The Greek Origins Of Opera And Monteverdi Essay

2760 Words12 Pages
Whitney Nieters 28/11/08 It. Opera Research Paper The Greek Origins of Opera Today, in 2008, the arrival of a new millennium has brought the arrival of many cultural and societal changes. However, one art form has managed to survive the centuries…the Opera. It stepped away from the modal characteristics of the Renaissance madrigals to usher in a new musical and theatrical era and in doing so became its own genre, a fundamental style in the world of classical music. It began as a goal in the minds of the Florentine Camarata, a group dedicated to the revival of Greek drama. However, one will find that their efforts, while producing one of the greatest art forms in history, were not truly successful. This paper will discuss the intentions of the Florentine Camarata, the music of ancient Greece, and its correlation with Monteverdi’s masterpiece, L’Orfeo. In 1573, the Camarata became active in Florence, Italy. They believed that music had become corrupt, toying with emotions of mankind. According to Vincenzo Galilei, polyphony, characteristic of the Renaissance music, was not adequate to convey the meaning of words (Boyden 3). The argument over the importance of text versus music was present in ancient Greece and so too, in the Renaissance. These men of the Camarata were determined to return to music’s more humble origins in Greek theater. Unfortunately, the Camarata was hindered by the lack of information about Greek music available to them. They used literary sources, such as Aristotle’s Poetics, to give them an idea about the music of Greek culture. In this book, Aristotle verified that music was an important factor of their tragic dramas: “Tragedy, then, is an imitation of some action that is important, entire, and of a proper magnitude- by language rendered pleasurable…language that has the

More about The Greek Origins Of Opera And Monteverdi Essay

Open Document