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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

Article

A. Dean Palmer

sponsors guest artists from major operatic centres for leading roles; Giorgio Tozzi and Richard Cassilly are among recent guests. Although it performs works from all segments of the repertory, its speciality is opera on American folk topics. The company gave Leonardo Balada’s Hangman, Hangman in 1989 and Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah in 1991 , and has staged premières of two one-act comic operas by Gene Erwin Murray: Whirligig , after O. Henry’s Whirligig of Life ( 22 August 1990 ), and Dear Doctor ( 16 October 1991 ). It tours extensively and regularly collaborates

Article

Hugh Macdonald

Timbre d’argent, Le ( ‘The Silver Bell’ ) Opéra fantastique in four acts by Camille Saint-Saëns to a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré ; Paris, Théâtre Lyrique, 23 February 1877 . Saint-Saëns’ first opera was a significant link between Gounod’s Faust and Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann , in all three of which the same librettists, Barbier and Carré, explored the hero’s dependence on a sinister older man enforced by a diabolic pact. In Le timbre d’argent Conrad (tenor), an artist, has a fatal appetite for gold, and is also entranced

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Sitzprobe ( Ger.: ‘seat-rehearsal’ ) Term used in opera houses, in virtually all countries, for what is normally the first rehearsal of an opera with orchestra, during which the singers remain seated on the stage; this, undertaken when the singers have learnt their parts, is intended to show them how their own music fits into the total musical texture as supplied by the orchestra and the other singers without the distraction of acting. See Rehearsal, §2, (i) .

Article

Murray C. Bradshaw

in a wide variety of compositions from the 15th century to the 18th, particularly in psalms, responses, Passions, Lamentations, reproaches, litanies and settings of the Magnificat . It is found less often in other pieces, such as masses, villancicos, frottolas, laude , madrigals, operas and sacred concertos. Falsobordone It.: ‘false bass’, from Fr. fauxbourdon : Ex.1 Tone VII, P-Cug M.12 (c1500; crosses mark the cantus firmus) The ‘classical’ form and style of the falsobordone , associated with the harmonization of psalm tones, appeared

Article

Laurel Fay

1914–17 Dzerzhinsky based his first opera on books 1 and 2 of Mikhail Sholokhov’s as yet incomplete novel Tikhiy Don . As it turned out, composer and novelist resolved the plot in different ways. Dzerzhinsky entered his opera in a contest sponsored by the Bol′shoy Theatre and the newspaper Komsomol′skaya pravda . When the results were made known in 1934 , there was no inkling that Quiet Flows the Don would soon become a pivotal opera of the early Soviet period, the prototype Socialist Realist ‘song opera’: it received no award, and was censured by the

Article

Magdalena Manolova

in recent decades it has become a cultural focal point in the south-western part of the country. Opera performances have been given since 1972 under the successive company names Mladezhka Opera (Youth Opera), Kamerna Mladezhka Opera (Chamber Youth Opera) and Mladezhka Opera za Vsichki (Youth Opera for All), with the local première of Haydn’s Lo speziale in 1977 on the stage of the Blagoevgrad Dramatichen Teatar (Drama Theatre) marking the first maturity of opera in the town. Initially the soloists were amateurs and graduates of the state conservatory in Sofia;

Article

Manaus  

Robert Stevenson

in 1929 and restored in 1974 and again during 1987–9 , the theatre (now with 685 seats) was used about once a month for plays. On 17 March 1990 , opera returned with an all-Brazilian programme, which included selections from Gomes’s Lo schiavo and Il Guarany . An international season followed, beginning with Carmen on 29 March. Bibliography M. Ypiranga Monteiro : Teatro Amazonas (Manaus, 1965) ‘Chronicle’, New York Times (12 March 1990) ‘Arias grace the Amazon once again’, New York Times (19 March 1990)

Article

Martin Dreyer and Charles Pitt

Capital of Iceland. Regular professional opera in Iceland dates only from the foundation in 1950 of the National Theatre in Reykjavík, which seats 661 and can accommodate 40 in the pit; it is legally required to produce at least one opera a year. Its first production was Rigoletto , sung in Icelandic; Tosca ( 1957–8 ) was the first opera given by an all-Icelandic cast, though most of the singers had received training in Scandinavia or Italy. The first performance by local musicians was Carmen in 1975 . Iceland Opera was formed in 1979 , with the tenor Gardar

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vein of burlesque that he mined in The Dragon of Wantley ( 1737 ), his first popular success; it ridicules Italian-style opera and opera singers rather than Shakespeare’s plays and players. The onstage audience, originally Duke Theseus and his entourage, consists of Mr Semibrief (the impresario) and two gentlemen, one of whom has experienced Italian opera at first hand on the grand tour; they interject facetious spoken comments as the all-sung opera proceeds. The story follows Shakespeare closely: the Wall (tenor) sports a chink through which Pyramus (tenor) and Thisbe

Article

Marita P. McClymonds

Florence since a revival of Traetta’s opera ten years earlier. The plot centres on twin magnanimous deeds: Pollux (soprano castrato) replaces his dead half-brother Castor (soprano castrato) in the underworld so that Castor can be reunited with Telaira (soprano), a union Febe [Phoebe] (soprano) plans to disrupt; after a tender meeting, Castor asks to return so that Pollux may be freed, and Jupiter (tenor) rewards all three by reuniting them in heaven. Castore contains all the elements that had been purged from Italian serious opera before the turn of the century: gods

Article

David J. Hough

Jones, Robert Edmond (opera) ( b Milton, nh , Dec 12, 1887 ; d Milton , Nov 26, 1954 ). American designer . He graduated from Harvard University ( 1910 ), where he remained for two years as an instructor. On a trip to Europe ( 1913–14 ), he was much influenced by Max Reinhardt in Berlin, Jacques Coupeau in Paris, and by the work of Adolph Appia and Jaques-Dalcroze at Hellarau. He returned to Europe in 1922 with Kenneth Macgowan; they recorded their impressions in Continental Stagecraft (New York, 1923 ). With Lee Simonson ( 1888–1967

Article

Derrick Henry

American city, capital of Arkansas. The first successful professional opera company in the state was the Arkansas Opera Theatre in Little Rock, founded in 1973 by Ann Chotard, who continues to serve as general director and artistic director. All performances are in English and leading roles are generally taken by singers from outside the area. The Arkansas Symphony, under a variety of conductors, provides orchestral support. The company has commissioned and given first performances of two full-length operas: Libby Larsen’s Clair de lune ( 22 February 1985 ) and Raymond

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Academy of Music Opera Company Name for a group of American travelling companies drawn from resident troupes of the New York Academy of Music, 1854–86 , variously under the management ( 1854–77 ) of Maurice Strakosch, Bernard Ullman, Max Maretzek and others. Under this umbrella were a variety of individual companies, including the Strakosch Opera Company, Ullman-Strakosch Opera Company and Academy of Music Company, all of which made extensive tours of the USA. From 1878 to 1886 James Mapleson was manager of the Academy companies. See Travelling troupes

Article

Andrew Stiller

and there wrote Rappaccini’s Daughter , her best-known composition, completing it in 1983 after nearly a decade of work. In 1984 she left Muhlenberg College to devote all her time to composition. A slow and cautious composer, Garwood has written little besides her four operas – some songs and chamber music, a widely performed children’s ballet and a cantata. Like most successful American opera composers before Philip Glass, she is an extremely conservative musician: her style has at various times been likened to that of Debussy, Delius, Cilea or Richard Strauss

Article

Kelley Rourke

has sung all four heroines in Les Contes d’Hoffmann , as well as leading roles in works by Berlioz (Héro), Bizet (Leila, Micaëla), Gounod (Marguerite), Massenet (Thais), and Ambroise Thomas (Ophélie). Other roles include Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto , Giulietta in Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi , and Christine Storch in Richard Strauss’s Intermezzo . Dunleavy has appeared in concert with the Atlanta Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. She is featured on a Los Angeles Opera DVD of Z

Article

Dennis Libby

Cortoni, Arcangelo ( fl 1756–77 ). Italian tenor . He made his opera seria début at Bologna in May 1756 , but did not then begin a sustained career. During the period 1760–68 he was with Jommelli’s company at Stuttgart (except for 1762 , when he sang in Florence, Venice and Genoa). From autumn 1769 he appeared in major Italian theatres, including four seasons at the S Carlo, Naples, where he sang in all three of Jommelli’s late Neapolitan operas. He is not found after 1777 . Jommelli praised his technical skill (as did Burney), mentioning

Article

Alexander Silbiger

by shifting key, mode, and metre in some of their passacaglias. In vocal settings, Italian passacaglias were sometimes interrupted by recitatives (e.g. Frescobaldi’s Così mi disprezzate , 1630 ). Sections that resemble a passacaglia without being identified as such are found in operas, cantatas, and sacred works. However, the present-day tendency to regard any lament with a descending tetrachord bass as a passacaglia does not appear to have historical precedent unless the piece also shows other genre markings. By the beginning of the 18th century the passacaglia

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repertory included many leading tenor parts from operas by Verdi, Wagner, Gounod, Mascagni and above all by Russian composers, and a large number of Bulgarian folksongs. He staged several operas in Sofia and wrote many articles in Bulgarian and Russian as well as a book, Po vaprosa za osnovavaneto na Balgarskata narodna opera (‘On the foundation of the Bulgarian National Opera’, Sofia, 1907 ).

Article

S Giovanni Grisostomo Theatre in Venice, built by the Grimani in 1678 . The largest and most exclusive opera house in the city, it was renamed after Malibran in 1834 , then used for all kinds of popular entertainment; it was restructured in 1919 but soon became a cinema. See Venice, §3 and Venice, §8 .