Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage by Peter Brown, Suzana Ograjensek

By Peter Brown, Suzana Ograjensek

Opera was once invented on the finish of the 16th century in imitation of the meant kind of supply of old Greek tragedy, and, considering that then, operas in line with Greek drama were one of the most crucial within the repertoire. This number of essays by means of major experts within the fields of Classics, Musicology, Dance stories, English Literature, sleek Languages, and Theatre stories presents a very wide-ranging and distinct assessment of the connection among the 2 genres. on the grounds that tragedies have performed a far greater half than comedies during this department of operatic heritage, the quantity as a rule concentrates at the tragic repertoire, yet a bankruptcy on musical types of Aristophanes' Lysistrata is integrated, in addition to discussions of incidental song, an important a part of the musical reception of old drama, from Andrea Gabrieli in 1585 to Harrison Birtwistle and Judith Weir within the overdue 20th and early twenty-first centuries.

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335–6, 3. 338–9, 5. ; see Borchmeyer (1991), 160–77 (and cf. 73–80). 46 Wagner, C. (1978–80), 1. 417–18. 26 Roger Savage ‘As if the chorus is saying . . ’ It’s a fine blend of Wagner’s nineteenth-century Hellenism with his extension of the Dennis–Eccles–Scheibe–Lessing–Beethoven tradition, a tradition which had a Hellenic origin too. After the Funeral March, and arguably as a result of it, the big symphonic interlude in opera comes to flourish, for example in Debussy’s score for Maeterlinck’s Pelle´as and Me´lisande and Berg’s for Bu¨chner’s Wozzeck.

Semicircularity also reigns in E´tienne-Louis Boulle´e’s huge, visionary, never realized ‘Projet d’Ope´ra’ for Paris in 1781 and equally in the tiny court theatre for ope´ra-comique and spoken drama devised in the late eighteenth century to fit into one of the circular medieval towers of Gripsholm Castle in Sweden, where it can still be seen. In its final form as designed by Erik Palmstedt in 1781–4 29 Algarotti (1963), 187–8. Arnaldi (1762), 4–13. Planelli (1981), 105–8. Saunders (1790), 51 and 87.

Pietro Mascagni and Giovanni Illica include the speaking part of Giocardo, ‘Impresario e Corago’, in their commedia dell’arte opera The Masks (Le maschere, 1901), opening it with a scene in which Giocardo in his corago-role calls a cast meeting to discuss the plot and characters of the show to come: a homage to Perrucci perhaps, who recommends such meetings in Rule 14 of the commedia section of his Dell’arte rappresentativa. And a character named Choragus is not backward in coming forward in Harrison Birtwistle and Stephen Pruslin’s opera Punch and Judy of 1968, where he is chorus leader, presenter, narrator, confidant, props master, and twice a victim of Mr Punch’s homicidal tendencies (though happily he comes back to life again quite soon on both occasions).

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