Opera



Until the time of Mozart, the language of Operas was Italian, Italy being the country where the art form was developed, the country which produced most composers and many musicians - and, not to forhet, architects, for operas required houses or at least halls specially constructed for that purpose. Opera composers included Antonio Cesti (1623-1669), Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725), Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687), Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759).
In cities such as Milan and Venice, the operas were open to a relatively wide audience. At Versailles, opera was performed for a selective, exclusive audience - Kings, Emperors, persons of wealth and/or political influence commissioned operas which were costly. At the court of Versailles, for courtiers, attendance at the opera (or theatre, ballet etc.) was mandatory. The court of a King or Emperor, for aspiring composers, thus was the place to be in order to make a career. The Imperial court in Vienna attracted Mozart and Beethoven (the latter not a composer of operas).
King Gustavus III. of Sweden was assassinated while attending a masquerade ball held at the opera house (which he had founded in 1782) in Stockholm in 1792. In 1830, the Belgian Revolution broke out after the a performance of Auber's La Muette de Portici at La Monnaie, the Brussels opera house.
Opera music is an elite culture. Still today, the Vienna Opera Ball is the most important cultural event of the year in Austria. The Nobel prizes for Physics, Chemistry and Literature are handed out in the Royal Opera house in Stockholm, the very one King Gustavus III. had fiunded.







EXTERNAL
FILES
Chapters Early Baroque Music, Late Baroque Music, Early 18th Century, Early Classic Style, Late 18th Century, from Music History Resources; telegram style, based on Grout/Palisca
Deutsche Musikgeschichte (History of Music in Germany), from CCn'C Records, in German
History of the Royal Opera House, London
History of the Royal Opera House, Stockholm (in Swedish)
History of La Monnaie, the Opera House of Brussels
Bavarian State Opera: Munich's operatic history, from Bayeische Staatsoper
DOCUMENTS
REFERENCE



This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on September 15th 2003, last revised on November 14th 2004

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