This essay “The Development of the Italian Opera in the 19th Century” will explore the development of the 19th century Italian Opera in a detailed way. Opera reached its peak in the 19th Century. Italy - the art capital of Europe became the headquarters for this development…
Operas origin is said to have been the celebrations which combined enormous fireworks, beautiful stage decorations, music, singing and dancing.1 These occasions occurring frequently in royal weddings and during festivities started to work themselves around specific themes by the beginning of the 16th century. Jacapo Peri, Monteverde, Francesco Cavalli and many other doyens appeared during this period. Francesco Cavallis works were the first to be termed under the name Opera. Carissimi, Scarlatti, and Handel took Cavallis name forward. By the end of the 18th century symphony and orchestra giving prominent importance to music grew enormously, pushing back the popularity of the Opera. Rossini - the retriever of the Opera sprung to action to bring back this dwindling art from to its previous glory in the 19th century. He was followed by Donizetti, Bellini, Puccini and the ever famous Verdi who is hailed as the major mastermind of the contemporary Opera.
Voice was the ruler of any orchestra in the Opera’s during the early 19th century. Polyphonic writings started to lose their grip during this time. Voice clarity and simple language expressing direct views started to matter. Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini were the three stars of the arias. Flawless phrases and singers with highly toned voices capable of singing in very high notes started to emerge. Cabaletta or rapid precision singing started gaining popularity. The operas of the early 18th century had two main sections the Bel Canto and the Cabaletta.2 Highly prerogative stories insisting patriotism or pious lifestyle started to give way to modern day realistic stories and romantic stories. Humor started to gain major attention in the opera stages. The first half of the 19th century saw the peak of the Bel Canto style. ...
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