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Opera Basics


Opera Basics Created by: Laura Dedic Madison Central High School What is Opera? An Opera is a musical drama or comedy where the actors sing rather then speak their lines. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Opera Basics

Opera Basics
  • Created by
  • Laura Dedic
  • Madison Central High School

What is Opera?
  • An Opera is a musical drama or comedy where the
    actors sing rather then speak their lines.
  • "Opera" is derived from the Italian word opus,
    which means work of art.

The Opera Story
  • An opera tells a story. It can come from many
  • including history, current events, magic, Bible,
    and fairy tales, legends, literature, poetry, and
  • Opera can be funny, sad, scary, dramatic,
    mysterious, imaginary, or a combination of the

The Art Forms Included in Opera
  • Opera is a combination of many art forms
  • singing,
  • orchestra,
  • music,
  • acting,
  • dancing,
  • mime,
  • costumes,
  • scenic design and
  • painting,
  • lighting,
  • and makeup design.

  • An Opera is structured like a play, with acts,
    scenes, and a variety of vocal forms including
  • Arias (solos),
  • Ensembles (for 2 or more singers),
  • and Chorus (for a large group of singers).

Operatic Terms
  • The Libretto contains all of the words of an
    opera. The Librettist is the person who writes
    the words for the opera.
  • Characters are the people in the story.
  • A Synopsis is a short summary of what takes place
    in the story.

Operatic Terms
  • The Composer writes the music for the opera. All
    of the music, both vocal (for singers) and
    orchestral (for instrumentalists) is written in
    the Score.
  • The score should reflect the mood, events, and
    emotions of the characters in the story.

Operatic Terms
  • Recitative is the sung narrative (speaking) which
    propels the action of the story.
  • Aria is a solo number for a singer. This comes
    from the Italian word meaning tune or song. This
    is usually where the character expresses their
    feelings about a situation.

Opera Voices
  • Classically trained singers learn to use their
    voices so that they can be heard over a full
    symphony. They do this by learning to strengthen
    their diaphragms so they can project a steady
    stream of air that helps create a big sound.
  • Female voices are divided into three categories
  • Soprano (highest) Prima Donna
  • Mezzo-Soprano (middle range)
  • Alto and Contralto (lowest)
  • Male voices are divided into three categories
  • Tenor (highest)
  • Baritone (middle range)
  • Bass (lowest)

Trip to the Kentucky Opera
  • KET Enclyclomedia
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