Opera has come a long way since its early beginnings. It has transcended time and history itself from being presented in early Italian opera houses to reaching number 2 at the UK singles chart. It is as much alive today as it was way back then.
Opera began in the Late Renaissance in Florence, a time of "rebirth," cultural movement and humanism. There was an attempt to replace polyphony with a solitary vocal line with accompaniment. Thus, the Opera, a relatively new form of musical drama, emerged. The word "Opera" was Italian for "work" therefore, it combined the arts of solo and choral singing, declamation, acting and dancing in a staged spectacle. This "new" musical drama was an intellectual experiment to modernize Greek drama and at the same time give Greek texts intensity and flavor through music. Opera was considered entertainment for the nobility and was usually confined to court audiences.
Claudio Monteverdi, an Italian composer, was one of the first to create Operas. Back then, monody emphasized clear melodic lines, intelligible text and placid accompanying music, which was considered an ideal starting point of opera, especially for composers who loved grand effects. During Monteverdi's time, Florentine humanists, an elite circle of the literate, gathered as the Camerata and considered that the "chorus" parts of Greek dramas were originally sung, and possibly even the entire text of all roles. Consequently, Opera was thought of as a way of bringing back Greek tradition. Monteverdi and his works marked the transition from Renaissance to Baroque music.
The Baroque era in music followed the Renaissance era. During this time, elaborate musical ornamentation was emphasized, as well as changes in musical notation and advances in the way instruments were played took place. Thus, Baroque music would see an expansion in the size, range and complexity of performance, as well as the establishment of opera as a type of musical... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2008, 02). Opera from Montiverdi to Strauss. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 02, 2008, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Opera-Montiverdi-Strauss-132007.html
"Opera from Montiverdi to Strauss" StudyMode.com. 02 2008. 02 2008 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Opera-Montiverdi-Strauss-132007.html>.
"Opera from Montiverdi to Strauss." StudyMode.com. 02, 2008. Accessed 02, 2008. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Opera-Montiverdi-Strauss-132007.html.