Some useful information about Italian opera
by Claudia, age 12.
1. Opera began in Italy. The word 'opera' actually means a 'work', probably because so much 'work' goes into making an opera. It is like a play but the actors must sing all the words and an orchestra plays the music.
2. The first opera was called Dafne, composed by Jacopo Peri in 1598.
3. The first great composer of opera was Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) and his works are still performed today.
4. Nowadays, the most well-known Italian composers of opera are Verdi and Puccini. Other opera composers are Mascagni, Bellini, Donizetti and Leoncavallo.
5. Usually, an opera is very long, with three or four Acts.
There are some short operas that have only one or two Acts.
6. The most famous opera house in Italy is Il Teatro alla Scala in Milan. The most famous opera house in the UK is The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London.
7. Some famous opera singers are Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Callas, Enrico Caruso, Giuseppe di Stefano, Andrea Bocelli, Mirella Freni, Mario del Monaco, Renata Tebaldi, Mario Lanza, Roberto Alagna, Plácido Domingo, Francesco Albanese, Marcelo Álvarez.