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Article

Kelley Rourke

which was completed in September 2012 . In addition to providing space for its own programs, the Opera Center allows for the conduct of business (auditions, readings of new works, production meetings) by visiting opera professionals from across the country and around the world. OPERA America conducts and disseminates research on all aspects of the opera industry; its library houses unique collections related to American opera companies and repertory. The organization hosts an annual conference each year, as well as a number of smaller forums and workshops designed

Article

Chicago  

Robert C. Marsh

company). All shared artists with the Metropolitan and leading European theatres, all presented a diversified repertory and all ceased production because of financial difficulties. The first, already mentioned as the Chicago Grand Opera Company, gave performances in the Auditorium between 1910 and 1913 . The Ravinia Opera began producing a summer opera festival in the suburb of Highland Park in 1912 and continued until the Depression forced closure after the 1931 season. In 1915 , the Chicago Grand Opera Company was reorganized as the Chicago Opera Association

Article

Richard Toop

Donnerstag aus Licht ( ‘Thursday from Light’ ) Opera in three acts, a greeting and a farewell by Karlheinz Stockhausen to his own libretto; Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 3 April 1981 (following an incomplete performance on 15 March 1981 ). Donnerstag was the first opera of Stockhausen’s Licht cycle to be completed; it was composed from 1978 to 1981 ( Der Jahreslauf , a scene from Dienstag , was composed in 1977 ). However, it assumes fourth place within a complete cycle. The framing format of Greeting and Farewell calls for special comment

Article

Alexander Silbiger

bass formula ( ex.1f ). In vocal settings, Italian chaconnes were sometimes interrupted by recitatives (e.g. Frescobaldi’s Deh, vien da me pastorella , 1630 , and Monteverdi’s Zefiro torna , 1632 ). Sections that resemble a chaconne without being identified as such are found in operas, cantatas, and sacred works. However, the present-day tendency to identify any ostinato aria with the chaconne or passacaglia does not appear to have historical precedence unless the piece also shows the characteristic dance rhythms and other genre markings. By the beginning of the

Article

Hervé Lacombe

given section. His operas explore a man's voyage through his imagination ( H.H. Ulysse , 1984 ) or through history ( Les traverses du temps , 1979 ), a woman's sorrowful journey from the present to the past ( La noche triste , 1989 ) and the struggle of a genius against the forces of obscurantism ( Goya , 1996 ). Other dramatic media he has explored include not only ballet and film music, but also ‘silent opera’ in his work with the mime artist Marcel Marceau. Works ( selective list ) all dates are of first performance Operas

Article

Peter Franklin

Säckingen’ ) Opera in a prologue and three acts by Viktor E(rnst) Nessler to a libretto by Rudolf Bunge after J. V. von Scheffel’s poetic epic; Leipzig, 4 May 1884 . When the Baron von Schönau (bass) learns that his trumpeter Werner Kirchhofer (tenor) seeks the hand of his daughter Maria (soprano), he banishes Werner and consigns Maria to marriage with the cowardly but noble-born Damian (tenor). Werner then returns with troops to save the Baron from a peasant uprising. A mark on Werner’s arm reveals that he is of noble birth after all, and his union with

Article

M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet and Richard Langham Smith

French plays were dropped, called the Opéra-Comique). First, its monopoly on operas with spoken dialogue was challenged and soon disappeared, the Théâtre de Monsieur (from 1791 the Théâtre Feydeau) becoming a powerful rival. Other theatres sprang up and many put on vaudevilles and shorter operas. The Opéra-Comique had to compete for audiences and for authors – the more so since court patronage, of course, disappeared and some of the other rich patrons suffered (although both it and the Feydeau remained out of the reach of all but the better-off). The 1790s saw a huge

Article

Mary Lou Humphrey

with Walter Piston and Randall Thompson, Mechem spent three years in Vienna refining his compositional skills. A composer of more than 150 works in nearly all genres, Mechem is particularly renowned for his choral works. His musical style, characterized by melodiousness, lyricism, tonal clarity, wit and humour, is free of any specific compositional school. Mechem’s first opera, Tartuffe , is a three-act comic opera set to a libretto by the composer after the Molière play. Cast in traditional operatic forms and exuding a lighthearted, Falstaffian spirit, Tartuffe

Article

in Italy. There he had composed three operas: an intermezzo Il geloso (performed at Rome in 1751 and later at Florence and at Bastia in Corsica), Il trionfo del Giglio and La Lavinia (performed at Bastia in 1751 and c 1753 respectively). The only extant pieces from this Italian sojourn (contained in a volume of extracts from Lavinia published soon after his return to Paris) are five bravura arias and a duo, supported by fairly substantial orchestral accompaniments, which suggest that Lavinia was a typical opera seria of the time. For Paris Herbain

Article

Tim Carter

scene to a play or opera serving to clarify and enhance the perceptual and conceptual frame of the drama, often by securing some manner of collusion with the audience. The prologue can variously outline the aesthetic intent of the work, introduce the subsequent action, and/or pay homage to a patron. The changing place of the prologue in operatic history holds an intriguing mirror to the fate of opera itself, reflecting the various political, social, cultural and philosophical pressures brought to bear on so problematic a genre. The first opera librettists and composers

Article

Bayan Northcott

comforts, Max escapes from the Wild Things, travelling home to his room to find his supper waiting after all. In elaborating words, designs and musical forms from what is essentially a picture book, Sendak and Knussen were consciously attempting to revive the genre of fantasy opera as represented by Stravinsky’s The Nightingale and Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges . Scored for an orchestra of 48 (without trumpets) and running just under 40 minutes, the opera transcends the ‘magic’ scores in its background – Musorgsky, early Stravinsky, Debussy’s La boîte à joujoux

Article

Marita P. McClymonds, Elisabeth Cook and Julian Budden

take the same forms as were prevalent for arias. 2. French opera upto c 1775. The duet is very much the most popular type of concerted number in the tragédie lyrique , accounting for nearly 90 per cent of all ensembles in the period from Lully to Rameau. There are usually three or four duets in each work, sited at various points within the action. Short duets are particularly common before the end of the 17th century (see Alceste , Lully, 1764 ). Vocal pairings are more diverse than in opera seria ; as well as lovers’ duets there are vengeance duets (usually

Article

Richard Taruskin

them pliable vocal formulae or ‘melodic moulds’ to which prose dialogue could be accommodated, rather than symphonically developed instrumental motifs of the Wagnerian type), Prokofiev hoped to achieve a ‘scenic flexibility’ that would rescue opera from its putative impasse and show it to be ‘the most vivid and powerful of all the scenic arts’. Owing to difficulties in casting, the unwillingness of the orchestra, the ineptitude of the director (Nikolay Bogolyubov) and, finally, the political turmoil following the February revolution of 1917 , the Mariinsky production

Article

Jochen Schönleber

Staatstheater, 9 March 1986 . The opera is set in Moscow around 1930 . The Master (tenor), author of a novel about Jesus and Pilate, despairs of the conclusion of his work. Persecuted by Stalinist apparatchiks , he collapses, despite psychiatric treatment; the Devil (bass) and his assistants (soprano, tenor, baritone), however, ensure that the novel becomes known in Moscow, while the Master and his lover Margarita (mezzo-soprano) eventually find the solution of all problems in their ‘eternal house’. This second of Kunad’s operas on a Faustian theme, which requires

Article

M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet

the context of stage works opéra entered the French language as a translation of the Italian ‘opera’ in the mid-17th century. In the 18th century it had two primary meanings. First, it was ‘a dramatic and lyric spectacle in which the goal was to unite all the charms of the fine arts by depicting a passionate action’ (Rousseau); its component parts were the libretto (‘poëme’), the music, the choreography and the sets (see also Brossard and Diderot). Second, on a more restricted level, opéra was a synonym for libretto; poets wrote opéras , and composers set them to

Article

Hugo Cole

compulsory in all state schools increased the demand for choral works suitable for school use. In the years that followed, the operas of Gilbert and Sullivan – tuneful, witty and free of all moral taint – restored the art to respectability and provided influential models for composers of school operas. By the early 1900s Novello, England’s leading publisher of educational music, were advertising more than 50 school operettas as well as a number of ‘cantatas with action’. Most had spoken dialogue; the longest ran for as much as an hour and a half and almost all advertised

Article

I.M. Yampol′sky

and led the viola section of the opera studio. After a period in the orchestra of the Malïy Opera Theatre, Leningrad, he turned to conducting in 1935 . In 1938 he was appointed principal conductor at the Erevan Opera and Ballet Theatre, where he played an important part in the development of Armenian national opera. Displaying a fine instinct for music drama and operatic character, T’avrizyan aimed at blending all the constituent elements of opera, so that the stage and musical characterizations were closely linked. Among the operas he conducted were Tchukhatjian’s

Article

Christopher Smith

stress. They wrote in the light-hearted vein of opéra bouffe , and among the more important composers who set their texts were Lecocq, Chabrier and Offenbach. Writings all written in collaboration with Albert Vanloo Le Petit Poucet (opéra bouffe), L. de Rillé , 1868; Madeleine (oc), H. Potier , 1869; La nuit du 15 octobre (opérette), G. Jacob , 1869; Nabucho (opéra bouffe), A. de Villebichet , 1871; Giroflé-Girofla (opéra bouffe), Lecocq, 1874; Le voyage dans la lune (opéra féerie, with A. Mortier ), Offenbach, 1875;

Article

Ernest Warburton

Opera seria in three acts by Johann Christian Bach to a libretto by pietro Pietro Metastasio ( see Temistocle above) with alterations and additions by Verazi, Mattia ; Mannheim, Hoftheater, 5 November 1772 . In the first of his two operas for the court of the Elector Palatine Carl Theodor, Bach, responsive as ever to local fashions, broadened his musical style to accommodate the Mannheim taste. He also took advantage of the exceptional orchestral and vocal resources at his disposal to produce a score which demanded great virtuosity from all concerned

Article

James W. McKinnon

‘Responsorium ideo dicitur, eo quod uno cantante ceteri respondeant … ipse idem qui inchoavit solus, solus versum cantat’ (‘The responsory is so called because to that which is sung by one singer others should respond … he who has begun alone also sings the verse alone’, Amalarii episcopi opera liturgica omnia , ed. J.M. Hanssens, Vatican City, 1948–50 , ii, 259). There is no reference here to a final repetition of the response, and it is not altogether clear whether the soloist is to begin with the entire response or only the intonation. However, the full notation of the