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M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet

A stage work in which a dramatic story is conveyed through gesture, dance and instrumental music. It developed in part as a reaction against the divertissement in opera, in which dance is designed to delight the eye and depict a general mood, and the opera-ballet...

Article

Hugo Cole

Since medieval times children have participated in musical dramas, whether such involvement originated within a church, a school or, later, a theatrical context. This article primarily discusses the history and development of operas for children to perform, rather than works that are particularly suitable for children to watch, such as Humperdinck’s ...

Article

M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet

A type of French opera whose subject matter, treatment and tone reflect, more or less strongly, the norms of the current spoken comédie. In the 18th century comédie lyrique was applied to both opéras (e.g. Mouret’s Les amours de Ragonde, 1742, and Grétry’s Colinette à la cour, ou La double épreuve...

Article

M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet

The most frequently used term for French operas with spoken dialogue during the late ancien régime.

At first, it was applied to works which parodied music from Italian opera buffa (e.g. C.-S. Favart’s Le caprice amoureux, ou Ninette à la cour, 1755), although another common term was ...

Article

M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet

A type of 18th-century play or opéra comique almost always in one act and using characters from the commedia dell’arte tradition (such as Pierrot, Columbine and Cassandre). In keeping with this the humour is broad and very close to farce. As opéras comiques, comédies-parades could either re-use pre-existing music in vaudeville fashion (for example, ...

Article

Michael Talbot

A term signifying ‘composition’, usually in reference to a dramatic poem to be set to music as a Serenata. It occurs with particular frequency in the repertory of the Viennese court during the Baroque period. Componimenti da camera (or per camera) were written by Zeno, Pariati and Metastasio; ...

Article

M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet

A type of late 18th-century French opéra or opéra comique, usually in one act, in which the action is based on a heroic event drawn from contemporary French history. Faits historiques were often vehicles to extol the valour of enlisted soldiers (rather than generals) or even the common people. An early example is ...

Article

In opera, a title often given to the opening number when it involves more than two characters. It could be more or less complex in structure: it became particularly elaborate in the hands of Rossini (Il barbiere di Siviglia, 1816, and Semiramide, 1823), but during the first half of the 19th century the commonest formula was that of the ‘Introduzione e cavatina’, consisting of an opening chorus, a recitative and ‘cantabile’ for the soloist, a ...

Article

Julian Budden

A title often given to the opening number of an opera when it involves more than two characters. An early example is ‘Che lieto giorno’ (La finta giardiniera, Mozart, 1775), which parades the whole cast. Sometimes it may consist merely of a chorus with or without the intervention of a minor character, as in ...

Article

Wilfrid Mellers, Walter Wells and Madeleine Ladell

Jazz and opera are generally viewed as separate traditions, too diverse in cultural origin to come together successfully. Yet throughout the 20th century both traditions have borrowed from each other, and have spawned a number of cross-breeds, which often find no home in either camp and end up on Broadway. In most cases musicians have tended to incorporate gestures rather than develop common ground....