Brief History of Opera from Monteverdi to Lully

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Write a brief history of opera from Monteverdi to Lully. With its small beginnings lying around the 1600s, opera became the principle genre of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and has remained at the helm of music ever since. In the early stages of opera only a few composers, such as Jacopo Peri and Guilio Caccini, had composed any form opera. It was when Claudio Monteverdi composed his first opera, L’Orfeo that opera took off as an art. Composers such as Luigi Rossi, Jean Baptiste Lully and Francesco Cavalli, who were influenced by Monteverdi’s genius, followed closely behind. Claudio Monteverdi has often been heralded as the father of opera. However, although he may have been the first genius to ever compose an opera in the seventeenth century, he was not the first. The following passage accurately highlights this: It is sometimes not the originator of an idea, but the first person to show its full potential, who gives it a permanent place in human history. So it was with opera, whose first great composer was not Peri or Caccini but Claudio Monteverdi Monteverdi was born in Cremona, in northern Italy, in 1567. Even at an early age Monteverdi showed signs of being an accomplished composer and by 1590 he had entered the service of Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua. Even though this brief insight of Monteverdi’s early life may seem insignificant it was in fact the Gonzagas who commissioned Monteverdi’s first opera La favola d’Orfeo (1607). This work is the earliest opera to still be produced on the modern opera stage. It fuses the characteristics of the experimental recitative opera (founded by the Florentine Camerata) and also appears to be modelled upon L’Euridice, an opera composed in 1600 by Jacopo Peri, due to the similarities in subject and the mixture of styles used. However, due to the progress made in composition and also due to Monteverdi’s

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