Music In The Three Operas

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Opera is defined as an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text, the libretto, and musical score usually in a theatrical setting. The three operas in this assignment, Don Giovanni, La Bohème, and Wozzeck, all do just that; however, in comparing their storylines, their instrumentation, the effectiveness of the music telling the story, and the vocal aspects of the music, these operas are not completely alike. Mozart, with Lorenzo Da Ponte as the librettist, wrote Don Giovanni. It was based on a popular fictional character from the novel entitled Don Juan. La Bohème was written by Giacomo Puccini with librettists Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. This opera was based on the novel Scènes de la vie de bohème…show more content…
At times the music swells when Wozzeck is shouting about the murder he has just committed. The orchestra uses percussion instruments to help the audience understand the enormity of the event. The music also mirrors the character’s state of mind, that of confusion and panic. As Wozzeck slowly goes crazy, the music becomes more scattered, ebbing and flowing in and out of the melody, very disjointed, a perfect reflection of the vocals by the main character. Both simultaneously convey the message of the storyline. In Don Giovanni Act I, the opening music is very fast and loud, powerful and emotional causing the audience to wonder what is about to happen. Once the vocals begin, they reflect the emotions expressed by the instrumentation. It is apparent that this opera is from the classical era because of the use of the stringed and wind instruments. In La Bohème, the instrumentation sets the scene perfectly in Act 1. The music is almost like a folksong, very simple and pleasant. This music is easy to remember and easy to understand the events of the story. It is rich and romantic. Whenever the vocals begin, the audience is struck by the natural manner in which the characters converse. The aria by Rodolfo easily expresses the innocence of pure love. The vocals are the main focus of this opera with the instruments being used as more of a background in the storytelling role. The audience can follow the vocals almost like the script of a play. Unlike Don Giovanni, this opera was written in the Romantic

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