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Article

Jan Smaczny

in September 1866 . German opera was represented by Beethoven, Weber, Lortzing, Flotow, Nicolai and, above all, Mozart, and an increasing number of operettas, mainly by Offenbach and Suppé, were given. In addition, Dvořák also participated in the premières of a number of native operas, including Smetana’s The Brandenburgers in Bohemia , The Bartered Bride and Dalibor as well as the revival of Škroup’s Dráteník (‘The Tinker’). Although Wagner’s musical style was a major influence on a number of Dvořák’s operas, Wagner’s operas were notably absent from the

Article

Alan Blyth

critic for Queen magazine (later Harpers and Queen ) ( 1968–87 ) and opera critic for the Spectator ( 1979–90 ). He was opera critic of the London Evening Standard ( 1990–92 ) and became chief opera critic of The Times in 1992 . He began writing for Opera in 1971 , becoming associate editor ( 1976 ) and editor in succession to Harold Rosenthal ( 1986–99 ); he himself contributed discerning articles and profiles. In editorials he was forthright in his views on all aspects of opera house management and politics. A trenchant and entertaining writer, with

Article

Michael F. Robinson

from the vocal line of the second aria, typifies the style. Of Auletta’s extant operas the short, two-act La locandiera is probably the most appealing. Written in 1738 to celebrate the marriage of Queen Maria Amalia to King Charles III of Naples that year, it rivals Pergolesi’s comic operas of the same period in its subtle musical characterization, its grotesque humour (especially in the parts for the elderly characters) and its portrayal of the playful yet tender feelings of youth – all achieved with the utmost economy of technical means. Once again, Auletta’s attractive

Article

Maureen Needham Costonis

19, 1929 ). Russian impresario . A perceptive amateur of the arts gifted with a flair for organization and publicity, he was intimately involved in all aspects of the production, and even creation, of operas and ballets by composers including Stravinsky, Ravel and Prokofiev. In 1908 , intent on introducing Russian opera to an enthusiastic crowd of Parisians, he imported Shalyapin, Natasha Yermolenko and an all-Russian cast for a production of Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov . In the following year he returned to Paris to launch his Ballets Russes company, meanwhile

Article

Harold Rosenthal

l and John Coates. He joined the D’Oyly Carte Opera in 1915 and sang with the Carl Rosa Opera Company, 1919–22 . He made his Covent Garden début with that company in 1921 as Turiddu, and later sang with the British National Opera and the Covent Garden English companies. He took part in the first English performances of Wozzeck ( 1934 ), Busoni’s Doktor Faust ( 1937 ) and Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler ( 1939 ), all concert performances for the BBC. From 1949 to 1953 he was a member of the Covent Garden Opera, where he sang such character roles as Shuysky

Article

Spanish composer . An architect by profession, with functionalist convictions, he was a self-taught composer whose musical ideas were strongly influenced by French and German academic theory. His first comic opera, El monte de las ánimas , is an elegant sketch full of modernist charm. Two years later he produced O Mariscal with a libretto in Galician, a ‘grand opera’ based on a late medieval legend of Galician history, interpreted as the vain struggle of a nobleman against the centralist aims of Ferdinand and Isabella. This was followed in 1935 by ¡Ultreya! , in which

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

vaudevilles and comic operas during his apprentice years, even some of the theatre music written in his maturity; but there remain several operas and ballets that are not merely delightful examples of their kind, but are also scores full of genuine inspiration. Le chalet , his first significant success, incorporates the music from Ariane à Naxos , the cantata written for the 1825 Prix de Rome competition, but the opera is distinguished by its freshness of invention, as indeed are all his best works. Le chalet was Adam’s most popular opera in France throughout the

Article

Lois Rosow

comedy with singing and dancing. Virtually all the musical elements that would later make up his operas may be found in the ballets and comédies-ballets of the 1660s. Lully’s first motet also dates from 1664 , though he apparently composed most of his religious music during the 1680s. Lully was thus a senior member of the court’s artistic establishment when, in 1669 , the poet Pierre Perrin obtained a royal monopoly to form an Académie d’Opéra (later known as the Académie Royale de Musique) for the purpose of producing operas in Paris. At first Lully was unconcerned

Article

Izaht  

Simon Wright

two earlier, unperformed operas, Aglaia ( 1909 ) and Elisa ( 1910 ), both written while he was a cellist in the orchestra of a small opera company. The composer constructed Izaht ’s libretto around a fantastic story of underworld life, telling of gypsies, espionage, intrigue and banditry, and opening unpromisingly ‘in the Tavern of Death, badly built in the vaults of an abandoned castle, in an outer suburb of Paris’. The long, tortuous and extremely complicated plot and the need for 11 soloists, a chorus, a ballet and large orchestra all militated against early

Article

Claude Conyers

See Me Tonight ( 1995 ; songs of Stephen Foster), Going Away Party ( 1990 ; music by Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys), and his production of the Virgil Thomson/Gertrude Stein opera Four Saints in Three Acts ( 2000 ). He has also created works to the music of John Adams, Samuel Barber, George Gershwin, Lou Harrison, Charles Ives, Harry Partch, Richard Rodgers, and Paul Simon –Americans all. Bibliography J. Acocella : Mark Morris (New York, 1993) J. Morgenroth : Speaking of Dance: Twelve Contemporary Choreographers on Their Craft (New York

Article

Louise K. Stein

Italian operas. Celos aun del aire matan complemented Hidalgo’s one-act La púrpura de la rosa produced some months earlier. In keeping with Spanish theatrical conventions, all the roles except for one (the comic Rústico) were sung by women, the principal roles being those for the goddess Diana, the nymph Aura, Céfalo, Pocris and Eróstrato. The roles of Rústico, Clarín and Floreta are comic in the tradition of the gracioso . Hidalgo’s extant music demonstrates his adaptation of Spanish conventions from semi-operas and zarzuelas to the genre of fully sung opera. The

Article

Laurel Fay

drama. A sophisticated command of polyphonic textures and orchestral colour does not detract from the strong melodic focus of the opera. The lyrical warmth of the score, its memorable melodies and infectious rhythms, the satisfying balance between the good-natured comic elements and the human emotion and sympathetic characterization of the strong-willed lovers as their romance unfolds, all contributed greatly to the work’s success. The opera has received numerous productions and revivals both in Soviet cities and abroad.

Article

George Truett Hollis

by Ferdinando Bertoni to a libretto by Carlo Goldoni ; Venice, Teatro S Samuele, 26 December 1751 . Bertoni’s most successful comic opera was the first of three Goldoni librettos set by the 26-year-old composer. The seven roles mix parti buffe (fisherwomen and fishermen) and parti serie (a prince and a noblewoman believed to be the daughter of a fisherman). The music includes a mixture of aria types, all without passaggi , including four bipartite arias ( AA ′ or AB ) which could be called cavatinas, although Bertoni did not use that term for similar

Article

Hugh Macdonald

Saint-Saëns at that time, and his opera received only five performances. It was occasionally revived in his later years. The subject was selected to satisfy a craze for Japan, although the opera is actually set in the Netherlands. Léna (soprano) is in love with her cousin, the studious Kornélis (tenor), who is entranced by everything Japanese, particularly his portrait of a Japanese girl he calls Ming. In a fantasy induced by a potion he is transported to Japan, but there realizes that he really loves the Dutch girl Léna after all. The music is brisk and light, with

Article

Peter G. Davis

Reviser Nicola Badolato

Houston), Turandot for the ENO, Faust for the WNO, and an acclaimed postmodern Fliegender Holländer for the Canadian Opera Company, Toronto (all 1996 ). As an opera director, Alden is known for his use of contemporary imagery and a minimalist visual style. For example, he has likened his own 1984 production of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea to a new wave rock video and has frequently expressed his desire to connect the inner world of opera theater to the modern sensibility of a younger audience. His use of explicit sexuality, brutal violence, and exaggerated

Article

Thomas Bauman

Tor, 7 May 1776 . Grossmann originally translated Beaumarchais’ play more or less faithfully for the Seyler company. Seyler persuaded him to adapt it as a comic opera and it was in this form, with Benda’s music, that the play was generally performed in Germany during the 18th century. Unlike the simple tunes Beaumarchais had gathered and published with the original text, Benda’s vocal numbers – 13 in all – have nothing Spanish about them. Italianate showpieces for the company’s best voices predominate; the part of Rosina (soprano) is particularly ornate and virtuoso

Article

Dale E. Monson

Artaserse (iii) ( ‘Artaxerxes’ ) Opera seria in three acts by baldassare Baldassare Galuppi to a libretto by Pietro Metastasio ( see Artaserse above); Vienna, Burgtheater, 27 January 1749 . This was Galuppi’s first setting of Metastasio’s most popular text; it was revised for Padua in 1751 . The text is heavily cut throughout, with many lines of new recitative added to bridge awkward transitions. The most extensive variation is the insertion of a quartet for the principals, Arbace [Arbaces] (soprano), Artaxerxes (soprano)

Article

Curtis Price and Louise K. Stein

classic definition of a semi-opera), but this work, which he later called King Arthur , was not produced at the time. Semi-opera was resurrected in 1690 by Betterton, who adapted Philip Massinger and John Fletcher’s tragicomedy The Prophetess (or Dioclesian ) for Purcell. This was a notable success and helped establish a pattern of production which lasted for many years. Because semi-opera involved all the theatre’s resources it was very expensive, with only one new work possible each year. The Tempest , Psyche and all Purcell’s semi-operas were revived from time

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

David Björling, and made his début in 1937 at Göteborg. From 1940 until his death he was engaged at the Royal Opera, Stockholm, where he sang both lyric and character roles. His repertory included Don Ottavio, Pedrillo, Monostatos, Missail, David, the four comic tenor roles in Les contes d’Hoffmann and Bob Boles, which he sang in the first Swedish performance of Peter Grimes ( 1945 ). His finest part was Mime, evil in characterization, but sung with all the considerable sweetness of tone at his command.

Article

Andrew Clark

d, on the other hand, maintain their own ensembles and have more in common with the repertory system of German houses. All Swiss theatres are financed locally through subsidies from city (and in some cases cantonal) authorities. The early 20th century was also the period when Swiss opera composers first began to win recognition abroad. In the 1920s and 30s Othmar Schoeck was championed by Fritz Busch and Karl Böhm in Dresden, and his last opera, Das Schloss Dürande , received its première in Berlin ( 1943 ). Frank Martin found equal recognition in French- and G