What is Opera?
The word “opera” is an abbreviation of an Italian phrase “opera in musica” which means, work in music. Opera is a theatrical work consisting of dramatic text expressed through music and is performed with scenery, customers and movements. In other words, it is a story told through a song. To most people, opera is considered to be a complete form of art because it combines all elements of arts, such as words, music, drama and dance, in one single work.
Opera is done in music because it has been the best way to communicate with people, their reactions and their emotions. After all, music is the best way of expressing one’s self, right? In fact, even better than words and pictures. Opera is all about any type of dramatic story but it becomes more exciting by adding music in it. Many famous stories are made into operas in the past such as Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet.
The History Opera
Music historians have been debating about the beginning of opera. Some say that the history of opera can be traced back to the ancient Greeks. The Greeks had combined poetry and music which allows them to create plays using songs, spoken languages and dance together with some instruments. During the early 1100s, the Catholic churches set liturgical dramas – religious stories told through music. The first true Opera was Daphne, a story of Greek myth. The first opera composer was Claudio Monteverdi and some of his operas are still performed up to these days.
Where did Opera start?
While the origin of opera started from the Greeks, however, the courts of northern Italy, especially in Florence, was the most important aspect of the opera development. Florence was the birthplace of opera at the end of the century because of the influences of cultural forces which includes theatrical tradition, civic humanism and Florentine view of music.
Opera in different parts of the world
Italy was famous for opera being its birthplace. In fact, Claudio Monteverdi was from Italy, one of the famous and first opera composers in the world. As opera started to get known as a form of entertainment, it spread to the rest of Europe. Eventually, each of the countries has different kinds of opera reflecting their own musical styles and stories. For example, Italians are famous for their love of singing, thus Italian operas have put importance on singers and beautiful human voices. On the other hand, the French loved pictorial side of opera, putting more emphasis on visual spectacle such as dancing.
The more you know about opera, the more you can enjoy it. Opera has a rich history, something that we continue to enjoy up to today.