23 Oct The Timeless World of Opera
Vishal C. shares a compelling narrative about the timeless world of opera.
The word “opera” originates from the Latin word “work”. It is described as a dramatic art characterised by actors singing on instrumentals in a completely musical form. It initially has no spoken dialogue but later adapted to include dialogues along with an ending that was pleasing to the senses. The history of opera dates back around 400 years old in Florence, Italy when a small group known as the Florentine Camerata decided to recreate the storytelling of Greek drama through music. The earliest work labelled ‘opera’ was Dafne (1594-1598) by Jacopo Peri.
Initially started off as a form of entertainment for the wealthy such as emperors and kings, operas were similar to ballets but with singing; focusing both on music as well as movements. Through time, opera composers had to change their performances along with music to make it more adaptable for everyone. It uniquely combines theatre, narrative, music, and the human voice in extravagant and paradoxical ways. As opera gradually became more commercialised, composers started to refer the latest novels in order to adapt them for the stage, similar to how films and TV do today with famous books. It is now considered as multimedia instead of a musical art form.
The top 5 famous Opera houses in the world
1. La Scala
It was built in 1778 and is regarded as one of the most prominent opera and ballet theatres in the world. It is home to La Scala Theatre Chorus, La Scala Theatre Ballet, and La Scala Theatre Orchestra. Most of the greatest operatic performers in Italy and various singers from around the world have appeared at La Scala during the past 200 years. One of La Scala’s most original features is the concave channel under the wooden floor of the orchestra, which gives the theatre excellent acoustics.
2. The Bolshoi
The Bolshoi is one of the premier theatres in Russia that survived the ravages of revolution, fire, and war. It has a neoclassic entrance, crowned by a statue of “Apollo in his chariot.” It is home of Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera which are amongst the oldest and most renowned ballet and opera companies in the world. The theatre is the parent company of The Bolshoi Ballet Academy, a world-famous leading school of ballet.
3. The Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House is a major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London. It is often referred to as “Covent Garden”, after a previous use of the site for the opera house’s original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. The first opera show performed at the opera house was by George Handel in 1735.
4. Sydney Opera House
It opened in 1973 and is located on the Sydney Harbour. The structure was designed by Jørn Utzon and has a magnificent view of the sailboat-dotted water. It hosts well over 1,500 performances annually, attended by more than 1.2 million people. Performances are presented by numerous performing artists, including four resident companies: Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
5. Paris Opera
Built in 1875, Paris Opera is considered the most famous opera house in the world. It holds both ballet and opera performances that has magnificent interiors capturing the tastes and attitude of France’s Second Empire. It includes very elaborate multicoloured marble friezes, columns, and lavish statuary, many of which portray deities of Greek mythology. It is an enduring symbol of Paris like the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, and the Sacré Coeur Basilica.
What do you need to know about Dubai Opera?
The architectural design of the Dubai Opera is inspired by Emirati heritage based on a show. It was built as a multi-format art theatre with a venue capacity of 2,000. Located at Downtown Dubai, it offers various shows from Operas, Broadway Musicals, Classical Music Concerts, Jazz, Family Comedy Shows, Ballet and other productions.
Opera shows communicate knowledge, culture, and values to the audience. An artistic performance is the closest to expressing human emotion. It conveys the most vivid stories offering a reflection to the audience by showing how we relate to other people and what’s the significance of this relationship.
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