Download The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini

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Richard Wagner
• Polarizing German opera
– Before him there was no great
Germanic opera tradition
• Fascination with theatre
– He wrote his own music & libretti
– Lead him to develop a new “type” of opera called
Music Drama
• No aria-recitative, just constant music (unending
• The orchestra is like a member of the cast
Richard Wagner
Letimotif – a recurring musical theme associated with
a particular person, place or idea
Tristan und Isolde
– Composed 1856-59, but not premiered until 1865
– Shocking drama of eroticism based on a medieval
poem, focusing on desire and lust
– Unprecedented orchestration – begins with a
famous chord that does not resolve until the end
of the opera
• Extremely chromatic, later blamed as the downfal of
The Tristan Chord
The Ring of the Nibelung
• Four operas total, lasting a total of 15 hours:
– Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold)
– Die Walküre (The Valkyrie)
– Siegfried
– Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)
• Composed from 1851-74, premiered as a
whole in Bayreuth in 1876
• Based on a Norse-Germanic tale of power
and love
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