History Main / Opera

2nd Dec '16 6:07:20 PM TheBigBopper
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The [[CommonKnowledge public perception]] of the difference between opera and TheMusical is that musical theatre has breaks for spoken dialogue, whereas opera is "sung through", alternating between "arias" (big numbers) and "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recitative recitative]]" (music written in the style and rhythm of dialogue). While not a bad approximation, it's also not true. There are a number of {{Sung Through Musical}}s, such as ''Theatre/LesMiserables'' and ''Theatre/JosephAndTheAmazingTechnicolorDreamcoat'', or ones that are nearly so, like ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'' and ''Theatre/{{RENT}}'' (which in fact has more {{Wham Line}}s spoken than sung!). Likewise, several opera, like ''Theatre/TheMagicFlute'' and ''Theatre/{{Carmen}}'', involve spoken dialogue. The actual line between musicals and opera is blurry and kind of technical, but the short of it is that opera doesn't use electronic sound equipment and musicals typically need better actors than singers. Music/StephenSondheim was heard to claim, "I really think that when something plays Broadway it's a musical, and when it plays in an opera house it's opera. That's it." [[note]]Although cynical musicologists might say that he arrived at that definition to justify his own musicals being performed in opera houses.[[/note]]

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The [[CommonKnowledge public perception]] of the difference between opera and TheMusical is that musical theatre has breaks for spoken dialogue, whereas opera is "sung through", alternating between "arias" (big numbers) and "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recitative recitative]]" (music written in the style and rhythm of dialogue). While not a bad approximation, it's also not always true. There are a number of {{Sung Through Musical}}s, such as ''Theatre/LesMiserables'' and ''Theatre/JosephAndTheAmazingTechnicolorDreamcoat'', or ones that are nearly so, like ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'' and ''Theatre/{{RENT}}'' (which in fact has more {{Wham Line}}s spoken than sung!). Likewise, several opera, like ''Theatre/TheMagicFlute'' and ''Theatre/{{Carmen}}'', involve spoken dialogue. The actual line between musicals and opera is blurry and kind of technical, but the short of it is that opera doesn't use electronic sound equipment and musicals typically need better actors than singers. Music/StephenSondheim was heard to claim, "I really think that when something plays Broadway it's a musical, and when it plays in an opera house it's opera. That's it." [[note]]Although cynical musicologists might say that he arrived at that definition to justify his own musicals being performed in opera houses.[[/note]]
13th Nov '16 10:04:01 AM CurledUpWithDakka
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** ''Theatre/TheSnowMaiden

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** ''Theatre/TheSnowMaiden
''Theatre/TheSnowMaiden''
6th Nov '16 9:41:27 AM AutumnLeaves
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* In ''Literature/HeartOfADog'' Preobrazhensky goes to watch ''Aida'' in the Bolshoy Theatre. Bortko's film soundtrack has the march from the second act.
15th Oct '16 3:49:21 PM jeffthefilmfan
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Several modern films and other works have been created as operas (that is, entirely consisting of sung dialogue). The most famous "serious" opera film is probably ''The Umbrellas of Cherbourg'', starring Catherine Deneuve. A very modern example is Theatre/RepoTheGeneticOpera, which [[IncrediblyLamePun transplants]] the style into industrial sci-fi horror. The term RockOpera is thrown around at times for a sub-genre of the themed ConceptAlbum, but most "rock operas" are not produced for the stage (with [[Theatre/JesusChristSuperstar an exception]] or two). The nearest thing to a modern successor to opera is Broadway-style MusicalTheater. Indeed, musicals can trace their origins to opera through the operatic subgenre of operetta or light opera, which, as its name implies, is light in terms of subject matter (i.e. it's funny) and music, and often feature a good deal more plain dialogue than ordinary operas. The works of Creator/GilbertAndSullivan are generally considered transitional, as while they considered their works to be comic operas, they would probably be called musicals if produced today; many would argue that musicals are basically the genre of theatre [[GenreLaunch launched]] by G&S.

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Several modern films and other works have been created as operas (that is, entirely consisting of sung dialogue). The most famous "serious" opera film is probably ''The Umbrellas of Cherbourg'', ''Film/TheUmbrellasOfCherbourg'', starring Catherine Deneuve. A very modern example is Theatre/RepoTheGeneticOpera, which [[IncrediblyLamePun transplants]] the style into industrial sci-fi horror. The term RockOpera is thrown around at times for a sub-genre of the themed ConceptAlbum, but most "rock operas" are not produced for the stage (with [[Theatre/JesusChristSuperstar an exception]] or two). The nearest thing to a modern successor to opera is Broadway-style MusicalTheater. Indeed, musicals can trace their origins to opera through the operatic subgenre of operetta or light opera, which, as its name implies, is light in terms of subject matter (i.e. it's funny) and music, and often feature a good deal more plain dialogue than ordinary operas. The works of Creator/GilbertAndSullivan are generally considered transitional, as while they considered their works to be comic operas, they would probably be called musicals if produced today; many would argue that musicals are basically the genre of theatre [[GenreLaunch launched]] by G&S.
16th Sep '16 3:14:11 PM AutumnLeaves
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** ''Theatre/{{Iolanta}}''
7th Sep '16 8:39:25 PM CaptEquinox
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** Also do not ever say that "popera" singers such as Andrea Bocelli are opera singers. An opera fan's pet peeve

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** Also do not ever say that "popera" singers such as Andrea Bocelli Bocelli[[note]]Although he studied with the renowned Franco Corelli[[/note]] or, dear God, ''Charlotte Church'', are opera singers. An opera fan's pet peevepeeve, BerserkButton to a few die-hards.



* BrawnHilda: A rather unfortunate stereotype of opera singers (as in the saying, "It ain't over till the fat lady sings"). Although it's usually very exaggerated, it does have a degree of TruthInTelevision since the vocal pipes necessary to support a huge operatic voice often go along with a [[BigBeautifulWoman larger frame]]. The trope may have originated from Wagner's ''[[Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung Die Walküre]]'',[[note]]Specifically, the conclusion, where she's put in suspended animation and surrounded by fire.[[/note]] where the main character, [[TropeNamer Brünnhilde]], is often played by an imposing woman. Though if you think that means opera singers are unattractive, [[http://www.buzzfeed.com/uhohspaghettio/what-happened-to-opera-9mn7 think again]].
** If you're watching work from the 17th or 18th century (where opera houses and orchestras were much smaller) this is usually averted, if not sometimes inverted- soubrette sopranos who play roles like Despina or Zelina (or anything else written for Nan Strorace) are usually quite small women, cast for their girlish vocal instrument. Women in 'trouser roles' in these operas are likewise often petite.

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* BrawnHilda: A rather unfortunate stereotype of opera singers (as in the saying, "It ain't over till the fat lady sings"). Although it's usually very exaggerated, it does have a degree of TruthInTelevision since the vocal pipes necessary to support a huge operatic voice often go along with a [[BigBeautifulWoman larger frame]]. The trope may have originated from Wagner's ''[[Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung Die Walküre]]'',[[note]]Specifically, the conclusion, where she's put in suspended animation and surrounded by fire.[[/note]] where the main character, [[TropeNamer Brünnhilde]], is often played by an imposing woman. (Wagner's music has a lot of long, sustained phrases and singing those develops back and shoulder muscles.) Though if you think that means opera singers are unattractive, [[http://www.buzzfeed.com/uhohspaghettio/what-happened-to-opera-9mn7 think again]].
** If you're watching work from the 17th or 18th century (where opera houses and orchestras were much smaller) this is usually averted, if not sometimes inverted- inverted; soubrette sopranos who play roles like Despina Despina[[note]]in Mozart's ''Cosi Fan Tutte''[[/note]] or Zelina (or anything else written for Nan Strorace) Zerlina[[note]]in Mozart's ''Don Giovanni''[[/note]] are usually quite small women, cast for their girlish vocal instrument. Women in 'trouser roles' (playing a boy) in these operas are likewise often petite.



** The "Brawn Hilda" image is probably based on Kirsten Flagstad, due to her having [[https://youtu.be/YC6f8FbnVMQ?t=71 performed in full costume]] the wild "Ho-jo-to-ho!" chant from ''The Valkyrie'' in several 1940s films.
* {{Camp}}: Especially in RichardStrauss operas. Rossini has his moments too.

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** The "Brawn Hilda" image is probably based on Kirsten Flagstad, due to her having [[https://youtu.be/YC6f8FbnVMQ?t=71 performed in full costume]] the wild "Ho-jo-to-ho!" chant from ''The Valkyrie'' in several 1940s films. Kirsten wasn't fat, just powerfully built like an Amazon, partly from the breath control needed for Wagnerian singing.
* {{Camp}}: Especially in RichardStrauss operas. Rossini has his moments too.too as does Mozart.



** One of the most popular settings throughout the history of opera was the story of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Orphean_operas Orpheus and Eurydice.]] This basically persisted until Jacques Offenbach produced [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orpheus_in_the_Underworld Orphee Aux Enfers]] in 1858, a comic opera basically satirizing nearly three hundred years of Orphean opera settings. It was essentially the ''Film/{{Airplane}}'' of operas, with its most [[Main/GenreKiller (in)famous]] moment being [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okQRnHvw3is ''The Infernal Galop,'']] A.K.A. Music/TheCanCanSong.

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** One of the most popular settings throughout the history of opera was the story of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Orphean_operas Orpheus and Eurydice.]] This basically persisted until Jacques Offenbach produced [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orpheus_in_the_Underworld Orphee Aux Enfers]] (Orpheus in Hell) in 1858, a comic opera basically satirizing nearly three hundred years of Orphean opera settings. It was essentially the ''Film/{{Airplane}}'' of operas, with its most [[Main/GenreKiller (in)famous]] moment being [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okQRnHvw3is ''The Infernal Galop,'']] A.K.A. Music/TheCanCanSong.



* ColorblindCasting: In the world of opera, your race and appearance don't matter to the public in the least. Even when the character being played is of a very specific nationality. It is perfectly normal for any race to play any other onstage. For example, the world famous black American soprano, Leontyne Price, was very popular in the role of the Ethiopian princess, Aida. But she was also popular in the roles of Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Leonora, an Italian woman, a Japanese woman, and a Spanish woman respectively.

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* ColorblindCasting: In the world of opera, your race and appearance don't matter to the public in the least. Even when the character being played is of a very specific nationality. It is perfectly normal for any race to play any other onstage. For example, the world famous black American soprano, Leontyne Price, was very popular in the role of the Ethiopian princess, Aida. But she was also popular in the roles of Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Leonora, an Italian woman, a Leonora -- Italian, Japanese woman, and a Spanish woman characters respectively.



** Age doesn't matter either. Fifty-year-old singers have played fourteen-year-olds and gotten away with it. All they want is your voice and acting ability.



** Leon Kirchner had ''his'' operatic career destroyed from the get-go, where ''Lily'' gave one of the quickest bailouts in operatic history.

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** Leon Kirchner had ''his'' operatic career destroyed from the get-go, where ''Lily'' gave one of the quickest bailouts in operatic history. (He still thought it was his best work.)



* DistressedDamsel

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* DistressedDamselDistressedDamsel: Lots of them.



* DeusExMachina

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* DeusExMachinaDeusExMachina: Especially in earlier works.



* OneHitWonder: Pietro Mascagni and Ruggero Leoncavallo fall into this category respectively with ''Cavalleria Rusticana'' and ''I Pagliacci''. Composers who only wrote one opera include:

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* OneHitWonder: Pietro Mascagni and Ruggero Leoncavallo fall into this category respectively with ''Cavalleria Rusticana'' and ''I Pagliacci''.''Pagliacci'', shorter works which are often performed together. Composers who only wrote one opera include:



* PublicDomainSoundtrack: Many, many famous tunes are originally from operas. In particular, the ''Music/RideOfTheValkyries'', the William Tell Overture, "O mio babbino caro", the Can-Can and a number of other {{Standard Snippet}}s have operatic origins.

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* PublicDomainSoundtrack: Many, many famous tunes are originally from operas. In particular, the ''Music/RideOfTheValkyries'', the William Tell Overture, "O mio babbino caro", caro" from ''Gianni Schicchi'', the Can-Can and a number of other {{Standard Snippet}}s have operatic origins.



* ThatMakesMeFeelAngry: In opera, this trope is pretty much a must-have, since the music is more important than the words and many singers don't bother acting things out too much.[[note]]Other singers are skilled actors, and a handful emphasize the dramatics so powerfully that they are regarded as "vocal actors", not just singers. Among these are Tito Gobbi, Maria Callas, Blanche Thebaum and Dolora Zadjik.[[/note]] Opera is full of ''(insert adjective here) mi sento'' and other status-descriptions. Or the composer/librettist put it in to give the singer an indication of how the character should feel; singers are expected to act nowadays. Also, during the Baroque era, musical drama tended to be structured according to the so-called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_the_affections doctrine of affects]], with consecutive numbers depicting contrasting emotions - a lilting love duet followed by a furious vengeance aria, for instance. If the idea is to juxtapose readily identifiable emotions for maximum effect, it makes sense to flag them in the libretto.

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* ThatMakesMeFeelAngry: In opera, this trope is pretty much a must-have, since the music is more important than the words and many singers don't bother acting things out too much.[[note]]Other singers are skilled actors, and a handful emphasize the dramatics so powerfully that they are regarded as "vocal actors", not just singers. Among these are Tito Gobbi, Maria Callas, Blanche Thebaum and Dolora Zadjik.[[/note]] Opera is full of ''(insert adjective here) mi sento'' (I feel) and other status-descriptions. Or the composer/librettist put it in to give the singer an indication of how the character should feel; singers are expected to act nowadays. Also, during the Baroque era, musical drama tended to be structured according to the so-called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_the_affections doctrine of affects]], with consecutive numbers depicting contrasting emotions - a lilting love duet followed by a furious vengeance aria, for instance. If the idea is to juxtapose readily identifiable emotions for maximum effect, it makes sense to flag them in the libretto.



* UpMarketing: Opera has a bit of a reputation for being intended for the wealthy and highbrow patrons, and much of the imagery in opera marketing will reflect this with ladies in fur coats, gents in tuxes, and the like. In actuality, while it is indeed an expensive art form to produce, even the best tickets aren't much pricier than comparable tickets for a headlining pop or rock concert, and considerably ''cheaper'' than sports tickets. Many modern opera companies are actively appealing to a broader demographic, especially with the tight economy making it harder to get funding for the arts.

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* UpMarketing: Opera has a bit of a reputation for being intended for the wealthy and highbrow patrons, and much of the imagery in opera marketing will reflect this with ladies in fur coats, gents in tuxes, and the like. In actuality, while it is indeed an expensive art form to produce, even the best tickets aren't much pricier than comparable tickets for a headlining pop or rock concert, and considerably ''cheaper'' than sports tickets. Plus there have always been cheap seats up in the gallery for working class people and students to come cheer their faves. Many modern opera companies are actively appealing to a broader demographic, especially with the tight economy making it harder to get funding for the arts.
23rd Aug '16 6:43:02 PM nombretomado
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** One of the most popular settings throughout the history of opera was the story of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Orphean_operas Orpheus and Eurydice.]] This basically persisted until Jacques Offenbach produced [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orpheus_in_the_Underworld Orphee Aux Enfers]] in 1858, a comic opera basically satirizing nearly three hundred years of Orphean opera settings. It was essentially the {{Airplane}} of operas, with its most [[Main/GenreKiller (in)famous]] moment being [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okQRnHvw3is ''The Infernal Galop,'']] A.K.A. Music/TheCanCanSong.

to:

** One of the most popular settings throughout the history of opera was the story of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Orphean_operas Orpheus and Eurydice.]] This basically persisted until Jacques Offenbach produced [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orpheus_in_the_Underworld Orphee Aux Enfers]] in 1858, a comic opera basically satirizing nearly three hundred years of Orphean opera settings. It was essentially the {{Airplane}} ''Film/{{Airplane}}'' of operas, with its most [[Main/GenreKiller (in)famous]] moment being [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okQRnHvw3is ''The Infernal Galop,'']] A.K.A. Music/TheCanCanSong.
14th May '16 11:21:28 PM nombretomado
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* ''MadMen: Theatre/TheMarriageOfFigaro''

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* ''MadMen: ''Series/MadMen: Theatre/TheMarriageOfFigaro''
13th May '16 12:13:24 PM lavendermintrose
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** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJv2aIjRb88 This production]] of an opera about Elizabeth I takes it UpToEleven.
28th Apr '16 12:10:56 AM Luc
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!! Special Cases
[[index]]
* Traditional Musical Theater Plays Frequently Performed By Opera Companies
** ''Theater/{{Showboat}}''
[[/index]]
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.Opera