Week 6

Week Six
Arcadia Reform (constantly)
Restore opera to its classical purity
Cleansing Venetian comic and bawdy scenes ( 觀眾取向
Arcadian Academy
Zeno, Griselda
這種由Scarlatti建立的模式,大致上由Handel (16851759), Nicola Porpora (1686-1768 Leonardo Vinci (1690130) ), Hasse (1699-1783) 繼承。
Arcadia Reform ET IN ARCADIA EGO
Neoclassicism vs Classicism
Aristotle: 有缺憾的英雄, 可怕的結局, 不適合啟
蒙時期, 道德指標快樂的結局
形塑的是有秩序的道德系統應該發生, 而非
3個社會階層: 統治者, 親信, 僕人
三幕歌劇: 壞蛋, 妒忌的情人, 損友
快樂的結局: 不是依靠 運氣, 睿智; 而是緊要關
頭統治者的干預 (deus ex machina) 不是超自然
Pietro Metastasio (1698-1782)
He sought to promote morality through
entertainment by portraying heroic characters
from ancient Greek or Latin stories
Opera Seria (莊歌劇)一辭 漸漸被使用
The conventional cast consists of two pairs of
lovers with subordinate characters
Stories usually end with a heroic deed or
sublime renunciation by the principal character
Music consists of alternating recitatives and
Recitatives develop the action through dialogue
Arias are soliloquys in which a principal actor
reacts to the events of the previous scene
Occasionally there are duets, larger ensembles,
or choruses
Opera Seria 正歌劇
Recitativo semplice
Fast-moving dialogue
Accompaniment by harpsichord and a bass instrument
Used for most dialogue
Recitativo obbligato
Used for the most important dramatic situations
The orchestra accompanies the singer and alternates with the voice
Opera Seria 正歌劇
J. A. Hasse: Cleofide
Taste: patron, audience, singer, librettist.
Composer was there to serve them
Dramma per muisca: a play for music vs a
play through music
Artaserse: Farinelli
Carlo Broschi (17051782)
Son qual nave
Artaserse: Farinelli
Artaserse 3
Artaserse: Farinelli
Son qual nave ch'agitata /I am like a boat that beaten
da più scogli in mezzo all'onde/ By the waves amidst the
si confonde e spaventata/ Confused and scared
và solcando in alto mar/ Goes plowing in deep sea.
Ma in veder l'amato / But, on seeing the beloved one
lido lascia l'onde/ By the shore, leaves the waves
e il vento infido, / And goes resting
e và in porto a riposar. in the [safe] harbour
Mertasatsio vs Farinelli
宮廷藝術 大眾娛樂
Handel (1685-1759)韓德爾的歌劇
George Frideric
Handel (1685-1759)
First “Classic”
Orchestra music
Career in Opera
Handel Opera Revival
Handel Legacy
After his death, Handel's Italian operas fell into obscurity, save for selections
such as the ubiquitous aria from Serse, "Ombra mai fù". His reputation
throughout the 19th century and first half of the 20th century, particularly in the
Anglophone countries, rested primarily on his English oratorios, which were
customarily performed by enormous choruses of amateur singers on solemn
occasions. These include Esther (1718); Athalia (1733); Saul (1739); Israel in
Egypt (1739); Messiah (1742); Samson (1743); Judas Maccabaeus (1747);
Solomon (1748); and Jephtha (1752). His best are based on a libretto by Charles
Since the 1960s, with the revival of interest in baroque music, original instrument
playing styles, and the prevalence of countertenors who could more accurately
replicate castrato roles, interest has revived in Handel's Italian operas, and many
have been recorded and performed onstage. Of the fifty he wrote between 1705
and 1738, Agrippina (1709), Rinaldo (1711, 1731), Orlando (1733), Ariodante
(1735), Alcina (1735) and Serse (1738, also known as Xerxes) stand out and are
now performed regularly in opera houses and concert halls. Arguably the finest,
however, are Giulio Cesare (1724), Tamerlano (1724) and Rodelinda (1725),
which, thanks to their superb orchestral and vocal writing, have entered the
mainstream opera repertoire
Handel 韓德爾的歌劇
Years in Italy (1706-1710)
helped lay the foundation
of his style
Met the major Italian
composers of the time
Became friends with
Domenico Scarlatti
London years (1710-1759)
In 1710 Handel took a job in Hanover,
Germany, but then took a leave of
absence to produce his opera Rinaldo in
He stayed in London longer than his leave
According to legend, Handel composed a
suite of pieces for wind instruments when
the elector of Hanover became King
George I of England as a way of regaining
favor. (These were published under the
title Water Music.)
With the king and other influential people
as his patrons, Handel would have a long
and prosperous career in London
Henry的Dido and Aeneas《狄朵與埃涅阿斯》
Italian Opera in London
In 1718-19 a group of wealthy
gentlemen started the Royal Academy of
Music to present operas to the London
Handel and others composed Italian
operas for this company until 1727
In 1728 a change in taste forced the
company to stop producing operas, so
Handel took over the theater in 1729
For his colleagues, Handel
included, Senesino (the
Sienese) seems to have
been the star castrato from
hell: vain, insufferably
arrogant, likely to throw a
tantrum at the slightest
provocation. But for three
decades he enraptured
audiences in Italy and
London with the beauty of
his voice (powerful, clear,
equal and sweet ,
according to Johann
Quantz) and his mastery of
both the pathetic and the
brilliant styles. Francesca
Italian Opera in London
Handel continued to produce Italian
operas during the 1730s, but in a
somewhat lighter style than his 1720s
Rinaldo (1710)
Giulio Cesare凱撒(1724),Rodelinda (1724),
Serse (1738)
George Frideric Handel. Opera in three
acts. 1711.
Libretto by Giacomo Rossi, on a
scenario by Aaron Hill.
First performance at the King's Theatre,
London, on 24th February 1711.
Goffredo, Captain General of the Christian army
(male) alto
Almirena, his daughter, betrothed to Rinaldo
Rinaldo, a Christian hero
(male) mezzo-soprano
Armida, a sorceress, Queen of Damascus
With his crusaders, Goffredo, who has promised Rinaldo the
hand of his daughter Almirena, is attacking Jerusalem. Argante
seeks a truce during which Armida, through her magic, abducts
Rinaldo's beloved Almirena. Rinaldo resolves to find Almirena,
now a prisoner in Argante's palace, but he is intercepted by
Armida, now in the guise of Almirena, whom he rejects. Armida's
anger is further aroused when Argante, thinking he is addressing
Almirena, protests his love for her. Goffredo, in the third act,
reaches Armida's magic mountain, helped by a magic wand,
given him by a Christian magician, an aid in warding off the
monsters that guard the place. In Armida's garden Rinaldo is
prevented from killing the sorceress, from whose murderous
intentions he has just saved Almirena, by the intervention of the
Furies. The arrival of Goffredo with the magic wand transforms
the garden into a desert. Argante and Armida, now reconciled,
review their troops and the Christian forces prepare for battle in
which they are victorious, thanks to the heroism of Rinaldo.
Argante and Armida are taken prisoner but are pardoned and
become Christians.
Rinaldo was not only Handel's first opera for London but
also the first Italian opera specifically written for the English
capital. It won a popular success that led to Handel's return
and subsequent involvement with Italian opera in London
over the course of a number of years. The genre itself
provoked conservative and xenophobic criticism, with
Addison and Steele poking fun at the mixture of realism and
impossible fantasy, the first element provided by a flock of
birds set loose on the stage and thence in the auditorium.
There is much fine music in the opera, but most notably the
lament of the captive Almirena, Lascia ch'io pianga (Let me
weep), the counterpart of Rinaldo's own lament for her loss,
Cara sposa (Dear spouse). The opera is spectacular in its
effects, with a final transformation scene as Armida's garden
and palace are changed to a desert with a distant view of
Jerusalem, and a battle to bring the forces of good their final
expected victory
Rinaldo Cara
Cara sposa, amante cara,/My dear betrothed, my
dear one,
dove sei? /where are you?
Deh! Ritorna a' pianti miei./Come back at my tears!
Del vostro Erebo sull'ara/Evil spirits, I defy you
colla face del mio sdegno/with the fire of my
io vi sfido o spirti rei!/on your infernal altar.
Rinaldo: Venti, turbini
Venti, turbini, prestate/ Winds, storms, lend
Le vostr'ali a questo piè./your wings to my feet.
Cieli, numi, il braccio armate/Heavens,
gods, strengthen my arm
Contro chi pena mi diè./against those who
have caused me sorrow.
Rinaldo: Lascia ch'io pianga
Lascia ch'io pianga / Let me weep over
mia cruda sorte, /my cruel fate,
E che sospiri la libertà!/ And that I long for freedom!
E che sospiri, And that I long,
e che sospiri la libertà! and that I long for freedom!
Il duolo infranga /The duel infringes
queste ritorte /these images
de miei martiri /of my sufferings
sol per pietà, /I pray for mercy.
de miei martiri/ for my sufferances.
sol per pietà. I pray for mercy.
Rodelinda, regina de' Longobardi
(HWV 19) is an opera seria in three acts. It was based on a
libretto by Nicola Francesco Haym, in turn based on an
earlier libretto by Antonio Salvi. Salvi's libretto originated
with Pierre Corneille's play "Pertharite, roi des Lombards".
It was first performed at the King's Theatre in the
Haymarket, London, on 13 February 1725. It was produced
with the same singers as Tamerlano. There were 14
performances and it was repeated on 18 December 1725,
and again on 4 May 1731. It was also performed in
Hamburg. The first modern production was in Göttingen on
26 June 1920.
Rodelinda: Dove sei
Dove sei, amato bene? Where are you, my beloved?
Vieni, l'alma a consolar. Come and comfort my heart.
Sono oppresso da' tormenti I am stricken with anguish
ed i crudeli miei lamenti and only by your side
sol con te posso bear. can my cruel sorrow be lightened
Ombra mai fu, Serse's aria from Serse
Frondi tenere e belle Tender and beautiful fronds
Del mio Platano amato, of my beloved plane tree,
Per voi risplenda il Fato Let Fate smile upon you .
Tuoni, Lampi, e Procelle May thunder, lightning, and storms
Non vi oltraggino mai la cara pace, never bother your dear peace,
Ne giunga a profanarvi Austro rapace. Nor may you by blowing winds be
Ombra mai fu Never was made
Di Vegetabile, A vegetable (a plant)
Care ed amaile more dear and loving
Soave piu. or gentle.