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Chapter 12 Opera in the Baroque
Beginning of opera
desire for expressive vocal music
wanted to return to ancient Greek dramas
first opera houses founded in Venice, Italy
over the years, expressive music was replaced by virtuoso singing
Elements of Opera
Voices and roles
Ensembles
Orchestra
Libretto
Staging
Operatic Conventions
Everything is sung
“Bigger than life” qualities
Often in foreign language
Compressed time frame
Enjoying opera
Much beautiful music
Expressiveness of music and words combined
Appeals to both eyes and ears
Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea
Monteverdi was the most important composer of the early Baroque
The Coronation of Poppea was his last opera
Contains many characteristics of recitative
Purcell’s “Dido’s Lament” from Dido and
Aeneas
Recitative and aria
Ostinato bass line repeated 11 times
No virtuoso singing