In England George Frideric Handel wrote many great opera seria. For this reason, in 1857, Verdi reworked his Il Trovatore (which became Le Trouvère), and he then composed Don Carlos to a French libretto to satisfy the requirements of the genre. It was different from opera buffa which was a musical comedy. What are the characteristics of opera buffa? In 1825, the young German composer Giacomo Meyerbeer settled in Paris. In addition to all these characteristics, which require considerable financial resources, and which, in part, explain the genre’s decline in the 20th century, grand opera stands out from other opera genres for its requirement that the libretto be sung from start to finish solely in the French language. The evolution of society and then the French Revolution would usher in a wind of change and liberty that would lead to an aesthetic evolution and, more importantly, the revamping of the genre: Aimed at a wider audience and often saddled with a propagandist purpose to promote the new republican ideas and the various regimes that followed, opera embraced a violent realism with shorter librettos that forsook subjects from antiquity latching instead onto the political stories of the day. On the other hand, Handel, working far outside the mainstream genre, set only a few Metastasio libretti for his London audience, preferring a greater diversity of texts. Then there were arias which were the big songs where the singers could show off their skills. Mostly, however, Mozart was not so interested in writing about the old Greek gods and kings. Opera seria was supposed to be about serious tragedy. Opera seria acquired definitive form early during the 1720s. Though Farinelli did not sing for Handel, his main rival, Senesino, did.. A typical opera would start with an instrumental overture of three movements (fast-slow-fast) and then a series of recitatives containing dialogue interspersed with arias expressing the emotions of the character, this pattern only broken by the occasional duet for the leading amatory couple. In 1768, the year after Gluck's Alceste, Jommelli and his librettist Verazi produced Fetonte. It is an innovation that reveals the importance which Meyerbeer placed on instrumental timbres intended to blend with the voice of the singers to create a dramatic double effect. detect monumentality, dramatic tone and
The spectacle and ballet, so common in French opera, were banished. A student of Abbé Vogler, a composer all but unknown today but the genuine precursor of German musical romanticism, Meyerbeer arrived in Italy where he quickly became immersed in Italian bel canto and began a brilliant career as an opera composer alongside Rossini. A new style of the Classical era. Might parody a great opera seria of the day . During this period the choice of keys to reflect certain emotions became standardized: D minor became the choice key for a composer's typical "rage" aria, while D major for pomp and bravura, G minor for pastoral effect and E flat for pathetic effect, became the usual options.. The main singers in opera seria were mostly castrati, male singers who had been castrated when they were young so that they still sang with high voices. Orfeo ed Euridice was his first important opera, followed by others such as Alceste. premiere after more than a thousand performances—a feat practically unequalled
In addition, the music had to reflect the sense of the words and the situations. Opera seria was less popular in France, where the national genre of French opera (or tragédie en musique) was preferred. Italian opera seria was always in the Italian language, even when it was composed or performed in other countries such as Germany, Austria, England and Spain. Even though, like Rossini, he staged his early Italian works at the Théâtre-Italien—as required by the separation of genres —it was really at the Académie Royale that he sought to see his works performed. The delimitation of genres was extremely strict and for several decades the Académie Royale had the exclusive privilege to stage grand operas. They were cast in heroic male roles, alongside another new breed of operatic creature, the prima donna. McClymonds, Marita P. "The Venetian Role In the Transformation of Italian Opera Seria during the 1790s", This page was last edited on 31 October 2020, at 22:20. 4. Pergolesi was noted for his lyricism. This is not a universal picture: Handel in London composed not for the court but for a much more socially diverse audience, and in the Venetian republic composers modified their operas to suit the public taste and not that of the court. Opera seria is an Italian term which refers to the "serious" style of Italian opera in the 18th century. In addition to the numerous, highly demanding solo roles the productions also included huge processions, major crowd scenes, and Bacchanalian drinking binges and orgies which delighted the public. Henceforth, only eight theatres would be authorised in Paris, four of which were “imperial” or “Grand Theatres”: the Comédie-Française, the Opéra-Comique, the Théâtre-Italien, more commonly known as “Les Bouffes”, and first and foremost, the Académie Royale in the Rue Le Peletier. The Italianate pattern of alternating, sharply-contrasted recitative and aria began to give way to ideas from the French operatic tradition.