Storytelling Through Opera

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Storytelling Through Opera

In the following, three operas will be compared by their ability to effectively tell stories through music. The three operas that will be discussed are: “Don Giovanni” by Mozart, “La Boheme” by Puccini, and “Wozzeck” by Berg. All of them represent a different era in classical music, and have similarities and differences. The music will be analyzed both instrumentally and vocally, to show how each is able to communicate to the audience, and tell a story.

The first piece to be examined is “Don Giovanni”, which was written by Mozart during the Classical era of classical music. It is apparent that it was written during this period by the use of both stringed and wind instruments. The vocals are harmonic, and go from being sung softly to very strong and intense, which also indicate that the piece was written during the Classical era. In this piece the music definitely plays just as much of a role in the storytelling, as the vocals do. The mood of both the vocals and the instruments indicate that the story is very personal and heart-felt.

“La Boheme” by Giacomo Puccini is the second piece that will be looked at and analyzed. Unlike “Don Giovanni”, it was written during the Romantic era. This is indicated by the instrumentation and also the vocals. The instruments used are similar to those used during the Classical era, both strings and winds. While the instruments were similar, they seem to play more of a background role in the storytelling aspect. The vocals are definitely the main focus of this opera. The vocals have less harmonizing and seem to tell more of a story, almost like a script for a play.

The last and final opera to be discussed is “Wozzeck”, which was written during the Twentieth Century era by a composer named Alban Berg. In this opera the instruments seem to play a much larger role than in “La Boheme”, having a very dramatic effect. The vocals on the other hand, tell the story in a completely different way than...
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