By Peter Brown, Suzana Ograjensek
Opera was once invented on the finish of the 16th century in imitation of the meant variety of supply of historic Greek tragedy, and, considering the fact that then, operas in keeping with Greek drama were one of the most crucial within the repertoire. This selection of essays through prime specialists within the fields of Classics, Musicology, Dance reviews, English Literature, sleek Languages, and Theatre stories offers an extremely wide-ranging and specific evaluation of the connection among the 2 genres. because tragedies have performed a miles greater half than comedies during this department of operatic historical past, the quantity generally concentrates at the tragic repertoire, yet a bankruptcy on musical models of Aristophanes' Lysistrata is integrated, in addition to discussions of incidental song, a vital a part of the musical reception of old drama, from Andrea Gabrieli in 1585 to Harrison Birtwistle and Judith Weir within the overdue 20th and early twenty-first centuries.
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Additional resources for Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage
At the other pole, we are clearly dealing with real precedent in the recommendation of the cavea to modern theatre-designers. The monuments were there; plans of ancient theatres existed; Roman ruins could be visited and from around the turn of the nineteenth century Greek ones too. Beyond their grandeur and allure—Szymanowski captures these well in King Roger—the buildings had ﬁne acoustics and sightlines, but, apart from Semper in his Crystal Palace jeu d’esprit, their eighteenth- and nineteenth-century champions didn’t have the production of exact architectural facsimiles in mind.
And nineteenth-century philhellenism in northern Europe—‘the Tyranny of Greece over Germany’ (to borrow the title of E. M. Butler’s ‘Study of the Inﬂuence of Greek Art and Poetry over the Great German Writers’, 1935)—clearly fuelled Wagner’s obsession with the circumstances and achievement of Greek tragedy, manifested inter alia in his aligning the chorus of antiquity with the modern symphony orchestra and his pioneering, armin-arm with Semper, of the ideal of the cavea-segment for the operatic auditorium.
As for Semper, his own Wanderjahre in the early 1830s had taken him to Italy and Greece, where he had seen and—keen archaeologist and erudite theatre historian that he was—stored up memories of theatrical sites such as those at Pompeii and Epidauros (treading gingerly through the aftermath of the Greek War of Independence to see the latter). Returning, he made his mark with the Hoftheater at Dresden, ﬁnished in 1841 and extending the classicizing tradition with its use of a semicircular outer wall which expressed the shape of the auditorium within.
Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage by Peter Brown, Suzana Ograjensek