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Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work (called an opera) which combines a text (called a libretto) and a musical score.[1] Opera is part of the Western classical music tradition. While the scale of opera can be larger or smaller - there are many different genres of opera - performance typically involves different types of artist (singers, instrumentalists and often dancers and actors) and technical staff. Usually an orchestra led by a conductor accompanies the singers. In contrast to spoken theatre, the opera world is international. German, French, Italian and English works are performed worldwide in their original languages, and artists travel from country to country performing.[2]

The following is a list of articles on general opera topics:

Essence of opera[edit]

Main article: Opera

Opera in different national traditions[edit]

Operas have been written in a diversity of languages with many countries or regions developing their own operatic style, tradition and history.[3]

Operatic genres[edit]

Main article: List of opera genres

Over the centuries, the original form of opera, as established by Claudio Monteverdi and his contemporaries, has diversified into distinct and recognisable genres, in addition to the national traditions listed above. These include, but are not limited to, the following.

History of opera[edit]

Main article: History of opera

General opera concepts[edit]

Opera house[edit]

Main article: Opera house

Participants in opera[edit]

The participants in an opera performance are similar to, but more specialized than those in other theatrical productions.[2]

Opera performers are at the same time both singers and actors, and often dancers as well. Other participants are:
Audience - Conductor - Director (in the sense of stage director, not general manager or general director (often also called opera director) - Extra - Producer - Prompter - Répétiteur - Stage hand - Stage manager - Technician

Music concepts relevant to opera[edit]

Composer - Libretto - Music - Musical composition - Voice type - Singing - Aria - Orchestra - Score - Sheet music

Theatre concepts relevant to opera[edit]

Blocking - Curtain call - Prop (short for "theatrical property") - Rehearsal - Stage - Stagecraft (Technical theatre) - Theatrical scenery - Ticket

People in opera[edit]

Opera composers, librettists, directors[edit]

Opera singers categories[edit]

Sopranos - Mezzo-sopranos - Contraltos - Countertenors - Tenors - Baritones - Bass-baritones - Basses

Other opera lists[edit]


  1. ^ Some definitions of opera: dramatic performance or composition of which music is an essential part, branch of art concerned with this (Concise Oxford English Dictionary); any dramatic work that can be sung (or at times declaimed or spoken) in a place for performance, set to original music for singers (usually in costume) and instrumentalists (Amanda Holden, Viking Opera Guide); musical work for the stage with singing characters, originated in early years of 17th century (Pears Cyclopaedia, 1983 ed.).
  2. ^ a b Plotkin, Fred (1994). Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera. Hyperion. ISBN 978-0-7868-8025-6. 
  3. ^ Silke Leopold, "The Idea of National Opera, c. 1800," Unity and Diversity in European Culture c. 1800, Tim Blanning and Hagen Schulze (eds), Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 19-34; The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, Stanley Sadie (ed), Grove's Dictionaries of Music, 1992, passim

Additional sources[edit]

  • Apel, Willi (1968). Harvard Dictionary of Music: Second Edition. Belknap Press. ISBN 978-0-674-37501-7. 
  • Grout, Donald (2003). A Short History of Opera. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-11958-0. 
  • Sadie, Stanley (1992). The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-522186-2. 
  • Boyden, Matthew (2007). The Rough Guide to Opera. Rough Guides. ISBN 978-1-84353-538-6. 
  • Boldrey, Richard (1994). Guide to Operatic Roles and Arias. Caldwell Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-877761-64-5. 
  • Warrack, John and West, Ewan (1992), The Oxford Dictionary of Opera, 782 pages, ISBN 0-19-869164-5

External links[edit]

  • Operabase - database for opera companies, artists, managers and performances
  • OperaGlass - a resource at Stanford University including libretti, source texts, performance histories, synopses, discographies and lists of rôle creators.
  • Operissimo - resource for composers and works as well as houses, companies and artists.

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_opera_topics — Please support Wikipedia.
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