I’m not here to whine about m deadline. No, seriously. The end is in sight. I’m really looking forward to finishing up the story, which then means I’ll be starting on my next book. Ah, the glamorous life of a writer.
With my head buried in writer-mode, I’ve had to do some last minute research. I left my hero and heroine at the opera together. Since I know so very little about opera I had to spend much of yesterday delving into the exciting world of drama set to incredible music.
Here’s what I discovered.
Opera, put simply, is an art form in which singers and musicians work together to perform a dramatic story set to a musical score. Duh, right? In other words, opera is a form of musical theater in that it has all the common elements of acting, scenery, elaborate costumes and dance. The modern opera incorporates full orchestras, but this wasn’t always true in its earliest form. Often, singers performed with no musical accompaniment or very little. I’m thinking of the movie Pitch Perfect (if you haven’t seen it, you MUST).
Opera was born in Italy at the end of the 16th century. Although England, Germany, and France soon developed their own traditions, Italian opera dominated most of Europe for centuries after its birth. Even Mozart, probably the most renowned opera composer and an Austrian, is famous for his Italian comic operas, The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni.
The words that are sung in an opera are called libretto. Some composers often write both the music and the libretto. Mozart was not one of them. However, he did work closely with his librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte. Traditional operas consist of two types of music/singing—the passage that drives the plot, and the aria, where the singer gets to express the character’s emotional reaction to an event in the storyline. My heroine loves arias. My hero, not so much.
The “golden age” of opera was the 19th century. And I bet that’s all you ever wanted to know about opera. I’ll probably never make it to the Met, but one of these days I plan to watch a performance at my local movie theater that often shows a performance on the big screen. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Since I have several books with scenes at opera houses, leave a comment and you’ll be eligible to win a copy of LOVING BELLA, FINALLY A BRIDE or my upcoming release HIS MOST SUITABLE BRIDE.