression. During the Baroque period, operas were derived from ancient Greek tragedy and there was often an overture at the beginning, a solo part. Opera was born in Italy around the year 1600 and Italian opera has continued to play a dominant role in the history of the form until the present day. This paper will discuss in detail how the Opera started and by whom. It will discuss some of the operas that were composed in this era as well as the composers. The development of Italian Baroque Opera overtime will be spoken about as well as the changing characteristics over time. At first the Operas were only performed in Aristocrat’s courts but later on became publicized. I will investigate how this came about and how it affected society at the time. I will refer to soma few score examples as well as performances by composers such as Claudio Monteverdi, Alessandro Scarlatti and Vivaldi, as an opera was also a play to be seen and not just heard, so that comparison of early and later operas of the Baroque era would be possible.

Annotated Bibliography

Asiado, Tel. “Opera Beginnings from Ancient Greek Period to Renaissance.” February 11th, 2012. Accessed October 30th 2012.
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