Download Drama set to music • Acted and sung by solo singers (and

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• Drama set to music
• Acted and sung by solo singers (and often a
chorus) accompanied by an orchestra.
• In some operas there are sections of spoken
dialogue; in others, every word is sung
• Major types
– Comic opera (opera buffa)
– Serious opera (opera seria)
– Music drama
• A means of swiftly telling the story
• Two kinds
– Secco: supported by plain chords on continuo
– Stromentato/accompagnato: used when a
composer felt that the dramatic nature of the
words needed to be heightened by a simple
orchestral accompaniment
• Used to portrayed the characters’ thoughts
and emotions as they were affected by
events in the story
• Scarlatti designed the arias in his operas in
da capo (ABA) form – only the first two
sections written out
• Vocal decorations were expected to in the
repeat of the first section
Opera in Italy
• Italian overture
– Alessandro Scarlatti’s opera often began with
an overture in three sections
– quick-slow-quick
– It was the seed from which the Classical
symphony was to grow later on
• Da Capo Aria
Opera in France
• Lully and Rameau
• French Overture
– Use by Lully to began his opera
– Began with a majestic, slow opening with crisp
dotted rhythm
– Leading to a quicker section using imitation
– Sometimes followed by one or more dances, or
perhaps a repeat of the slow opening section.
Opera in England
• Henry Purcell
– Dido and Aeneas
• Handel