|← Music and Learning Environment||Improvisation in Theatre and Dance →|
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart was born in Austria in 1751, he wrote works in almost every genre. His father, Leopold taught Mozart how to play instruments including the violin, harpsichord and organ and he began composing by the age of six. To this day, Mozart is remembered for his contributions. Among his contributions, Mozart wrote 41 symphonies, 21 concertos, 13 serenades among others (WAMozartfan.com).
Rossini was born in 1792 in Pesaro Italy into a family of musicians. He also started his musical career early on at the age of six. He produced his first opera at the age of 18, La Cambiale di Matrimonio in Venice. His most famous works are William Tell and The Barber of Seville or “Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Rossini was nicknamed “Monsieur Crescendo” as a result of the characteristic mannerism evident in his musical writing (Gioachino Rossini).
Opera can be described as a visual and audible art and it is a fulfillment of the Baroque intention of integrating the arts with music and drama being the fundamental components. In the beginning, operas were staged in settings that were courtly. In the 1600’s, the themes of operas were to a greater extent based on mythology, either Greek or Italian and people with noble characters were mostly featured. These performances promoted aristocratic ideals (Sorabella, J.).
In the 17th and 18th centuries, set designers and the creators of theatrical machinery at times received greater praise than the composers, even though music and drama were the characteristic features of opera. Monteverdi employed the use of recitative and lyrical solos, instrumental color and madrigals in a wide range of classical themes. He wrote works for the public operas after the first public opera house was opened in 1637. Since then, the public became and continues to be the primary audience of these performances (Sorabella,J.)
Towards the end of the 18th century, opera had gained international recognition and was performed in different countries in Europe including Italy, England, France as well as the Habsburg Empire; Italian, however, was the standard libretto language. Focus shifted from the set and on stage machinery to the quality of music; the quality rose highly during this time. Composers that included Georg Handel made the orchestra to include wind instruments such as horns and even drums which complemented the original string instruments. Castaro soprano voice was more often than not given the main part which was heroic. Mozart brought about dramatic purpose in the music voices and orchestra at the end of the 18th century (Sorabella,J.)
In the 19th century, the audience of the opera was broadened; composers, actors, theatre impresarios and singers competed for popularity. Broad cultural movements for example romanticism and realism became evident in operas. Some composers of this time also featured high tragedy in their compositions (Sorabella,J.)
The evolution of opera which has its origins in Greek mythology indeed underwent a metamorphosis of some sort in the period between 1600 to1800. Among the most notable players in this development include Monteverdi, Handel, Mozart and Rossini who are widely regarded to be geniuses in their own right. Their influence in this genre is evident in opera houses to this day.