Maria Calais as a Diva Essay

Maria Calais as a Diva Essay.

To enable us to comment on Maria Callas as an operatic diva, it is first necessary to ascertain whether she possess all the stated attributes usually associated with the term. The conductor Sir Charles Mackerras believes there must be an ‘aura’, but ‘there also has to be something unusual as well as competent about a diva, something compelling about her personality’ (reference). This was certainly true of Maria Meneghini Callas.

The opening paragraph of the newspaper review describes her gifts as ‘peculiar ones, not exactly comparable to those of any other singer’ (reference).

Winthrop Sargent even goes so far as to comment on it’s ‘reediness and it’s tendency to wobble slightly’ (reference). But far from detracting from her overall performance, he says she uses it to demonstrate a ‘fiery conveyance for female passion’ (reference).

This is because it is the overall performance that made Ms Callas such a memorable performer. It is the ‘total dramatic projection’ that exemplified her on stage performances.

She does indeed manage ‘to make the character and her situation seem real’ (reference p.177). This is especially prevelant when she is singing in the recorded piece.

Of course it is very difficult to comment on this full range of theatrical abilities when only reviewing a newspaper arcticle and an audio recording; particularly when the review is not of the actual recorded piece. Missing is the visual aspect of Ms Callas performance, which was enthused over as being ‘as extraordinarily perceptive and gripping even by the standards of the legitimate stage’. (reference) There are, however, very few visual recordings of the opera from this time, so we have to reply on often heavily edited vocal recordings and articles such as these, written for popular consumption, towards the end of her career.

But despite these, by modern standards, media restrictions, the newspaper article does help to put Ms Callas singing qualities into context and perspective. She is obviously a more than competent singer, her unique voice is not ‘dime a dozen’ (reference) for the review describes it as ‘impeccable’ (reference). The article can also be seen as conferring on her the ‘something compelling’ element of Sir Charles’ description. Her interpretation is reported as being a ‘highly personal interpretation’ which was an ‘electrifying fusion of music, theatre and personality that opera goers are only occasionally privileged to witness’. (reference). So the combinations of the singing talents, her acting ability and her sheer personality on stage all combine to make Maria Callas a genuine operatic diva.

Maria Calais as a Diva Essay

Opera Buffa Essay

Opera Buffa Essay.

The comic opera is a new operatic genre which denotes a dramatic singing of a light natural, and earthy comedy, usually with a happy ending. The form of comic opera first developed in the early of 17th century. It began to distinguished from other operatic form since in the early 18th century in Naples and Venice. It developed by the poets, composers and entrepreneurs that offered social criticism and appealed to a wider audience. In 18th century, the comic opera included the types of opera buffa (comic opera), dramma giocoso (jesting drama), dramma comico (comic drama), and commedia per musica (comedy in music).

In nowadays, opera buffa is as to encompass all these types. So basically this is one of the type called opera buffa. And another important type of comic opera is the intermezzo. An opera buffa was a full-length work with six or more singing characters and was sung throughout. The story of it concentrated on common people in the present day, different from the stories in serious opera, and chose farcical subjects in order to represent the weakness of deceitful husbands and wives, aristocrats and commoners, vain ladies, miserly old men, awkward and clever servants, pedantic layers, bungling physicians, and pompous military commanders.

The comic characters often surrounded by serious characters, making contrast and telling the story happened between them. The recitative (the dialogue) was often set in rapidly. Opera buffa aimed at and won a middle-class audience primarily. The intermezzo was a short piece, usually only two or three segments, which was produced between the acts of a longer, more serious opera. The comic characters were given Their own separate story from a serious opera in the intermezzo. The plots usually presented two or three people and the music proceeded recitatives and arias alternatively.

These intermezzi made contrast sharply with the grand and heroic manners of the principal drama. Different from early opera buffa, the intermezzos were accepted by aristocratic patrons and were performed at court as well as in public opera houses. One of the most famous intermezzi is Pergolesi’s La serva padrona, from 1733. This piece was typical of comic opera in miniature, and it showed aspects that become standard in the opera buffa in late 18th century. La serva padrona has only three roles and only two singing roles: a soprano (Serpina) and a bass (Uberto) with his mute valet (Vespone).

Serpina–young, coquettish, impudent. Uberto, old and grumpy, puts up a show of resistance, but is foolish enough to imagine That Serpina has her eyes on him rather than his possessions. Much of dialogue is written in the rapid simple recitative accompanied only by the harpsichord and usually a sustaining bass Instrument, with the words set to lively, speech like rhythms. Pergolesi’s description of character and emotion through simple, highly contrasting melodic ideas over light accompaniment made his successful and influential in particular.

The later Neapolitan composers were Niccolo Puccinni, Nicola Logroscino and Baldassare Galuppi. In Niccolo Puccinni’s La Buona Figliuola (The Good Girl), serious, sentimental or sad plots began to appear alongside the traditional comic ones. Another development appeared in the comic operas of Nicola Logroscino and Baldassare Galuppi. The ensemble finale which at the end of an act, all the characters were brought on stage gradually, becoming more and more vivacious until it reached a climax.

And this development particularly contributed to be such a notable feature of Mozart’s comic operas. The opera buffa in the later 18th century was extremely important in terms of its influence on the Italian opera seria. The vivacity, expressiveness, and naturalness, the sense of real human emotions as opposed to the lofty gradually found in opera seria. And its characteristics became the precursor to Mozart, Donizetti and Rossini’s comic operas. The comic and serious paths converged, and it appeal to the wider audience which not only want tragedy but also comedy.

Opera Buffa Essay

“P.D.Q. Bach “The Abduction of Figaro” Essay

“P.D.Q. Bach “The Abduction of Figaro” Essay.

This is a grand opera that begins off initially with laughter. This appears to be a theme that reoccurs throughout the piece suggesting that it is a comic opera. The mood is serious yet comical throughout. It was really impressive how the composer orchestrated the story into the opera with elements of comedy in the piece. I can see how the opera plays into the minds of those of the middle class during that time as well. The composer is making light of real life situations that would get people down such as death, sickness, and pain.

That in itself is amazing.

Everything about the composition of this opera is attention getting. There is never a dull moment. The music and instruments follow the dance patterns of the characters as well. From the time Figaro is abducted, there is a clear parody of music from the Baroque and the Classical period. One should particularly enjoy the flutes in this piece. They are like a breath of fresh air.

I imagine them as birds chirping early in the morning giving the overall reflection of the piece a cheery effect while they are played. The flutes are played as a solo while the orchestra accompanies this to enforce certain dynamics throughout the piece. For example, in Scene 1, the dynamics of the opera seem to be geared more towards the Baroque Musical era. The melodies and tone are stable which give the piece structure as the performers insert their comical influences.

There is a numerous amount of dance music throughout the piece as well in which the characters movements accompany the music that is being played. The characters seemingly belletrists dance eloquently while the scenes unfold. The ship scene is a great example of this type of music being performed. This dance music sets the tone for the scene. The use of dance music in this piece is another element that will impress the attendee.

Besides some of the elements mentioned above, the overall plot of the opera keeps the audience tuned in despite its length. The composer’s strong knowledge of music is shown in this piece throughout with the classical examples he uses. The rhythmic patterns of this piece flow seamlessly throughout its duration; which in turn makes it easy for the audience to follow and enjoy. The presentation of this piece is amazing in that it is easy to follow, comical, and tells a story all in one.

In conclusion, the piece is a masterpiece and extremely enjoyable to say the least. I feel that I lucked up and picked one of the best pieces to review. It gives me an all new respect for composers of operas because there are so many different elements of music that have to be considered, ordered, and executed while keeping the attention of the audience. P.D.G. Bach completes all of these tasks to the tee in “The Abduction of Figaro”.

His vast knowledge of music, variation, musical phrases, polyphony, and harmony are shown throughout the duration of this comic opera. This type of skills requires the composers as well as the musicians and singers to be adept at sight and reading with the ability to coordinate with others as the opera is performed. I definitely have a new type of appreciate for composers and creators of operas/symphonies/etc big and small. I can see why these operas were so popular in the 1600s all the way up to 1700s. These had to have been light the rock star shows of that day. This piece lets the listeners recognize it and they are emotionally drawn to it as well. From our studies in this class, I know that those to factors are what Baroque & Classical composers relied on.

“P.D.Q. Bach “The Abduction of Figaro” Essay

Opera Essay

Opera Essay.

The main focus of this article is to explain how political climate impact or affect’s the composition of a certain opera made by the composers. This article also tends to explain how the certain factor affects the reception of the composed opera. Operas can express stories such as history, fictitious dramas and even stories which are humorous. Regarding this, operas are sometimes created basing on facts and sometimes it is made basing on fictions. The characters who act for a certain opera with their powerful voices are the ones who depict a certain role and personality given by the director.

For factitious opera, certain plays or operatic plays are made basing on the political climate of a certain composer’s place. The political climate creates an impact on the composition of the opera itself so as to its reception hence it is not being directly pointed out through the play. Operas are being created with the story similar to the political climate such as to creating scenes or receptions which are unobvious but similar to the real story depicted by the musical play.

The political climate creates a better pact of mutual relationship between individuals in a certain community or system. Individuals have their privilege to influence the decision makers within the political climate (Deutl, 2007). In relation to this, opera are created by the influence of the current political climate on its individual coverage. Composers are being inspired by political climate or political issues which changes the flow of creation and reception of a certain created opera.

For example are political unrest, revolution, political threats, violence, and other more political changes and issues. On a based-on-facts operas, the story of the said play flows depending on the political climate into which it was based from. Operas are said to be consisting of certain plots and those plots that they consist are depicted from the society into which they ought to portray through their musical play. These plots are most often focused on gender issue, political climate, society, and era or period to where the composer created the opera.

Different political climate were depicted in different operatic plays as to Mozart’s four different operas namely Le Nozze De Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi Fan Tutte and Die Zauberflote. Political climate could also affect the created opera through sometimes causing it to be neglected rather than be remembered by the audiences. Below are examples of opera and its theme based on the real political climate during the period that it was composed/ created. Don Carlos Opera and its Political Climate Arts, specially the opera are always a product of the combination of artistic ability and political issue so as to environmental influences.

This is evidently shown in the French operas, that political climate effectively influences the creation of operas in France in which the opera usually creates a mark in every individual’s conscious mind (DELOEUIL, 2007). The French opera also left its impact on the political climate, as operas were being played on stage; it slowly shaped the political climate of the country (DELOEUIL, 2007). It has been a history to the French that since 1660, French opera has often been the utmost artistic way which implicated so much about politics.

It created an impact to the context of the country’s national identity formation so as to being the primary to present the country itself (DELOEUIL, 2007). One example of an opera is the work of Giuseppe Verdi known as the “Don Carlos” opera. It was the very last opera that Verdi composed before he went on to the musical world with his work named Aida. The story goes with Don Carlos and the woman he loved who married his father (musicwithease. com, 2007). Elizabeth de Valois and Don Carlos are said to be lovers but because of a must reason, Elizabeth was forced to marry Philip II who is the father of Don Carlos.

Because of this, Carlos was counseled by Rodrigo to go to the Netherlands in order to mitigate the said cruelties made by the Spaniards toward the Flemings (musicwithease. com, 2007). Don Carlos, seeking for a mediator between him and his father, approached the queen Elizabeth. On the contrary to its result, the former lovers unconsciously brought back their passion and desire for each other. However, the princess who loved Don Carlos noticed the affection between the queen and Carlos and therefore Princess Eboli informed the King about it (musicwithease. om, 2007). The King then put Don Carlos into the bars.

When Don Carlos got out from the prison he trysted with the queen. Unfortunately the King noticed about the affair and captured his son to be condemned to death. This opera is a love story with the conflict twisted by the political means (musicwithease. com, 2007). The creation of this opera by Verdi is explained to be interrelated to the conflict between the liberal political position of the Merchese di Posa and the stubbornness of Filippo for refusing to agree or compromise.

Both of these are subjected to the ecclesiastical authority of the Grande Inquisitore of Paris (Petrobelli, 2001). It is explained that during the year 1813 to 1901, Giuseppe created the grand opera into a way of nationalist propaganda in Italy. His operas such as Don Carlos and others such as Simon Boccanegra and Nabucco are based on political situations. These said operas composed by Verdi were created with plots which were directly imposing something related to politics (Ventures, 2003). Verdi was involved in politics during the year he created his opera Don Carlos.

He became a representative in the province where he lived then he was involved to the national parliament where he became a senator (BreBru. Com, 2007). Although he was busy with his work with the government, Verdi still continued working on his compositions and during this year, Don Carlos became the center of his operas. In relation to this, Verdi made the Italians feel that the artistic opera could provide them a sense of identity. In addition to this, they believe that the opera has the ability to cause a disturbance to the nationalist pride (Ventures, 2003).

Near to Verdi’s end of career, after the fall of the roman republic on the year 1849, Verdi created his work into a focus on social conflicts and that the story of his composed opera Don Carlos was directly targeted by the Roman Catholic Church implying that it is more influential rather than that of the state (Planetpapers. com, 2006). Political History of the Opera’s Story This opera was also based to the real life history of King Philip II of Spain. He dominated the countries such as America and Italy from the year 1598.

Spain was in threats during King Philip’s term but then they defeated the French during the year 1557. After this, the Dutch still remained as a primary problem throughout his reign (Zhang, 2003). In the year 1566, revolution from the Low Countries broke out. Even though he still has his power on a superb army, he did not have the ability to win over the Dutch although he still remained hard from the latter’s demands. Because of the efforts from the combined English and French, King Philip attempted to invade and conquer England which led into a not-worth-it adventure in France after the year 1589.

The said adventure left Spain with lots of economic problem which they could hardly bare. They regained their success through defeating the Turks by the year 1571 and re-obtained the southern part of the Netherlands (Zhang, 2003). Beyond King Philip’s reign, his family history was considered a tragic one. Maria of Portugal was his first wife who died on the year 1545 after their two years of being married. His first wife left him a son named Don Carlos who is said to be violent.

Because of the violence caused by the prince, King Philip was forced to imprison his own son (Zhang, 2003). King Philip married for the second time with Mary I of England in the year 1554 until 1558 but then the marriage came out to be a disaster; unhappy and barren. After all this, Don Carlos died inside his cell, king Philip was then married to his third wife Elizabeth of Valois (Zhang, 2003). After King Philip’s son, Don Carlos died; his wife Elizabeth also died after a span of few months and the king was accused of being responsible for both of the latter’s death.

He was accused of murdering both his son and his wife. King Philip was then left with two daughters to whom he devoted himself (Zhang, 2003). Lastly, King Philip married Anne of Australia on the year 1570. The only sibling who survived was Philip III who, in the past centuries, inherited his throne with a powerful but exhausted empire (Zhang, 2003). Reception The Don Carlos opera did not become a successful opera during the year 19th century but gained its popularity during the latter half of the 20th century.

The opera’s first ever performance was held at the Opera theatre in Paris, France on the year 1867 (Mulcahey, 2006). Discussion Almost all about the real life story of King Philip was taken through the opera, from political to love affairs but the unreliable part about the opera is the love affair between Don Carlos and King Philip’s wife; Elizabeth. Another is that Don Carlos, King Philip’s son from his first wife, is depicted as a heroic type character in the opera, while in reality, he is said to be a violent and impertinent son.

This is the kind of opera which simultaneously created a real history in the world of operas; it dealt with politics, love story, and tragedy which the audiences so loved. Conclusion The opera is the most artistic way into which intellectual artists express their ideologies. Because opera is a free way in order for people to show their emotions, even factitious stories are being played on the stage such as those which were influenced by the political climate in the author’s place during the creation of the play.

Political climate creates a big mark to the mind of our artistic individuals. Therefore those operas which indirectly but obviously depicts political issues were the ones which creates a mark on the viewers conscious minds. On the other hand political climate therefore, is the one of the factors which is responsible for shaping the flow of the opera’s story. The story of the present political issue is taken by the artistic authors and architects and was used to design and create the cast and reception of the opera basing on the real issue itself.

Meanwhile, opera also contributes to the political climate so as to its changes. Because of the opera, people tend to realize what they should revise on their country; they realize what ever the problem is and tends to find a solution for it. It also contributes a lot to the economical state of a certain country conducting an opera play. Based on the example operas above, most of the operas made through centuries were based and/or influenced by the political and social environment during the time that the authors composed the literature.

The reception was also based on the same fact and a character depicts certain people that do exist in the political world or in the society. The story of King Philip’s reign in political life and then obtained disaster in his love and family life caused the opera’s creation to be creative in making an interrelation between politics and love so as to explaining the politics revolving in between the King’s life and how it led into his love affair with his son’s lover Elizabeth.

This is the kind of opera depicting a political issue twisted by the love affair involved in the story. Basically, the opera was based on Schiller’s story but was then edited by Verdi inspired with Political issue which was changed by the flow of the operas creation and reception exemplified by the political unrest during the time of King Philip’s term, the revolutions made by the Dutch, the political threat from the French, the violence between these said countries, and a lot more important details about the political climate during this period.

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Opera Essay