Vienna State Opera
The Vienna State Opera is an Austrian opera house and opera company based in Vienna, Austria. It was called the Vienna Court Opera. In 1920, with the replacement of the Habsburg Monarchy by the First Austrian Republic, it was renamed the Vienna State Opera; the members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from its orchestra. The opera house was the first major building on the Vienna Ringstrasse commissioned by the Viennese "city expansion fund". Work commenced on the house in 1861 and was completed in 1869, following plans drawn up by architects August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll, it was built in the Neo-Renaissance style by the renowned Czech architect and contractor Josef Hlávka. The Ministry of the Interior had commissioned a number of reports into the availability of certain building materials, with the result that stones long not seen in Vienna were used, such as Wöllersdorfer Stein, for plinths and free-standing, simply-divided buttresses, the famously hard stone from Kaisersteinbruch, whose colour was more appropriate than that of Kelheimerstein, for more lushly decorated parts.
The somewhat coarser-grained Kelheimerstein was intended as the main stone to be used in the building of the opera house, but the necessary quantity was not deliverable. Breitenbrunner stone was suggested as a substitute for the Kelheimer stone, stone from Jois was used as a cheaper alternative to the Kaiserstein; the staircases were constructed from polished Kaiserstein, while most of the rest of the interior was decorated with varieties of marble. The decision was made to use dimension stone for the exterior of the building. Due to the monumental demand for stone, stone from Sóskút used in Budapest, was used. Three Viennese masonry companies were employed to supply enough masonry labour: Eduard Hauser, Anton Wasserburger and Moritz Pranter; the foundation stone was laid on 20 May 1863. The building was, not popular with the public. On the one hand, it did not seem as grand as the Heinrichshof, a private residence, destroyed in World War II. Moreover, because the level of Ringstraße was raised by a metre in front of the opera house after its construction had begun, the latter was likened to "a sunken treasure chest" and, in analogy to the military disaster of 1866, was deprecatingly referred to as "the'Königgrätz' of architecture".
Eduard van der Nüll committed suicide, ten weeks Sicardsburg died from tuberculosis so neither architect saw the completion of the building. The opening premiere was Don Giovanni, by Mozart, on May 25, 1869. Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Elisabeth were present. Towards the end of World War II, on March 12, 1945, the opera was set alight by an American bombardment; the front section, walled off as a precaution, remained intact including the foyer, with frescoes by Moritz von Schwind, the main stairways, the vestibule and the tea room. The auditorium and stage were, destroyed by flames as well as the entire décor and props for more than 120 operas with around 150,000 costumes; the State Opera was temporarily housed at the Vienna Volksoper. Lengthy discussion took place about whether the opera house should be restored to its original state on its original site, or whether it should be demolished and rebuilt, either on the same location or on a different site; the decision was made to rebuild the opera house as it had been, the main restoration experts involved were Ernst Kolb and Udo Illig.
The Austrian Federal Chancellor Leopold Figl made the decision in 1946 to have a functioning opera house again by 1949. An architectural competition was announced, won by Erich Boltenstern; the submissions had ranged from a complete restructuring of the auditorium to a replica of the original design. In order to achieve a good acoustic, wood was the favoured building material, at the advice of, among others, Arturo Toscanini. In addition, the number of seats in the parterre was reduced, the fourth gallery, fitted with columns, was restructured so as not to need columns; the façade, entrance hall and the "Schwind" foyer remain in their original style. In the meantime, the opera company, which had at first been performing in the Volksoper, had moved rehearsals and performances to Theater an der Wien, where, on May 1, 1945, after the liberation and re-independence of Austria from the Nazis, the first performances were given. In 1947, the company went on tour to London. Due to the appalling conditions at Theater an der Wien, the opera company leadership tried to raise significant quantities of money to speed up reconstruction of the original opera house.
Many private donations were made, as well as donations of building material from the Soviets, who were interested in the rebuilding of the opera. The mayor of Vienna had receptacles placed in many sites around Vienna for people to donate coins only. In this way, everyone in Vienna could say they had participated in the reconstruction and feel pride in considering themselves part owners. However, in 1949, there was only a temporary roof on the Staatsoper, it was not until November 5, 1955, after the Austrian State Treaty, that the Staatsoper could be reopened with a performance of Beethoven's Fidelio, conducted by Karl Böhm. The American Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, was present; the state broadcaster ORF used the occasion to make its first liv
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Vienna Boys' Choir
The Vienna Boys' Choir or Vienna Choir Boys is a choir of boy sopranos and altos based in Vienna, Austria. It is one of the best known boys' choirs in the world; the boys are selected from Austria, but from many other countries. The choir is a not-for-profit organization. There are 100 choristers between the ages of nine and fourteen; the boys are divided into four touring choirs, named after Austrian composers Bruckner, Haydn and Schubert, which combined perform about 300 concerts each year before 500,000 people. Each group tours for about nine to eleven weeks; some pieces include "Good Morning" and "Merry Christmas from Vienna Boys". The choir is the modern-day descendant of the boys' choirs of the Viennese Court, dating back to the late Middle Ages; the choir was, for practical purposes, established by a letter from Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg on 30 June 1498, instructing court officials to employ a singing master, two basses and six boys. Jurij Slatkonja became the director of the ensemble.
The role of the choir was to provide musical accompaniment for the church mass. Additionally, the Haydn brothers were members of the St. Stephen's Cathedral choir, directed at the time by Georg Reutter II, who used this choir in his duties for the imperial court, which at the time had no boy choristers of its own. Over the centuries, the choir has worked with many composers, including Heinrich Isaac, Biber, Caldara, Salieri, Franz Schubert and Bruckner. In 1920, following the fall of the Austrian Empire, the Hofkapelle was disbanded. However, the rector at the time, Josef Schnitt, sought a continuation of the tradition. In 1924, the Vienna Boys' Choir was founded, it has evolved into a professional music group; the choir adopted the now-famous blue and white sailor suit, replacing the imperial military cadet uniform that included a dagger. The composer HK Gruber is one of the graduates of the reformed choir. Since 1948, the Palais Augarten has served as their rehearsal venue and boarding school, which goes from kindergarten level up to middle school level.
In 1961, Walt Disney filmed Almost Angels, a fictional drama about the Vienna Boys' Choir and filmed in the Palais Augarten. It was Disney who, for cinematographic reasons, persuaded the Austrian government to allow the boys to wear the Austrian national emblem on the breast of their uniform, a tradition that continues to this day. Gerald Wirth became the choir's artistic director in 2001. However, since the choir has come under pressure to modernize and has faced criticism of their musical standards, leading to a split with the Vienna State Opera; the choir has for the first time had to advertise for recruits after a rival choir school was established by Ioan Holender, director of the opera company. He complained of poor communication with the choir, he said that the State Opera sometimes trained boys for particular stage roles, only to find out on the day of performance that they were unavailable as they had gone on tour with the choir. Some boys were attracted to the rival choir school by the prospect of a more relaxed atmosphere and of performance fees being paid directly to them.
The Vienna Boys' Choir has sought to update its image, recording pop music selections and adopting an alternative uniform to the sailor suits used since the 1920s, allowing the boys to dance as they sing. After Eugen Jesser died in May 2008, Walter Nettig became the choir's president. Gerald Wirth has been the artistic director since 2001, he became the choir's president in 2013. In 2010, following sexual abuse allegations from two former choristers stemming from the late 1960s and early 1980s, the Vienna Boys' Choir opened a confidential phone and e-mail hotline to allow others to come forward. Eight possible victims by staff or other choir members. Frohe Weihnachten Wiener Sängerknaben Goes Christmas Frohe Weihnacht Christmas in Vienna / Heiligste Nacht Merry Christmas from the Vienna Choir Boys Christmas with the Vienna Choir Boys Christmas with the Vienna Boys' Choir, London Symphony Orchestra Weihnacht mit den Wiener Sängerknaben The Little Drummer Boy Die Wiener Sängerknaben und ihre Schönsten...
Frohe Weihnacht Christmas Angels Silent Night I Am from Austria Wiener Sängerknaben Goes Pop Orff: Carmina Burana "Doraemon no Uta" for the animated motion picture Doraemon: Nobita and the Legend of the Sun King Silk Road: Songs Along the Road and Time The Vienna Boys' Choir performed the song "The Little Drummer Boy" in the Rankin/Bass TV special of the same name. Johann Sebastian Bach Ludwig van Beethoven Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber Benjamin Britten Anton Bruckner Antonio Caldara Jacobus Gallus George Frideric Handel Joseph Haydn Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Franz Schubert Salomon Sulzer Anton Bruckner, Christus factus est Anton Bruckner, Locus iste Anton Bruckner, Os justi Anton Bruckner, Virga Jesse Joseph Leopold Eybler, Omnes de Saba venient Gabriel Fauré, Pie Jesu Jacobus Gallus, Natus est nobis Jacobus Gallus, Pueri concinite Jacobus Gallus, Repleti sunt Georg Friedrich Händel, Zadok the Priest Joseph Haydn, Du bist's, dem Ruhm und Ehre gebühret Joseph Haydn, Insanae et vanae curae Michael Haydn, ihr Hirten allzugleich Jacbus de Kerle, Sanctus – Hosanna – Benedictus Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Kyrie Es-Dur KV 322 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Kyrie d-moll KV 341 Wolfgang Am
Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, love, anger – are communicated through the words, music and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have been called musicals. Although music has been a part of dramatic presentations since ancient times, modern Western musical theatre emerged during the 19th century, with many structural elements established by the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in Britain and those of Harrigan and Hart in America; these were followed by the numerous Edwardian musical comedies and the musical theatre works of American creators like George M. Cohan at the turn of the 20th century.
The Princess Theatre musicals and other smart shows like Of Thee I Sing were artistic steps forward beyond revues and other frothy entertainments of the early 20th century and led to such groundbreaking works as Show Boat and Oklahoma!. Some of the most famous musicals through the decades that followed include West Side Story, The Fantasticks, Hair, A Chorus Line, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, The Producers and Hamilton. Musicals are performed around the world, they may be presented in large venues, such as big-budget Broadway or West End productions in New York City or London. Alternatively, musicals may be staged in smaller venues, such as fringe theatre, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, regional theatre, or community theatre productions, or on tour. Musicals are presented by amateur and school groups in churches and other performance spaces. In addition to the United States and Britain, there are vibrant musical theatre scenes in continental Europe, Australasia and Latin America.
Since the 20th century, the "book musical" has been defined as a musical play where songs and dances are integrated into a well-made story with serious dramatic goals, able to evoke genuine emotions other than laughter. The three main components of a book musical are its music and book; the book or script of a musical refers to the story, character development and dramatic structure, including the spoken dialogue and stage directions, but it can refer to the dialogue and lyrics together, which are sometimes referred to as the libretto. The music and lyrics together form the score of a musical and include songs, incidental music and musical scenes, which are "theatrical sequence set to music combining song with spoken dialogue." The interpretation of a musical is the responsibility of its creative team, which includes a director, a musical director a choreographer and sometimes an orchestrator. A musical's production is creatively characterized by technical aspects, such as set design, stage properties and sound.
The creative team and interpretations change from the original production to succeeding productions. Some production elements, may be retained from the original production. There is no fixed length for a musical. While it can range from a short one-act entertainment to several acts and several hours in length, most musicals range from one and a half to three hours. Musicals are presented in two acts, with one short intermission, the first act is longer than the second; the first act introduces nearly all of the characters and most of the music and ends with the introduction of a dramatic conflict or plot complication while the second act may introduce a few new songs but contains reprises of important musical themes and resolves the conflict or complication. A book musical is built around four to six main theme tunes that are reprised in the show, although it sometimes consists of a series of songs not directly musically related. Spoken dialogue is interspersed between musical numbers, although "sung dialogue" or recitative may be used in so-called "sung-through" musicals such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Misérables and Hamilton.
Several shorter musicals on Broadway and in the West End have been presented in one act in recent decades. Moments of greatest dramatic intensity in a book musical are performed in song. Proverbially, "when the emotion becomes too strong for speech, you sing. In a book musical, a song is ideally crafted to suit the character and their situation within the story; as The New York Times critic Ben Brantley described the ideal of song in theatre when reviewing the 2008 revival of Gypsy: "There is no separation at all between song and character, what happens in those uncommon moments when musicals reach upward to achieve their ideal reasons to be." Many fewer words are sung in a five-minute song than are spoken in a five-minute block of dialogue. Therefore, there is less time to develop drama in a musical than in a straight play of equivalent length, since a musical devotes more time to music than to dialogue. Within the compressed nature of a musical, the writers must develop the plot; the ma
Österreichischer Rundfunk is the Austrian national public service broadcaster. Funded from a combination of television licence fee revenue and limited on-air advertising, ORF is the dominant player in the Austrian broadcast media. Austria was the last country in continental Europe after Albania to allow nationwide private television broadcasting; the first unregulated test transmissions in Austria were made beginning 1 April 1923 by Radio Hekaphon, run by the radio pioneer and enthusiast Oskar Czeija, who applied for a radio license in 1921. September 2, it aired a first broadcast address by Austrian President Michael Hainisch. One year a powerful transmitter, designed by the German Telefunken company, was installed on the roof of the former War Ministry building on Ringstraße in central Vienna, it was, the public Radio-Verkehrs-Aktiengesellschaft, a joint-venture of the Austrian Federal Government, the City of Vienna and several bank companies, which, in February 1924, was awarded the concession to begin broadcasting, with Czeja as its director-general.
Regular transmissions began on 1 October 1924 from provisional studios inside the War Ministry building that were to become known as Radio Wien. By the end of October 1924 it had 30,000 listeners, by January 1925 100,000. Relay transmitters, established across the country by 1934, ensured that all Austrians could listen to Radio Wien at a monthly fee of two schillings. Radio programmes aimed at an educated audience, featuring classical music and lectures. First live radio broadcasts aired in 1925, transmitted from the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. On the other hand, news broadcasts only played a minor part out of deference to the Austrian press and the "neutralism" policy of the federal government. Regular sportscasts began 1928 and in 1930 the Austrian legislative election was comprehensively covered. At that time, RAVAG registered about 500,000 listeners. In the course of the abolition of the First Austrian Republic and the implementation of the Austrofascist Ständestaat by Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuß in 1934, the RAVAG studios were embattled during the Austrian Civil War in February, as well as by the protagonists of the Nazi July Putsch, when several insurgents entered the studio and had Dollfuß's resignation announced.
Dollfuß's successor Kurt Schuschnigg had the demolished broadcasting centre replaced by the new Radiokulturhaus building near the Theresianum academy in Vienna-Wieden, designed by Clemens Holzmeister and erected from 1935 to 1939. The Austrian government used RAVAG broadcasts for propaganda activities, defying massive cross-border Nazi propaganda broadcasts aired from German transmitters in the Munich region, but promoted the live transmission of mass celebrations. With the Austrian Anschluss to Nazi Germany and the invasion of Wehrmacht troops in 1938, RAVAG was dissolved and replaced by Reichssender Wien subordinate to the national Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft network in Berlin, were the programmes were produced. One of the last RAVAG transmissions was Schuschnigg's farewell address on March 11. Only hours live broadcasts featured the cheering devotees of his Nazi successor Arthur Seyss-Inquart, the triumphant entry of Adolf Hitler in Linz the next day, his speech on Vienna Heldenplatz. In 1939, the former RAVAG transmission facilities were taken over by the German Reichspost.
In World War II, listening to Feindsender became a capital offence, however the German language programmes of the BBC were a used information source. Reichssender Wien transmissions were important for strategic bombing alerts; the Funkhaus broadcasting centre itself was damaged by Allied bombs in January and February 1945, followed by the Red Army Vienna Offensive. Reichssender Wien last aired 6 April. Following the Wehrmacht defeat, independent Austrian RAVAG radio broadcasting resumed in Allied-occupied Austria 24 April 1945, when it announced the formation of a provisional Austrian state government led by Karl Renner. A new Radio Wien station was founded, broadcasting from Funkhaus Wien by a provisional transmitter on the rooftop, once again under Oskar Czeija, ousted shortly afterwards on pressure by the Soviet military administration; as the Funkhaus was located in the Soviet occupation sector of Vienna, the Western Allies established own radio stations like British Alpenland network or US Radio Rot-Weiß-Rot, as well as the English-speaking "Blue Danube" armed forces network and the British Forces Network, which became quite popular with younger Austrian listeners.
The RAVAG transmissions limited to the East Austrian Soviet occupation zone, in the beginning Cold War era were considered Communist propaganda broadcasting. A number of other radio stations began broadcasting in the different occupation zones and radio become a popular medium among Austrians: in 1952 there were 1.5 million radio sets in Austrian homes. The Western Allies could operate their programmes nationwide from Vienna, with a higher popularity rating than the outdated RAVAG transmissions. In 1955, the various regional stations were brought together as the Österreichisches Rundspruchwesen which in 1958, became the Ö
Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery and sometimes dance or ballet; the performance is given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor. Opera is a key part of the Western classical music tradition. Understood as an sung piece, in contrast to a play with songs, opera has come to include numerous genres, including some that include spoken dialogue such as musical theater, Singspiel and Opéra comique. In traditional number opera, singers employ two styles of singing: recitative, a speech-inflected style and self-contained arias; the 19th century saw the rise of the continuous music drama. Opera originated in Italy at the end of the 16th century and soon spread through the rest of Europe: Heinrich Schütz in Germany, Jean-Baptiste Lully in France, Henry Purcell in England all helped to establish their national traditions in the 17th century.
In the 18th century, Italian opera continued to dominate most of Europe, attracting foreign composers such as George Frideric Handel. Opera seria was the most prestigious form of Italian opera, until Christoph Willibald Gluck reacted against its artificiality with his "reform" operas in the 1760s; the most renowned figure of late 18th-century opera is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who began with opera seria but is most famous for his Italian comic operas The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, as well as Die Entführung aus dem Serail, The Magic Flute, landmarks in the German tradition. The first third of the 19th century saw the high point of the bel canto style, with Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti and Vincenzo Bellini all creating works that are still performed, it saw the advent of Grand Opera typified by the works of Auber and Meyerbeer. The mid-to-late 19th century was a golden age of opera and dominated by Giuseppe Verdi in Italy and Richard Wagner in Germany; the popularity of opera continued through the verismo era in Italy and contemporary French opera through to Giacomo Puccini and Richard Strauss in the early 20th century.
During the 19th century, parallel operatic traditions emerged in central and eastern Europe in Russia and Bohemia. The 20th century saw many experiments with modern styles, such as atonality and serialism and Minimalism. With the rise of recording technology, singers such as Enrico Caruso and Maria Callas became known to much wider audiences that went beyond the circle of opera fans. Since the invention of radio and television, operas were performed on these mediums. Beginning in 2006, a number of major opera houses began to present live high-definition video transmissions of their performances in cinemas all over the world. Since 2009, complete performances are live streamed; the words of an opera are known as the libretto. Some composers, notably Wagner, have written their own libretti. Traditional opera referred to as "number opera", consists of two modes of singing: recitative, the plot-driving passages sung in a style designed to imitate and emphasize the inflections of speech, aria in which the characters express their emotions in a more structured melodic style.
Vocal duets and other ensembles occur, choruses are used to comment on the action. In some forms of opera, such as singspiel, opéra comique and semi-opera, the recitative is replaced by spoken dialogue. Melodic or semi-melodic passages occurring in the midst of, or instead of, are referred to as arioso; the terminology of the various kinds of operatic voices is described in detail below. During both the Baroque and Classical periods, recitative could appear in two basic forms, each of, accompanied by a different instrumental ensemble: secco recitative, sung with a free rhythm dictated by the accent of the words, accompanied only by basso continuo, a harpsichord and a cello. Over the 18th century, arias were accompanied by the orchestra. By the 19th century, accompagnato had gained the upper hand, the orchestra played a much bigger role, Wagner revolutionized opera by abolishing all distinction between aria and recitative in his quest for what Wagner termed "endless melody". Subsequent composers have tended to follow Wagner's example, though some, such as Stravinsky in his The Rake's Progress have bucked the trend.
The changing role of the orchestra in opera is described in more detail below. The Italian word opera means "work", both in the sense of the labour done and the result produced; the Italian word derives from the Latin opera, a singular noun meaning "work" and the plural of the noun opus. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the Italian word was first used in the sense "composition in which poetry and music are combined" in 1639. Dafne by Jacopo Peri was the earliest composition considered opera, it was writt
A theatre director or stage director is an instructor in the theatre field who oversees and orchestrates the mounting of a theatre production by unifying various endeavours and aspects of production. The director's function is to ensure the quality and completeness of theatre production and to lead the members of the creative team into realizing their artistic vision for it; the director therefore collaborates with a team of creative individuals and other staff, coordinating research, costume design, lighting design, set design, stage combat, sound design for the production. If the production he or she is mounting is a new piece of writing or a translation of a play, the director may work with the playwright or translator. In contemporary theatre, after the playwright, the director is the primary visionary, making decisions on the artistic concept and interpretation of the play and its staging. Different directors occupy different places of authority and responsibility, depending on the structure and philosophy of individual theatre companies.
Directors use a wide variety of techniques and levels of collaboration. In ancient Greece, the birthplace of European drama, the writer bore principal responsibility for the staging of his plays. Actors were semi-professionals, the director oversaw the mounting of plays from the writing process all the way through to their performance acting in them too, as Aeschylus for example did; the author-director would train the chorus, sometimes compose the music, supervise every aspect of production. The fact that the director was called didaskalos, the Greek word for "teacher," indicates that the work of these early directors combined instructing their performers with staging their work. In medieval times, the complexity of vernacular religious drama, with its large scale mystery plays that included crowd scenes and elaborate effects, gave the role of director considerable importance. A miniature by Jean Fouquet from 1460 bears one of the earliest depictions of a director at work. Holding a prompt book, the central figure directs, with the aid of a long stick, the proceedings of the staging of a dramatization of the Martyrdom of Saint Apollonia.
According to Fouquet, the director's tasks included overseeing the erecting of a stage and scenery and directing the actors, addressing the audience at the beginning of each performance and after each intermission. From Renaissance times up until the 19th century, the role of director was carried by the actor-manager; this would be a senior actor in a troupe who took the responsibility for choosing the repertoire of work, staging it and managing the company. This was the case for instance with Commedia dell'Arte companies and English actor-managers like Colley Cibber and David Garrick; the modern theatre director can be said to have originated in the staging of elaborate spectacles of the Meininger Company under George II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. The management of large numbers of extras and complex stagecraft matters necessitated an individual to take on the role of overall coordinator; this gave rise to the role of the director in modern theatre, Germany would provide a platform for a generation of emerging visionary theatre directors, such as Erwin Piscator and Max Reinhardt.
Constantin Stanislavski, principally an actor-manager, would set up the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia and emancipate the role of the director as artistic visionary. The French regisseur is sometimes used to mean a stage director, most in ballet. A more common term for theatre director in French is metteur en scène. Post World War II, the actor-manager started to disappear, directing become a fledged artistic activity within the theatre profession; the director originating artistic vision and concept, realizing the staging of a production, became the norm rather than the exception. Great forces in the emancipation of theatre directing as a profession were notable 20th-century theatre directors like Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Yevgeny Vakhtangov, Michael Chekhov, Yuri Lyubimov, Orson Welles, Peter Brook, Peter Hall, Bertolt Brecht, Giorgio Strehler and Franco Zeffirelli. A cautionary note was introduced by the famed director Sir Tyrone Guthrie who said "the only way to learn how to direct a play, is... to get a group of actors simple enough to allow you to let you direct them, direct".
A number of seminal works on directing and directors include Toby Cole and Helen Krich's 1972 Directors on Directing: A Sourcebook of the Modern Theatre, Edward Braun's 1982 book The Director and the Stage: From Naturalism to Growtowski and Will's The Director in a Changing Theatre. Because of the late emergence of theatre directing as a performing arts profession when compared with for instance acting or musicianship, a rise of professional vocational training programmes in directing can be seen in the second half of the 20th century. Most European countries nowadays know some form of professional directing training at drama schools or conservatoires, or at universities. In Britain, the tradition that theatre directors emerge from degree courses at the Oxbridge universities has meant that for a long time, professional vocational training did not take place at drama schools or performing arts colleges, although an increase in