Opera In England[1]

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Opera In England[1]

  1. 1. Opera in England<br />By: Shelby Young<br />&<br />Laura Strong<br />
  2. 2. Opera<br />Opera is a music drama that is generally sung throughout, combining the resources of vocal and instrumental music with poetry and drama, acting and pantomime, scenery and costumes.<br />
  3. 3. Development of Opera in England<br />In the period of the Commonwealth at midcentury (1649-60), stage plays were forbidden because the Puritans regarded the theater as an invention of the devil. A play set to music, though, could be passed off as a ‘concert.’ The semi-operas that flourished were essentially plays with a liberal mixture of solo songs, ensembles, and choral numbers interspersed with instrumental pieces.<br />
  4. 4. John Blow was very important. He paved the way for the first great English opera. He did this with his semi-opera, Venus and Adonis. It is an opera in three acts and a prologue. <br />John Blow<br />
  5. 5. ACT III of Venus and Adonis<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoKNZ3z8zis<br />
  6. 6. The first great English opera is Dido and Aeneas, by Henry Purcell. He won England a leading position in the world of music.<br />HENRY PURCELL<br />
  7. 7. DIDO AND AENEAS<br />Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas is based on an episode in Virgil’s Aeneid, the ancient Roman epic that traces the adventures of the hero Aeneas after the fall of Troy. Dido’s Lament unfolds over a five-measure ground bass, or ostinato (a repeated idea), that descends along the chromatic scale, always symbolic of grief in Baroque music. The opera closes with an emotional chorus mourning Dido’s fate.<br />
  8. 8. DIDO’S LAMENT<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiMtckj9E7E&feature=PlayList&p=33B5DDEB07B0C4E0&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=1<br />
  9. 9. Opera in England had a short career in the second half of the 17th century. During the reigns of James I and Charles I an aristocratic entertainment flourished which was similar to French court ballet. English opera begun in a modest way under the Commonwealth, not because the English composers or public audiences wanted operas, but because although stage plays were banned, a play set to music could be called a ‘concert’ and so this was away around the ban. After the Reformation the pretext was no longer needed, and thus nearly all of the English so-called operas of the 17th century are really plays with a large proportion of solos, ensembles, choruses and instrumental music of all kinds. The only important exception were John Blow’s Venus and Adonis (1684-1685) and Henry Pucell’s Dido and Aeneas (1689), both of which were sung throughout.<br />The End of Opera in England<br />
  10. 10. The End of Opera in England<br />Unfortunately for English music no composer appeared after Purcell that had sufficient stature to maintain the national tradition against the overwhelming popular preferences of Italian operas. For two hundred years English opera stepped aside for the more popular French, Italian and German productions.<br />
  11. 11. WORKS CITED<br />http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opera#English-language_opera<br />http://www.musicatschool.co.uk/alevel/Worksheets/HenryPurcell.pdf<br />http://www.jstor.org.fetch.mhsl.uab.edu/action/doBasicSearch?Query=%22english+opera%22&wc=on&dc=All+Disciplines<br />“The Enjoyment of Music”---Music Appreciation Book<br />You Tube<br />

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