Essay on The History of Italian Opera

2808 Words May 8th, 2008 12 Pages
The History of Italian Opera
There are many forms of art such as, paintings, sculptures, buildings, etc. Opera is another form of art though it may not seem like art to many people. “Few forms of art… are as overtly involved as opera in the social and historical contexts within which they are created and consumed” (Lindenberger 235). Italian opera which obviously formed in Italy is a form of art in the Italian language. It was introduced in Italy in the 1600s. Ironically many composers of Italian opera were from other areas of the world rather than Italy. However, there are many famous composers who were born and raised in Italy. These operas written by these composers are some of the most famous throughout the world.
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Metastasio was born in Rome and was Italian poet and writer. This is how he got involved in the drama and music of the 18th century. With this idea of serious opera came another idea, comic opera. Comic opera was known as opera buffa. This idea of comic opera took place in the later half of the 18th century. Carlo Goldoni, who wrote play and Baldassare Galuppi, who was a composer were two of the names that came together to make comic opera successful. Comic opera gained much more recognition than it ever had before with the help of Galuppi. “Operas were now divided into two or three acts, creating libretti for works of a substantially greater length, which differed significantly from those of the early 18th century in the complexity of their plots and the psychology of their characters” (Wikipedia). Another very important character during the 18th century was Christoph Willibald Gluck. He was most known for his works in the form of operas. He was born in Erasbach. When he moved to Milan in 1737 he was a student of G.B. Sammartini who was said to have taught him all about what instruments were capable of doing. Gluck was known for traveling a lot, to such places as Vienna, Paris, and London. He was the first to really be successful in leaving his mark on the history of opera. He did this by trying to create a simple work that still remained as elegant as that of other famous works by other composers. Niccolò Piccini and Tommaso

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