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Romantic Opera. Verismo – A style of opera that is distinguished by realistic, sometimes sordid or violent, depictions of contemporary everyday life; especially the life of the lower classes. Libretto- ’Story’ (text) of the opera

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romantic opera
Romantic Opera
  • Verismo – A style of opera that is distinguished by realistic, sometimes sordid or violent, depictions of contemporary everyday life; especially the life of the lower classes.
  • Libretto-’Story’ (text) of the opera
  • Recitative- a style of delivery in which a singer is allowed to adopt the rhythms of ordinary speech
  • Aria- a self-contained piece for one voice usually very emotionally expressive
  • Overture- the instrumental introduction to an opera
carmen by georges bizet
Carmenby Georges Bizet
  • Premiered March 3, 1875 in Paris, France
  • Initial failure
  • Start of ‘Verismo’
    • very controversial
carmen by georges bizet1
Carmenby Georges Bizet
  • Characters:
    • Carmen, A Gypsy Girl mezzo-soprano
    • Don José, Corporal of Dragoons tenor
    • Escamillo, Toreador bass-baritone
  • Synopsis: Set in Seville, Spain (1830)
    • Carmen wants what she doesn’t have, and sets her sights on Don Jose.
    • She successfully seduces him, then discards him
    • He kills her
pagliacci by ruggero leoncavallo
Pagliacciby Ruggero Leoncavallo
  • Premiered on May 21, 1892
  • “One hit wonder”
  • Prologue and two acts in verismo style
    • Immediate success
  • Play within a play
  • “Sad clown” idea
pagliacci by ruggero leoncavallo1
Pagliacciby Ruggero Leoncavallo
  • Characters:
    • Canio, head of the troupe (Pagliaccio) tenor
    • Nedda, Canio's wife,in love with Silvio, soprano
    • Tonio, the fool, baritone
    • Silvio, Nedda's lover, baritone
  • Synopsis: Set in Southern Italy, 1865
    • Nedda, cheating on Canio with Silvio, is planning to elope when her plans are spoiled by Tonio
    • Canio catches someone sneaking out and is enraged, but prepares for his performance
    • Losing control at the performance, Canio demands to know the name of the lover, and kills the two of them
vesti la giubba
Vesti la Giubba

To act! While out of my mind,I no longer know what I say,or what I do!And yet it's necessary... make an effort!Bah! Are you not a man?You are Pagliaccio!Put on your costume,powder your face.The people pay to be here, and they want to laugh.And if Harlequin shall steal your Columbine,laugh, Pagliaccio, so the crowd will cheer!Turn your distress and tears into jest,your pain and sobbing into a funny face - Ah!Laugh, Pagliaccio,at your broken love!Laugh at the grief that poisons your heart!

madame butterfly by giacomo puccini
Madame Butterflyby Giacomo Puccini

Premiered on February 17, 1904

Exoticism in 2 acts

Inspiration for the movie “Fatal Attraction”

Other hits include La Boheme

madame butterfly
Madame Butterfly


Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly) Soprano

B. F. Pinkerton, Lieutenant in the US Navy tenor

Synopsis (Set in Nagasaki, Japan)

Pinkerton marries the young Butterfly who is completely devoted to him

He leaves, promising to come back, but years pass, and he finds another women

He returns to Japan for his child and Butterfly, devastated, kills herself