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Chapter 17: Romantic Opera Early Romantic Opera; Verdi and Italian Opera.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 17: Romantic Opera Early Romantic Opera; Verdi and Italian Opera."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 17: Romantic Opera Early Romantic Opera; Verdi and Italian Opera

2 Key Terms early Romantic opera Italian opera German opera bel canto exoticism arioso

3 Romantic Opera 19th century a golden age for opera influenced by Romantic themes –transcendence of artistic barriers –blurring art forms –music as the most profound art message and meaning taken seriously –not just for entertainment anymore –subjects from respected literature

4 Early Romantic Opera starting in 1820s, more serious, even tragic operas French grand operas—Meyerbeer and Rossini Tragic Italian operas—Bellini and Donizetti German Romantic operas—Weber

5 Gioacchino Rossini (1792–1868) best know for his opera buffa –crisp, elegant style, not far from Mozart –Barber of Seville –but admired equally for serious operas established style and form of Italian Romantic opera –bel canto style—glorifies beautiful singing –full of coloratura arias for virtuoso singers gave up opera entirely in 1829!

6 Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848) dominated bel canto opera after Rossini –preferred simple, sentimental arias –lots of blood-and-thunder “action” music –most famous was Lucia di Lammermoor enormously prolific—more than 60 operas also wrote opera buffa –Don Pasquale, L’elisir d’amore

7 Vincenzo Bellini (1801–1835) preferred serious, tragic bel canto wrote in refined, elegant, melodic style –influenced Chopin’s nocturnes –admired by Verdi –more Romantic than Rossini or Donizetti Norma his most famous work

8 Carl Maria von Weber (1786–1826) founder of German Romantic opera Der Freischütz –like a German folktale or ballad put to music –nature and the supernatural –mix of spiritual Romantic arias, folk-song choruses, and devilish conjuration –orchestra plays significant role in establishing mood and telling story

9 Verdi and Italian Opera greatest Romantic Italian opera composer unswerving commitment to human voice –adhered to bel canto principles –wrote increasingly beautiful melodies but Verdi cared most about drama –real people, realistic situations, strong emotions, and exciting action

10 Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) son of small town storekeeper in north Italy scored first hit at age 29—Nabucco gained fame with three 1850s operas –Rigoletto, Il trovatore, and La traviata supported Italian liberation movement coaxed out of retirement for last two operas all Italy mourned his death at age 88

11 The Role of the Orchestra richer role than in previous Italian opera –Verdi accompanies plot action and dialogue with full orchestra –more active and excited as it supports voices –especially expanded role in recitative

12 Verdian Recitative and Aria “recitative” no longer apt –highly dramatic action music –verges on full-fledged melody arias –formally complete and distinct –often use simple strophic forms –exuberant Romantic melody –rich harmonies to underpin high points

13 Verdi, Aida written for new Cairo opera house one of the most frequently performed operas –gorgeous arias and duets –grandiose stage display –exotic setting –red-blooded, human drama

14 Characters Radames: Egyptian general in love with Aida Amneris: Egyptian princess in love with Radames Aida: Ethiopian slave (actually Ethiopian princess)

15 The Plot tragic love triangle in time of war Radames tricked into revealing battle plans to Aida –Amneris discovers their tryst and turns him in as a traitor –Aida escapes in the confusion Amneris offers to save Radames –He would rather die than live without Aida –Amneris has doomed the man she loves Radames sentenced to be buried alive

16 Verdi, Aida, Tomb Scene opera’s final scene striking stage set –below, Radames’ tomb –above, temple with altar and colossal statues Radames discovers Aida in the tomb –she hid there to die with him builds from recitative to arioso to duet

17 Verdi, Aida, Tomb Scene recitative begins as simple declamation –each one builds to intense melodic climax –rich orchestral and harmonic support ariosos more concise and tunelike –orchestra more subdued, subservient

18 Verdi, Aida, Tomb Scene duet is an ecstatic farewell to Earth –above, Amneris prays –priests and priestesses sing hymn to Ptah –love seems to transcend death exquisite orchestral colors and harmonies

19 Verdi, Aida, Tomb Scene

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