Commedia dell'arte was an early form of professional theatre, originating from Italy, popular in Europe from the 16th to the 18th century. Commedia dell'arte is known as commedia alla maschera, commedia improvviso, commedia dell'arte all'improvviso. Commedia is a form of theatre characterized by masked "types" which began in Italy in the 16th century and was responsible for the advent of actresses and improvised performances based on sketches or scenarios. A commedia, such as The Tooth Puller, is both improvised. Characters' entrances and exits are scripted. A special characteristic of commedia dell'arte are the lazzi. A lazzo is a joke or "something foolish or witty" well known to the performers and to some extent a scripted routine. Another characteristic of commedia dell'arte is pantomime, used by the character Arlecchino; the characters of the commedia represent fixed social types and stock characters, such as foolish old men, devious servants, or military officers full of false bravado. The characters are exaggerated "real characters", such as a know-it-all doctor called Il Dottore, a greedy old man called Pantalone, or a perfect relationship like the Innamorati.
Many troupes were formed to perform commedia dell'arte, including I Gelosi, Confidenti Troupe, Desioi Troupe, Fedeli Troupe. Commedia dell'arte was performed outside on platforms or in popular areas such as a piazza; the form of theatre originated in Italy, but travelled throughout Europe and to Moscow. The commedia genesis may be related to carnival in Venice, where by 1570 the author/actor Andrea Calmo had created the character Il Magnifico, the precursor to the vecchio Pantalone. In the Flaminio Scala scenario for example, Il Magnifico persists and is interchangeable with Pantalone, into the seventeenth century. While Calmo's characters were not masked, it is uncertain at what point the characters donned the mask. However, the connection to carnival would suggest that masking was a convention of carnival and was applied at some point; the tradition in Northern Italy is centered in Mantua and Venice, where the major companies came under the aegis of the various dukes. Concomitantly, a Neapolitan tradition emerged in the south and featured the prominent stage figure Pulcinella.
Pulcinella has been long associated with Naples, derived into various types elsewhere—the most famous as the puppet character Punch in England. Although commedia dell'arte flourished in Italy during the Mannerist period, there has been a long-standing tradition of trying to establish historical antecedents in antiquity. While it is possible to detect formal similarities between the commedia dell'arte and earlier theatrical traditions, there is no way to establish certainty of origin; some date the origins to the period of the Empire. The Atellan Farces of the Roman Empire featured crude "types" wearing masks with grossly exaggerated features and an improvised plot; some historians argue that Atellan stock characters, Maccus+Buccus, Manducus, are the primitive versions of the Commedia characters Pantalone, il Capitano. More recent accounts establish links to the medieval jongleurs, prototypes from medieval moralities, such as Hellequin; the first recorded commedia dell'arte performances came from Rome as early as 1551.
Commedia dell'arte was performed outdoors in temporary venues by professional actors who were costumed and masked, as opposed to commedia erudita, which were written comedies, presented indoors by untrained and unmasked actors. This view may be somewhat romanticized since records describe the Gelosi performing Tasso's Aminta, for example, much was done at court rather than in the street. By the mid-16th century, specific troupes of commedia performers began to coalesce, by 1568 the Gelosi became a distinct company. In keeping with the tradition of the Italian Academies, I Gelosi adopted as their impress the two-faced Roman god Janus. Janus symbolized both the comings and goings of this traveling troupe, the dual nature of the actor who impersonates the "other." The Gelosi performed in Northern Italy and France where they received protection and patronage from the King of France. Despite fluctuations the Gelosi maintained stability for performances with the "usual ten": "two vecchi, four innamorati, two zanni, a captain and a servetta".
It should be noted that commedia performed inside in court theatres or halls, as some fixed theatres such as Teatro Baldrucca in Florence. Flaminio Scala, a minor performer in the Gelosi published the scenarios of the commedia dell'arte around the start of the 17th century in an effort to legitimize the form—and ensure its legacy; these scenari are structured and built around the symmetry of the various types in duet: two zanni, vecchi and inamorati, etc. In commedia dell'arte, female roles were played by women, documented as early as the 1560s. In the 1570s, English theatre critics denigrated the troupes with their female actors. By the end of the 1570s, Italian prelates attempted to ban female performers. T
The haute-contre is a rare type of high tenor voice, predominant in French Baroque and Classical opera until the latter part of the eighteenth century. The voice was predominantly used in male solo roles heroic and amatory ones, but in comic parts en travesti. Lully wrote 8 out of 14 leading male roles for the voice; the leading hautes-contre of the Académie Royale de Musique that created the main roles of Lully's operas, at the end of the seventeenth century, were Bernard Clédière and Louis Gaulard Dumesny. Notable hautes-contre of the eighteenth century’s first half included firstly Jean-François Tribou, who revived Lully style and operas in the twenties and in the thirties the mentioned Pierre Jélyotte and his substitutes, François Poirier et La Tour, all of whom sang Rameau's operas and Lully's revivals for the Académie Royale de Musique, Marc-François Bêche, engaged in performances at court. After these came Joseph Legros, for whom Gluck wrote his main haute-contre roles, which included the title role in the 1774 version of Orphée et Eurydice, Achilles in Iphigénie en Aulide.
There is an extensive repertoire of music for this voice in French airs de cour and in French solo cantatas of the Baroque period. The nature of the haute-contre voice has been the subject of much debate, the fact that English writers have translated the term as "countertenor" is not helpful, since the meaning of that latter term has been the subject of considerable musicological controversy, it is now accepted that the hautes-contre sang in what voice scientists term "modal" using falsetto for their highest notes. A typical solo range for this voice was C3 to D5, considering that French eighteenth-century pitch was as much as a whole tone lower than that of today. Though this high-pitched range might lead one to think of the haute-contre as a light voice, historical evidence does not bear this out: Jélyotte was much praised for the strength of his high register, the astronomer and traveller Joseph Jérôme Lefrançois de Lalande commenting that "one takes more pleasure in hearing a large voice than a small one".
Lalande stated. The haute-contre is regarded by some authorities as similar to, or indeed identical with, the voice-type described in Italian as tenore contraltino. Although not unknown at an earlier date, roles for this voice were numerous at the beginning of the nineteenth century: for example Lindoro in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri or Rodrigo in Otello. Rossini wrote roles in French for this type of voice, which may thus be regarded as a direct continuation of the earlier haute-contre tradition; these include the protagonist of Le Comte Ory, Néocles in Le siège de Corinthe and Arnold in Guillaume Tell, all of which were written for the great French tenor Adolphe Nourrit. With a revival of interest in and the performance of French baroque repertoire, several high tenors have come to prominence in haute-contre repertoire; these include Mark Padmore,Anders J. Dahlin, Rogers Covey-Crump, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, Paul Agnew and Cyril Auvity. None of these sing the French Baroque repertoire to the exclusion of all others, all are involved, to a greater or lesser extent, in the performance of mainstream tenor repertoire.
See List of French haute-contre roles Cyr, M: "On performing 18th-century Haute-Contre Roles", Musical Times, vol 118, 1997, pp 291–5 reproduced in Cyr, M. Essays on the Performance of Baroque Music. Opera and Chamber Music in France and England, Ashgate Variorum, Aldeshot /Burlington, VT, 2008, ISBN 978-0-7546-5926-6 Lionel Sawkins. "Haute-contre". In Deane L. Root. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Philip Weller, "Tribou, Denis-François", in Sadie, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, New York, 1997, ISBN 978-0-19-522186-2
Carl Rosa Opera Company
The Carl Rosa Opera Company was founded in 1873 by Carl Rosa, a German-born musical impresario, to present opera in English in London and the British provinces. The company premiered many operas in the UK, employing a mix of established opera stars and young singers, reaching new opera audiences with popularly priced tickets, it survived Rosa's death in 1889, continued to present opera in English on tour until 1960, when it was obliged to close for lack of funds. The company was revived in 1997, presenting lighter operatic works including those by Gilbert and Sullivan; the company "was arguably the most influential opera company in the UK". Carl Rosa was born Karl August Nikolaus Rose in Hamburg, the son of a local businessman. A child violin prodigy, Rosa studied at the Conservatorium at Leipzig and in Paris. In 1863 he was appointed Konzertmeister at Hamburg, where he had occasional opportunities to conduct, he soon had considerable success as a conductor both in the United States. During an American tour in 1866–67 as conductor of a concert troupe that included the Scottish operatic soprano Euphrosyne Parepa and Parepa were married.
From 1869 to 1872, Rosa and his wife toured their own opera company through America, with Parepa as the star and Rosa as the conductor. It brought opera to places that had never seen any, performing Italian operas in English, which made them more accessible to American audiences. In 1872, the Rosas returned to England and visited Europe and Egypt. In September the next year, they inaugurated the "Carl Rosa Opera" with a performance of William Vincent Wallace's Maritana in Manchester, on 1 September, toured England and Ireland. Rosa's policy was to present operas in English, that remained the company's practice. Parepa fell ill and died in January 1874, Rosa married a second time in 1881, to Josephine, with whom he had four children. In November 1874, Carl Rosa Opera made its first of many visits to Scotland with a two-week season at Glasgow's Prince of Wales Theatre; the company's first London season opened at the Princess's Theatre in September 1875, playing Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, with Charles Santley as Figaro and Rose Hersee as Susanna.
In 1876, Rosa staged a second London season, which featured the first performance in English of Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, with Santley in the title role. For the next fifteen years, the company prospered and earned good notices, with provincial tours and London seasons in conjunction with Augustus Harris at the Drury Lane Theatre; such was the success of the company. In October 1892, Rosa's Grand Opera Company received the royal accolade, with a command performance of Donizetti's La fille du régiment at Balmoral Castle; the French-American soprano Zélie de Lussan sang the heroine and Aynsley Cook "vastly amused Queen Victoria as Sergeant Sulpice". In 1880, George Grove, editor of the authoritative musical reference work, Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, wrote: "The careful way in which the pieces are put on the stage, the number of rehearsals, the eminence of the performers and the excellence of the performers have begun to bear their legitimate fruit, the Carl Rosa Opera Company bids fair to become a permanent English institution."The company introduced many works of important opera repertoire to England for the first time, performing some 150 different operas over the years.
Besides Santley and Hersee, Blanche Cole, Minnie Hauk, Alice Esty, Georgina Burns, Joseph Maas, Barton McGuckin, Giulia Warwick and William Ludwig were some of the famous singers associated with the company during its early years. Its successes included productions of Cherubini's Les deux journées. Alberto Randegger served as musical director of the company from 1879 to 1885; the company encouraged and supported new works by English composers. Pauline in 1876, Esmeralda in 1883, Colomba in 1883 and The Troubabour, The Canterbury Pilgrims in 1884 were five of the operas commissioned by the company. Earlier English operas by Wallace, Michael Balfe and Julius Benedict were included in the company's repertoire – not just standard works like The Bohemian Girl and Maritana, but less-familiar operas such as Balfe's Satanella and Wallace's Lurline. Carl Rosa died in Paris, on 30 April 1889, was buried in Highgate Cemetery, London. Two years before his death, Rosa had turned his opera enterprise into a limited company, it was in good financial and artistic shape at the time of his death.
Hamilton Clarke was appointed conductor of the company in 1893. In 1897, the company gave the first British performance of Puccini's La bohème in Manchester under the supervision of the composer; the company gave a season at Covent Garden, at reduced prices, aimed at attracting "the masses" to opera. By 1900 the company was facing financial problems from which it was rescued by the conductor Walter van Noorden and his brother Alfred, who took over and restored financial and artistic standards; the company presented two seasons at Covent Garden in 1907–08 and 1909, including new productions of Tannhäuser and Tristan and Isolde conducted by Eugène Goossens II. The company survived World War I and the sudden death of Walter van Noorden in 1916, touring the British provinces. Many young British singers joined the company, including Olive Gilbert
A leitmotif or leitmotiv is a "short recurring musical phrase" associated with a particular person, place, or idea. It is related to the musical concepts of idée fixe or motto-theme; the spelling leitmotif is an anglicization of the German Leitmotiv meaning "leading motif", or "guiding motif". A musical motif has been defined as a "short musical idea... melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic, or all three", a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition: "the smallest structural unit possessing thematic identity."In particular, such a motif should be "clearly identified so as to retain its identity if modified on subsequent appearances" whether such modification be in terms of rhythm, orchestration or accompaniment. It may be "combined with other leitmotifs to suggest a new dramatic condition" or development; the technique is notably associated with the operas of Richard Wagner, most his Der Ring des Nibelungen, although he was not its originator and did not employ the word in connection with his work.
Although a short melody, it can be a chord progression or a simple rhythm. Leitmotifs can help to bind a work together into a coherent whole, enable the composer to relate a story without the use of words, or to add an extra level to an present story. By association, the word has been used to mean any sort of recurring theme, in literature, or the life of a fictional character or a real person, it is sometimes used in discussion of other musical genres, such as instrumental pieces and video game music, sometimes interchangeably with the more general category of theme. The use of characteristic, recurring motifs in orchestral music can be traced back to the early seventeenth century, such as L'Orfeo by Monteverdi. In French opera of the late eighteenth century, "reminiscence motif" can be identified, which may recur at a significant juncture in the plot to establish an association with earlier events, their use, however, is not systematic. The power of the technique was exploited early in the nineteenth century by composers of Romantic opera, such as Carl Maria von Weber, where recurring themes or ideas were sometimes used in association with specific characters.
The first use of the word leitmotif in print was by the critic Friedrich Wilhelm Jähns in describing Weber's work, although this was not until 1871. Motifs figured in purely instrumental music of the Romantic period; the related idea of the musical idée fixe was coined by Hector Berlioz in reference to his Symphonie fantastique. This purely instrumental, programmatic work features a recurring melody representing the object of the artist's obsessive affection and depicting her presence in various real and imagined situations. Though not corresponding to the strict definition of leitmotiv, several of Verdi's operas feature similar thematic tunes introduced in the overtures or preludes, recurring to mark the presence of a character or to invoke a particular sentiment. In La forza del destino, the opening theme of the overture recurs whenever Leonora feels guilt or fear. In Il Trovatore, the theme of the first aria by Azucena is repeated whenever she invokes the horror of how her mother was burnt alive and the devastating revenge she attempted then.
In Don Carlo, there are at least three leitmotivs that recur across the five acts: the first is associated with the poverty and suffering from war, the second is associated with prayers around the tomb of Carlos V, the third is introduced as a duet between Don Carlo and the Marquis of Posa, thereafter accentuating sentiments of sincere friendship and loyalty. Richard Wagner is the earliest composer most associated with the concept of leitmotif, his cycle of four operas, Der Ring des Nibelungen, uses hundreds of leitmotifs related to specific characters, things, or situations. While some of these leitmotifs occur in only one of the operas, many recur throughout the entire cycle. Wagner had raised the issue of how music could best unite disparate elements of the plot of a music drama in his essay "Opera and Drama"; some controversy surrounded the use of the word in Wagner's own circle: Wagner never authorised the use of the word leitmotiv, using words such as "Grundthema", or "Motiv". His preferred name for the technique was Hauptmotiv, which he first used in 1877.
The word gained currency with the overly literal interpretations of Wagner's music by Hans von Wolzogen, who in 1876 published a Leitfaden to the Ring. In it he claimed to have isolated and named all of the recurring motifs in the cycle leading to absurdities or contradictions with Wagner's actual practice; some of the motifs he identified began to appear in the published musical scores of the operas, arousing Wagner's annoyance. In fact Wagner himself never publicly named any of his leitmotifs, preferring to emphasise their flexibility of association, role in the musical form, emotional effect; the practice of naming leitmotifs con
Travesti is a theatrical term referring to the portrayal of a character in an opera, play, or ballet by a performer of the opposite sex. Depending on sources, the term may be given as travesti, or en travesti; the Oxford Essential Dictionary of Foreign Terms in English explains the origin of the latter term as "pseudo-French", although French sources from the mid-19th century have used the term, e.g. Bibliothèque musicale du Théâtre de l'opéra, La revue des deux mondes, have continued the practice into the 21st century. For social reasons, female roles were played by boys or men in many early forms of theatre, travesti roles continued to be used in several types of context after actresses became accepted on the stage; the popular British theatrical form of the pantomime traditionally contains a role for a "principal boy", a breeches role played by a young woman, one or more pantomime dames, female comic roles played by men. In the popular genre of Victorian burlesque, there were one or more breeches roles.
Until the late 17th century in England and the early 19th century in the Papal States—although not elsewhere in Europe—women were conventionally portrayed by male actors in drag because the presence of actual women on stage was considered immoral. As a boy player, Alexander Cooke is thought to have created many of Shakespeare's principal female roles, as well as Agrippina in Ben Jonson's Sejanus His Fall. With the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, women began to appear on the English stage, although some female roles continued to be played by boys and young men, including romantic leads. Edward Kynaston, whose roles included the title role in Ben Jonson's Epicoene and Evadne in Beaumont and Fletcher's The Maid's Tragedy, was one of the last of the era's boy players. London's Shakespeare's Globe theatre, a modern reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre, continues the practice of casting men in female Shakespearean roles. Toby Cockerell played Katherine of France in the theatre's opening production of Henry V in 1997, while Mark Rylance played Cleopatra in the 1999 production of Antony and Cleopatra.
Travesti roles for men are still to be found in British pantomime, where there is at least one humorous female character traditionally played by a male actor, the pantomime dame. Castrati, adult males with a female singing voice, appeared in the earliest operas – in female roles. In the first performance of Monteverdi's Orfeo in 1607 the roles of Eurydice and Proserpina were both sung by castrati. However, by 1680 the castrati had become the predominant singers for leading male roles as well; the use of castrati for both male and female roles was strong in the Papal States, where women were forbidden from public stage performances until the 19th century. An exception to this practice was in 17th and 18th century French opera where it was traditional to use uncastrated male voices both for the hero and for malevolent female divinities and spirits. In Lully's 1686 opera Armide the hero was sung by a haute-contre while the female spirit of hatred was sung by a tenor. In Rameau's 1733 Hippolyte et Aricie, the hero was sung by an haute-contre, while the roles of the three Fates and Tisiphone were scored for basses and tenors.
The remaining female roles in both operas were sung by women. The title role of the vain but ugly marsh nymph in Rameau's Platée is for an haute-contre. Female roles in opera sung by men can still be found; the role of the witch in Humperdinck's 1890 opera Hänsel und Gretel was written for a mezzo-soprano, but was sung by the tenor Philip Langridge in the Metropolitan Opera's 2009 production directed by Richard Jones. Azio Corghi's 2005 opera Il dissoluto assolto, which incorporates story elements from Mozart's Don Giovanni, casts a counter-tenor in the role of the mannequin of Donna Elvira; the portrayal of women by male dancers was common in Renaissance court ballet and has continued into more modern times, although restricted to comic or malevolent female characters. The use of male dancers for all the female roles in a ballet persisted well into the 18th century in the Papal States, when women dancers had long been taking these roles elsewhere in Italy. Abbé Jérôme Richard who travelled to Rome in 1762 wrote: "Female Dancers are not permitted on the stages in Rome.
They substitute for them boys dressed as women and there is a police ordinance that decreed they wear black bloomers." Another French traveller that year, Joseph-Thomas, comte d'Espinchal, asked himself: "What impression can one have of ballet in which the prima ballerina is a young man in disguise with artificial feminine curves?"In the original production of The Sleeping Beauty in 1890, a male dancer, Enrico Cecchetti, created the role of the evil fairy Carabosse, although the role has subsequently been danced by both men and women. In Frederick Ashton's 1948 choreography of Cinderella, Robert Helpmann and Ashton himself danced the roles of the two stepsisters. Ben Stevenson continued the practice of casting male dancers as the stepsisters in his own choreography of the ballet. Other female ballet characters traditionally performed by male dancers are Old Madge, the village sorceress in La Sylphide and the Widow Simone in La fille mal gardée. With the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 women started appearing on the English stage, both in the female roles that in Shakespeare's day had been portrayed by men and boys, in male roles.
It has been estimated that of the 375 plays produced in London between 1660 and 1700, nearly a quarter contained one or
Renata Ersilia Clotilde Tebaldi was an Italian lirico-spinto soprano popular in the post-war period. Among the most beloved opera singers, she has been said to have possessed one of the most beautiful voices of the 20th century, a voice, focused on the verismo roles of the lyric and dramatic repertoires. Born in Pesaro, Tebaldi was the daughter of a cellist, Teobaldo Tebaldi, Giuseppina Barbieri, a nurse, her parents separated before her birth and Tebaldi grew up with her mother in the home of her maternal grandparents in Langhirano. Stricken with polio at the age of three, Tebaldi became interested in music and was a member of the church choir in Langhirano, her mother sent her, at the age of thirteen, for piano lessons with Giuseppina Passani in Parma, who took the initiative that Tebaldi study voice with Italo Brancucci, a singing teacher at the conservatory of Parma. She was admitted to the conservatory at the age of 17, taking lessons with Brancucci and Ettore Campogalliani, transferred to Liceo musicale Rossini in Pesaro taking lessons with Carmen Melis, on her suggestion with Giuseppe Pais.
She studied with Beverley Peck Johnson in New York City. Tebaldi made her stage debut as Elena in Boito's Mefistofele in Rovigo in 1944, performed in Parma in La bohème, L'amico Fritz and Andrea Chénier, she caused a stir when in 1946 she made her debut as Desdemona alongside Francesco Merli as Otello in Trieste. Her major breakthrough came in 1946. Toscanini was favorably impressed, calling her "voce d'angelo". Tebaldi made her La Scala debut that year at the concert which marked the reopening of the theatre after World War II, she sang the "Prayer" from Rossini's biblical opera, Mosè in Egitto, as well as the soprano part in Verdi's Te Deum. She was given the operatic roles of Margherita and Elena in Mefistofele and Elsa in Lohengrin in 1946; the following year, she appeared as Eva in Die Meistersinger. Toscanini encouraged her to sing the role of Aida and invited her to rehearse the role in his studio, she was of the opinion that the role of Aida was reserved for a dramatic soprano, but Toscanini convinced her and she made her role debut at La Scala in 1950 alongside Mario del Monaco and Fedora Barbieri in a performance conducted by Antonino Votto.
This was to launch her international career. Her voice was used for Sophia Loren's singing in the film version of Aida, she went on a concert tour with the La Scala ensemble in 1950, first to the Edinburgh Festival and on to London, where she made her debut as Desdemona in two performances of Otello at Covent Garden and in the Verdi Requiem, both conducted by Victor de Sabata. During the early 1950s, controversy arose regarding a supposed rivalry between Tebaldi and the great Greek-American soprano Maria Callas; the contrast between Callas's unconventional vocal qualities and Tebaldi's classically beautiful sound resurrected an argument as old as opera itself, beauty of sound versus the expressive use of sound. In 1951, Tebaldi and Maria Callas were jointly booked for a vocal recital in Rio de Brazil. Although the singers agreed that neither would perform encores, Tebaldi took two, Callas was incensed; this incident began the rivalry, which reached a fever pitch in the mid-1950s, at times engulfing the two women themselves, who were said by their more fanatical followers to have engaged in verbal barbs in each other's direction.
Tebaldi was quoted as saying, "I have one thing that Callas doesn't have: a heart" while Callas was quoted in Time magazine as saying that comparing her with Tebaldi was like "comparing Champagne with Cognac. No, with Coca Cola." However, witnesses to the interview stated that Callas only said "champagne with cognac", it was a bystander who quipped, "No, with Coca-Cola", but the Time reporter attributed the latter comment to Callas. According to John Ardoin, these two singers should never have been compared. Tebaldi was trained by Carmen Melis, a noted verismo specialist, she was rooted in the early 20th century Italian school of singing just as as Callas was rooted in 19th century bel canto. Callas was a dramatic soprano, whereas Tebaldi considered herself a lyric soprano. Callas and Tebaldi sang a different repertoire: in the early years of her career, Callas concentrated on the heavy dramatic soprano roles and in her career on the bel canto repertoire, whereas Tebaldi concentrated on late Verdi and verismo roles, where her limited upper extension and her lack of a florid technique were not issues.
They shared a few roles, including Tosca in Puccini's opera and La Gioconda, which Tebaldi performed only late in her career. The alleged rivalry aside, Callas made remarks appreciative of Tebaldi, vice versa. During an interview with Norman Ross in Chicago, Callas said, "I admire Tebaldi's tone. Sometimes, I wish I had her voice." Francis Robinson of the Met wrote of an incident in which Tebaldi asked him to recommend a recording of La Gioconda in order to help her learn the role. Being aware of the alleged rivalry, he recommended Zinka Milanov's version. A few days he went to visit Tebaldi, only to find her sitting by the speakers, listening intently to Callas's recording, she looked up at him and asked, "Why didn't you tell me Maria's was the best?" According to Time magazine, when Callas quit La Scala, "Tebaldi made a surprising maneuver: she announced that she would not sing at La Scala without Callas.'I sing only for artistic reasons.
The patter song is characterised by a moderately fast to fast tempo with a rapid succession of rhythmic patterns in which each syllable of text corresponds to one note. It is a staple of comic opera Gilbert and Sullivan, but it has been used in musicals and elsewhere; the lyric of a patter song features tongue-twisting rhyming text, with alliterative words and other consonant or vowel sounds that are intended to be entertaining to listen to at rapid speed. The musical accompaniment is orchestrated and simple, to emphasise the text; the song is intended as a showpiece for a comic character a bass or baritone. The singer should be capable of excellent enunciation; the word "patter" derives from the Pater Noster, or Lord's Prayer, "which Catholics recited in its original Latin.... The habit of rushing through the words as as possible gave rise in England to the term'patter'". A form of rapid patter occurred in the parabasis in ancient Greek comedies; the 16th-century French composer F. de Lys published a song "Secouhez moy" set in what the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians calls "a syllabic, patter-song manner".
Rapid patter numbers are heard in Italian opera of the baroque era opera buffa. Alessandro Scarlatti's 1702 opera Tiberio imperatore d'Oriente contains an early instance in the duet "Non ti voglio". In the view of Grove, syllabic patter songs were among the components of the new comic idiom, developed in the early decades of the 18th century by composers including Pergolesi, Sarro and Orlandini, they became a basic part of the pre‐classical operatic style. Patter was used sparingly until the second half of the 18th century, but became an familiar feature of comic operas. An example is Bartolo's "La vendetta" in Act 1 of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, which contains the tongue-twisting "Se tutto il codice" section near the end. Patter numbers are found in the comic operas of Mozart's contemporaries, Logroscino and Paisiello. In 19th century operas patter is prominent in the works of Donizetti. In their works, the patter is reserved for the cabaletta section of a multi-part number; the best-known examples are: the "Tutti mi chiedono" section of Figaro's "Largo al factotum" in Act 1 of Rossini's The Barber of Seville and the "Signorina, un'altra volta" section in Bartolo's "A un dottor della mia sorte" in the same act.
The musical scholar Gervase Hughes points to the patter number "Bin Akademiker" in Peter Cornelius's The Barber of Bagdad as a prototype of the Gilbert and Sullivan model. W. S. Gilbert wrote several opera parodies. Sullivan was familiar with Italian opera and included a patter song in his first comic opera and Box. George Bernard Shaw, in his capacity as a music critic, praised "the time-honored lilt which Sir Arthur Sullivan, following the example of Mozart and Rossini, chose for the lists of accomplishments of the Major-General in The Pirates or the Colonel in Patience." Well-known examples of rapid-fire, tongue-tripping Gilbert and Sullivan patter songs are: Major-General Stanley's song, "I am the model of a modern Major-General" in Act 1 of The Pirates of Penzance. Some numbers in the Gilbert and Sullivan canon are classified as patter songs by aficionados, although they may not contain all of the attributes listed in the definition above; these are songs telling how the character rose to an undeserved distinguished position, or they may contain a catalogue or list.
A similar example is found in the middle section, starting “È questo l'odontalgico”, of Doctor Dulcamara's "Udite, Udite, o rustici" in Act 1 of Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, a work that Gilbert had burlesqued early in his career in Dulcamara, or the Little Duck and the Great Quack. This was not intended to be sung at great speed and is thus more of a precursor of, for example, "When I, good friends, was called to the bar" or "As some day it may happen", than are the examples of the "rapid-fire" patter above. Most of the Gilbert and Sullivan patter songs are solos for the principal comedian in the cast and were performed by George Grossmith. Anna Russell's "How to write your own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera" contains an affectionate parody of a Gilbert and Sullivan patter song. Apart from Gilbert and Sullivan tunes set to different words, such as Tom Lehrer's listing of the chemical elements to the tune of the Major General's Song patter songs can be found in early twentieth-century operettas, such as Edward German's Merrie England and in a number of musicals.
Examples include "Tchaikovsky" in Ira Gershwin and Kurt Weill's Lady in the Dark and "Getting Married Today" in Stephen Sondheim's Company. Anot