The singers have a range of voices, some high and some low. The highest female voice is the s_________, the lower one a m______ Soprano and the lowest is Alto. There are usually three types of male voice. The highest is the t_______, followed by the Baritone and the lowest is the b_______. There are different roles that are usually given to each character. The Soprano usually gets the most sympathetic roles. They are normally the wives who are being c_________ on. The MezzoSoprano roles play the spiciest and juiciest roles. They often can be tramps or w________. They are e_______ characters that cause suffering to the Sopranos. The Altos sound almost like guys. Their parts were originally written for b_____ because females were not allowed to be on stage. Altos are usually maids, mothers or grandmothers. Tenor parts are generally likeable. They are usually vulnerable men who love too much. Baritones have a m_______ range. They are all round fun loving guys, who are often the hero. The Bass singers have the lowest voice. They often play the role of the p_______ or father. Task 3 Choose from these words: Priest Soprano Boys Tenor Witches Mezzo Evil Medium Bass Cheated Have a go at thinking up your own opera plot. Outline the characters and singers using the information above Outline what will happen in the 3 acts Have a go at designing costumes or scenery for your characters Make it exciting and interesting. You can do anything – it’s your show! Break a leg A Night at the Opera When you think about operas you might get the idea of overweight ladies singing in a screechy voice for hours on end about nothing. And posh ladies and gentlemen of a certain age with their best clothes and jewellery on, drinking champagne and paying hundreds of pounds for a ticket. Or boring plots and even more boring songs. And you’d be right. But you’d also be wrong. Opera is about much more than fat ladies and posh men. In the opera theatre we see love, death, heaven, hell, sex, lies, deception and murder – and loud music too. And it’s the grandfather of today’s musicals and films. So, for the next few minutes, read this worksheet and learn about a really important style of musical theatre. You might even like it! What is opera? An opera is a theatre piece, like a play. But instead of speaking their lines the characters sing them. Even Broadway musicals such as Les Miserables, Evita, and Cats are actually operas. Until very recently going to an opera was like going to a movie. People went to an opera as you might go to a rock concert: to have FUN! They went to see their favourite stars and hear their favourite tunes. They wore casual clothes; they brought along food and drinks; they even cheered during the show. Classical music was their pop music. Where does opera come from? Opera originated from the Ancient Greeks (800-100BC). They developed dramatic versions of religious tales (myths), which included singing and chanting. People would sit outside watching a live performance of their favourite religious story. It was not until the 10th century that opera was developed. Imagine you are a monk. Your job is to spread the message of Christianity, the hot new religion sweeping the land. You have a brainstorm: “Hey, didn’t the ancient Greeks use some kind of musical plays in their religious service? Why, we could do that too!” This is exactly what happened. To break the boredom of long services, the Europeans started to write little Bible opera-ettes, complete with costumes and singing. Operas became a part of Italian entertainment. We now know that opera was born in ancient Greece and raised in Italy. But one by one, other countries adopted opera as their own, taking it in new and different directions. These other countries include France, Germany and England. Task 1 In full sentences below, answer the following questions: Q1. Where did opera originate? _______________________________________________________ Q2. In the past was opera popular? Why? _______________________________________________________ Q3. What happened in the 10th century? _______________________________________________________ Q4. Does opera still exist today? If so give some examples. _______________________________________________________ Task 2 Fill in the gaps Like a play, an Opera is based on a story line (the plot or synopsis) and the story is broken down into Acts and s________. There is no speaking in Opera only singing, unlike musicals where there are both. There are main characters, minor characters who play a smaller role, and the c_________. An Opera is made up of different types of music: Song or r______, sung dialogue or r______________ and the Overture (orchestral introduction). The songs are presented in different ways to add interest. Choose from these words: For example: Recitative Chorus Solo § S_______ - the singer sings alone. Ensemble Scenes Aria Duet § D_______ - two singers sing together. § E_______ – lots of singers. § Chorus – a song that only the chorus sing.