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  • 1. is one of the more popular and accessible forms of classical music. An opera is a theatrical presentation in which dramatic performances are set to music. It is like a play, except that instead of speaking lines, the performers sing their lines. Operas can be dramas, comedies, and/or farces. An opera is generally referred to as "a stage presentation or work that combines music, costumes, and scenery to relay a story. Most operas are sung, with no spoken lines." The word "opera" is actually a shortened word for opera in musica.
  • 2. Opera originated in Italy around 1600. The word opera is actually an Italian word that basically means "works". It came to be because small groups of nobles, poets, and composers began to meet regularly in Florence, Italy somewhere around 1575. This group was known as the "Camerata", which means fellowship or society. Opera came about during a musical period called the Baroque Era. The first opera made, or at least the first opera to be preserved, was "Euridice" by Jacob Peri. However, it was Claudio Monteverdi's opera "Orfeo" that became the first spectacular opera, dazzling aristocrats with his Florence style musical dramas.
  • 3. Recitative - imitating the pattern and rhythm of speech. Aria - when a character expresses feelings through a flowing melody Bel canto - Italian for "beautiful singing" A lyrical style of operatic singing using a full rich broad tone and smooth phrasing Castrato - during the Baroque period, young boys were castrated before they reached puberty to avoid the deepening of voice. Main roles of the opera were written for the castrato.
  • 4. Comic Opera - Also known as light opera, this type of opera often tackles light, not so delicate subject matter where the ending often has a happy resolution. In this type of opera the dialogue is often spoken and not sung. Serious Opera - a type of opera current in 18th century Italy based on a serious plot, especially a mythological tale. Opera Semiseria - This type of opera has a serious story but has a happy ending. This is why some loosely define it as a combination of the elements of both comic and serious opera. Opera Cornique - Is a type of French opera wherein instead of singing, the lines are spoken. In its early form, it was satirical but would later on have serious storylines.
  • 5. Grand Opera - It's an opera of a larger scale, from the flamboyant costumes to the choruses; it also includes ballet. Opera Verismo - Verismo is Italian for "realism;" it's a type of opera that emerged during the later part of the 19th century. Characters were often based on everyday people you may meet in real life and the plot is often melodramatic.