Opera As a Music Drama

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I know that Opera was the highlights of the Baroque era, a period of energy and motion, of ornamentation and extremes between the Renaissance and the Classical Era. It was created as a new use of homophony with the hope of reviving classical Greek drama around the year 1600 as part of the broader Renaissance movement. It began in Italy and soon spread across Europe. Claudio Monteverdi, who would be recognized as one most influential composers created the success of opera by using a few years. 2. Browse through the staged music drama videos on the assignment page in Canvas and choose at least two of them to watch.

Indicate which you watched. Briefly, compare and contrast the dramatic art forms, paying special attention to the music. The videos I watched are the Chinese and Japanese staged music drama. Peking Opera or Chinese Opera is a combination of amalgam arts and martial arts that including song, dance, acrobats, and there are a lot of instruments being used in the Chinese Opera than the Japanese Opera, for example, pipes, xiaoluo, erhu. The purpose of Peking Opera is to educate young people about culture and history, it starts with young people, and most of them are children(male).

Also, the Opera voices in Peking Opera are not particularly expected, and it is not like Operas from Japan or western Europe because Peking Opera is an amalgam of everything, including music, dance, and art; so it is not only focusing on the voice. The Japanese Opera are originally performed by female prostitutes, but then it was banned around the 15th century, and young males start performing it. It is more about acting and dance, which is a little bit different from the Chinese Opera. Moreover, I think the music of traditional melodies and the way they sing between Chinese Opera and Japanese Opera are very different.

What kinds of music-dramas are popular today? Provide several examples. I think there are two kinds of music-dramas are popular today, which are the book musical drama and revue musical drama. The book musical drama a traditional musical with a story, and the music, dance move and characters are following the story. For example, ‘CATS,’ ‘The Book of Mormon,’ and ‘Oklahoma’ are all book musical drama.

The second one is revue musicals, it is being performed to show a theme, and it is a combination of singing, dancing, music, and sketches. For instance: “Side by Side” by Stephen Sondheim. I think singing instead of merely speaking in staged drama is because it can show the emotions and feeling of the character in the story, the situation and the culture more vividly, lively and clearly because of the melody of the music, the pitch and notes of the characters’ voices, the crescendo and decrescendo of the verse.

Singing is the central part of all staged drama, and different kinds of staged drama would add dance, martial arts or others, sing it can also make the character or the story more imposing and pass more meaning and emotions to audiences. All of these can help people truly understand the meaning of what the characters are trying to present. For instance, the purpose of Peking Opera is to educate young people about culture and history; it includes history stories. Overall, it is good to sing for the staged drama rather than speak out the words.


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Opera As a Music Drama. (2021, Mar 28). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/opera-as-a-music-drama/

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