Listening Assignment - Baroque Opera
- While reading the text and translation, listen to Monteverdis The Coronation of Poppea, Act I, "Tornerai?," "Speranza, tu mi vai" [CD 1-20 & 21, Cass. 1B-2]
- Find as many instances of text-painting as you can.
- How psychological is the text-painting? How literal?
- Where is the passage meterless?
- How does the timbre of the accompaniment change as the two scenes progress?
- Is there any information you get about the characters or the plot which is from the music alone (not from the text and not from Kermans synopsis of the plot)?
- While reading the text, listen to Purcell, Dido and Aeneas, Act III, final scene, "Thy Hand, Belinda," "When I am laid," "With drooping wings" [CD 1-22 & 23, Cass. 1B-3]
- Answer the same questions as you did above for the Monteverdi passage.
- Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi was the first great opera composer but he was also a great composer of madrigals. Try to recall your in-class impressions of Italian madrigals.
Purcell was the first composer of English of opera. Think about this and remember
we have studied the Elizabethan madrigal "As Vesta Was
Purcell predecessor Thomas Weelkes.
- Opera grew out of madrigals. Using your parameters, your aesthetic opinion, your street sense, and your knowledge of history, explain how this might be possible.