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Thread: Opera terms

  1. #1
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    Default Opera terms

    Please help me find good examples for these opera terms as defined by Donald Sanders in his book, "Experiencing Verdi: A listener's companion".

    1. da capo aria: "three-part which an opening section (A) is followed by another (B) that usually contrasts in mood and key. At the end of B, A is repeated, providing the opportunity for the singer to improvise embellishments."

    Example: Non lo dirro col labbro-Handel's Tolomeo

    Do you agree? If not, why not?

    2.-3. cantabile: "...the first section of a standard two- or three- part a moderate to slow tempo..."

    Batti, batti, o bel Masetto (first part)-Don Giovanni

    cabaletta: " section of a bel canto aria..livelier than a cantabile...vocal agility...sudden emotional shift..."

    Batti, batti (second part) "Pace, pace, o vita mia..."

    Am I right?

    4. cadenza: "An improvisatory passage...usually in virtuosic style."

    I need help on this one. Examples, anyone? It sounds dangerous.

    5. stretta: "A section added to the end of a bel canto opera ensemble in which the tempo becomes markedly faster."

    Any examples that come to mind would be useful.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2011
    Madrid, Spain
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    Take a look here: Opera terms

    and see if your questions are answered.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2018
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    1.) I haven't heard that Handel aria, but given that most of his arias are da capo arias, i'm sure that's correct. The first one that really "showed" me what ABA form was "Piangero la Sorte Mia" from Giulio Cesare.
    2.) I'd say a better all around example for this form (this is just the first that comes to mind) is "Ah, fors'e lui" and "Sempre libera" from La Traviata.
    4.) A cadenza normally comes right before the end of an aria. Cadenzas (cadenzae?) are usually wordless and just have one vowel. Listen to almost any Verdi aria, and towards the end you'll find a cadenza. Try "Caro Nome" from Rigoletto. (I could be incorrect and they might not be "real" cadenzas, but i'm pretty sure of myself.)
    5.) "Vanne si" from Norma?

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