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.
I Consigli di Claudia
Here is Claudia's advice if you want to go the opera in Italy:-
1. Try to read about the story of the opera before you go. This will help you to understand what is happening.
2. Remember to think about EVERYTHING that has gone into creating the opera. All the musicians in the orchestra and the singers have been training for most of their lives to be able to produce the sounds that you are hearing.
3. Call out Bis! (meaning - twice) if a performance was so good that you want to hear it again.
4. Call out Bravo! (meaning - good) after a good performance. For a female performer call out Brava! For a group of performers - Bravi!
5. If, in your opinion, the performance was excellent then you should STAND UP whilst shouting out Bis! or Bravo! or Brava! or Bravi!
6. You could even shout Bravissimo! or Bravissima! or Bravissimi! meaning very good.
7. Do not be shy. Instead, be honest in showing your appreciation! EVERYONE who was involved in the performance should be praised.
8. If you are good at singing, then perhaps you should think about becoming an opera singer.