Lucrezia Borgia was a Spanish-Italian noblewoman of the House of Borgia, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI and Vannozza dei Cattanei. She reigned as the Governor of Spoleto, a position held by cardinals, in her own right, her family arranged several marriages for her that advanced their own political position including Giovanni Sforza, Lord of Pesaro and Gradara, Count of Catignola. Tradition has it that Alfonso of Aragon was an illegitimate son of the King of Naples and that her brother Cesare Borgia may have had him murdered after his political value waned. Rumors about her and her family cast Lucrezia as a femme fatale, a role in which she has been portrayed in many artworks and films. Lucrezia Borgia was born on 18 April 1480 at Subiaco, near Rome, her mother was Vannozza dei Cattanei, one of the mistresses of Lucrezia's father, Cardinal Rodrigo de Borgia. During her early life, Lucrezia Borgia's education was entrusted to Adriana Orsini de Milan, a close confidant of her father's, her education would take place in the Piazza Pizzo de Merlo, a building adjacent to her father's residence.
Unlike most educated women of her time, for whom convents were the primary source for knowledge, her education came from within the sphere of intellectuals in court and close relatives. Her upbringing would differ from others due to the inclusion of Humanities, which the Catholic Church at the time considered detrimental to the foundations of piety and obedience; this education would be successful in teaching Lucrezia Spanish, Italian and some reading ability of Latin and Greek. She would become proficient in the lute and oration; the biggest testament to her intelligence is her capability in administration, as on in life she would take care of Vatican City correspondence and governance of Ferrara. On 26 February 1491, a matrimonial arrangement was drawn up between Lucrezia and the Lord of Val D'Ayora in the kingdom of Valencia, Don Cherubino Joan de Centelles, annulled less than two months in favour of a new contract engaging Lucrezia to Don Gaspare Aversa, count of Procida; when Rodrigo became Pope Alexander VI, he sought to be allied with powerful princely families and founding dynasties of Italy.
He therefore called off Lucrezia's previous engagements and arranged for her to marry Giovanni Sforza, a member of the House of Sforza, Lord of Pesaro and titled Count of Catignola. Giovanni was a Sforza of the second rank, he married Lucrezia on 12 June 1493 in Rome. Before long, the Borgia family no longer needed the Sforzas, the presence of Giovanni Sforza in the papal court was superfluous; the Pope needed new, more advantageous political alliances, so he may have covertly ordered the execution of Giovanni: the accepted version is that Lucrezia was informed of this by her brother Cesare, she warned her husband, who fled Rome. Alexander asked Giovanni's uncle, Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, to persuade Giovanni to agree to an annulment of the marriage. Giovanni accused Lucrezia of paternal incest; the pope asserted that his daughter's marriage was thus invalid. Giovanni was offered her dowry in return for his cooperation; the Sforza family threatened to withdraw their protection. Giovanni signed confessions of impotence and documents of annulment before witnesses.
There has been speculation that during the prolonged process of the annulment, Lucrezia consummated a relationship with someone Alexander's chamberlain Pedro Calderon named Perotto. In any case, families hostile to the Borgias would accuse her of being pregnant at the time her marriage was annulled for non-consummation, she is known to have retired to the convent of San Sisto in June 1497 to await the outcome of the annulment proceedings, which were finalized in December of the same year. The bodies of Pedro Calderon, a maid, were found in the Tiber in February 1498. In March 1498, the Ferrarese ambassador claimed that Lucrezia had given birth, but this was denied by other sources. A child was born, however, in the Borgia household the year before Lucrezia's marriage to Alfonso of Aragon, he was named Giovanni but is known to historians as the "Infans Romanus". In 1501, two papal bulls were issued concerning Giovanni Borgia. In the first, he was recognized as Cesare's child from an affair before his marriage.
The second, bull recognized him as the son of Pope Alexander VI. Lucrezia's name is not mentioned in either, rumors that she was his mother have never been proven; the second bull was kept secret for many years, Giovanni was assumed to be Cesare's son. This is supported by the fact that in 1502 he became Duke of Camerino, one of Cesare's recent conquests, hence the natural inheritance of the Duke of Romagna's oldest son. Giovanni went to stay with Lucrezia in Ferrara after Alexander's death, where he was accepted as her half-brother. Following her annulment from Sforza, Lucrezia was married to the Neapolitan Alfonso of Aragon, the half-brother of Sancha of Aragon, the wife of Lucrezia's brother Gioffre Borgia; the marriage was a short one. They were married in 1498, making Lucrezia the Duchess consort of Bisceglie and Princess consort of Salerno. Lucrezia—not her husband—was appointed governor of Spoleto in 1499, it was rumored that Lucrezia's brother Cesare was responsible for Alfonso's death, as he
Johanna Maria "Jenny" Lind was a Swedish opera singer known as the "Swedish Nightingale". One of the most regarded singers of the 19th century, she performed in soprano roles in opera in Sweden and across Europe, undertook an extraordinarily popular concert tour of the United States beginning in 1850, she was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music from 1840. Lind became famous after her performance in Der Freischütz in Sweden in 1838. Within a few years, she had suffered vocal damage, but the singing teacher Manuel García saved her voice, she was in great demand in opera roles throughout Sweden and northern Europe during the 1840s, was associated with Felix Mendelssohn. After two acclaimed seasons in London, she announced her retirement from opera at the age of 29. In 1850, Lind went to America at the invitation of the showman P. T. Barnum, she gave 93 large-scale concerts for him and continued to tour under her own management. She earned more than $350,000 from these concerts, donating the proceeds to charities, principally the endowment of free schools in Sweden.
With her new husband, Otto Goldschmidt, she returned to Europe in 1852 where she had three children and gave occasional concerts over the next two decades, settling in England in 1855. From 1882, for some years, she was a professor of singing at the Royal College of Music in London. Born in Klara in central Stockholm, Lind was the illegitimate daughter of Niclas Jonas Lind, a bookkeeper, Anne-Marie Fellborg, a schoolteacher. Lind's mother had divorced her first husband for adultery but, for religious reasons, refused to remarry until after his death in 1834. Lind's parents married when she was 14. Lind's mother ran a day school for girls out of her home; when Lind was about 9, her singing was overheard by the maid of Mademoiselle Lundberg, the principal dancer at the Royal Swedish Opera. The maid, astounded by Lind's extraordinary voice, returned the next day with Lundberg, who arranged an audition and helped her gain admission to the acting school of the Royal Dramatic Theatre, where she studied with Karl Magnus Craelius, the singing master at the theatre.
Lind began to sing onstage when she was 10. She had a vocal crisis at the age of 12 and had to stop singing for a time, her first great role was Agathe in Weber's Der Freischütz in 1838 at the Royal Swedish Opera. At 20, she was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and court singer to the King of Sweden and Norway, her voice became damaged by overuse and untrained singing technique, but her career was saved by the singing teacher Manuel García with whom she studied in Paris from 1841 to 1843. He insisted that she should not sing at all for three months, to allow her vocal cords to recover, before he started to teach her a healthy and secure vocal technique. After Lind had been with García for a year, the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer, an early and faithful admirer of her talent, arranged an audition for her at the Opéra in Paris, but she was rejected; the biographer Francis Rogers concludes that Lind resented the rebuff: when she became an international star, she always refused invitations to sing at the Paris Opéra.
Lind returned to the Royal Swedish Opera improved as a singer by García's training. She toured Denmark where, in 1843, Hans Christian Andersen fell in love with her. Although the two became good friends, she did not reciprocate his romantic feelings, she is believed to have inspired three of his fairy tales: "Beneath the Pillar", "The Angel" and "The Nightingale". He wrote, "No book or personality whatever has exerted a more ennobling influence on me, as a poet, than Jenny Lind. For me she opened the sanctuary of art." The biographer Carol Rosen believes that after Lind rejected Andersen as a suitor, he portrayed her as The Snow Queen with a heart of ice. In December 1844, through Meyerbeer's influence, Lind was engaged to sing the title role in Bellini's opera Norma in Berlin; that led to more engagements in opera houses throughout Germany and Austria, but such was her success in Berlin that she continued there for four months before she left for other cities. Among her admirers were Robert Schumann, Hector Berlioz and, most for her, Felix Mendelssohn.
Ignaz Moscheles wrote: "Jenny Lind has enchanted me... her song with two concertante flutes is the most incredible feat in the way of bravura singing that can be heard". That number, from Meyerbeer's Ein Feldlager in Schlesien became one of the songs most associated with Lind, she was called on to sing it wherever she performed in concert, her operatic repertoire comprised the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor, Maria di Rohan, Norma, La sonnambula and La vestale as well as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Adina in L'elisir d'amore and Alice in Robert le diable. About that time, she became known as "the Swedish Nightingale". In December 1845, the day after her debut at the Leipzig Gewandhaus under the baton of Mendelssohn, she sang without fee for a charity concert in aid of the Orchestra Widows' Fund, her devotion and generosity to charitable causes remained a key aspect of her career and enhanced her international popularity among the unmusical. At the Royal Swedish Opera, Lind had been friends with the tenor Julius Günther.
They sang together both in opera and on the concert stage and became romantically linked by 1844. Their schedules separated them, however, as Günther remained in Stockholm and became a student of Garcia's in Paris in 1846–1847. After reuniting in Sweden, according to Lind's 1891 Memoir, they became engaged to marry in the spring of 1848, just before Lind returned to England. However, t
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion
John Sims Reeves called Sims Reeves, was the foremost English operatic and ballad tenor vocalist of the mid-Victorian era. Reeves began his singing career in 1838 but continued his vocal studies until 1847, he soon established himself on the opera and concert stage and became known for his interpretation of ballads. He continued singing through the 1880s and taught and wrote about singing. Sims Reeves was born in Shooter's Hill, in Greater London, England, his parents were John Reeves, a musician of Yorkshire origin, his wife, Rosina. He received his earliest musical education from his father, a bass soloist in the Royal Artillery Band, through the bandmaster, George McKenzie. By the age of fourteen he was appointed choirmaster of North Cray church and performed organist's duties, he seems to have studied medicine for a year but changed his mind when he gained his adult voice: it was at first a baritone, training under Thomas Simpson Cooke. He learnt oboe, bassoon and violoncello and other instruments.
He studied piano under Johann Baptist Cramer. He made his earliest appearance at Newcastle in 1838 or 1839 as the Gipsy boy in H. R. Bishop's Guy Mannering, as Count Rodolfo in La sonnambula, he performed at the Grecian Saloon, under the name of Johnson. He continued to study voice with Messrs. Hobbs and T. Cooke and appeared under William Charles Macready's management at Drury Lane in subordinate parts in spoken theatre and in Henry Purcell's King Arthur, Der Freischütz, Acis and Galatea in 1842 when Händel's pastoral was mounted on the stage with William Clarkson Stanfield's scenery. In summer 1843 Reeves studied in Paris under the tenor and pedagogue Marco Bordogni of the Paris Conservatoire. Bordogni was responsible for opening and developing the upper octave of his voice into the famous rich and brilliant head notes. From October 1843 to January 1844 Reeves appeared in a varied programme of musical drama, including the roles of Elvino in La Sonnambula and Tom Tug in Charles Dibdin's The Waterman, at the Manchester theatre, over the next two years performed in Dublin and elsewhere in the provinces.
In the same period from 1845, he continued his studies abroad, notably under Alberto Mazzucato, the dramatic composer and teacher newly appointed singing instructor at the Milan Conservatory. His debut in Italian opera was made on 29 October 1846 at La Scala in Milan as Edgardo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, partnered by Catherine Hayes: he got a fine reception, Giovanni Rubini paid his respects in person. For six months he sang at the principal Italian opera houses, in Vienna, where he was rescued from his contract and returned to England, he returned to London in 1847, appearing in May at a benefit concert for William Vincent Wallace, in June at one of the'Antient Concerts'. In September 1847 he sang in Edinburgh with Jenny Lind, his first principal role on the English operatic stage was with Louis Jullien's English Opera company at Drury Lane Theatre in December 1847 in Lucia, in English text, with Mme Doras Gras and Willoughby Weiss, winning immediate and near-universal acclaim, not least from Hector Berlioz, who conducted the performance.
In the same season, in Balfe's The Maid of Honour, he created the part of Lyonnel. In May 1848 he joined Benjamin Lumley's company at Her Majesty's Theatre and sang Linda di Chamounix with Eugenia Tadolini, but he severed the connection when Italo Gardoni was brought in to sing Edgardo in Lucia opposite Jenny Lind, but that autumn in Manchester he sang in Lucia and La Sonnambula, days after Lind appeared in the same works there, Reeves obtained the better houses. Reeves sang La Lucia at Covent Garden in October. In oratorio, Reeves first sang The Messiah in Glasgow, during 1844. In February 1848 he sang Handel's Judas Maccabaeus, at Exeter Hall for John Hullah and Galatea in March and Jephtha in April and May, he was, meanwhile establishing himself as the leading ballad-singer in England. In September 1848 at the Worcester festival he took a solo in Elijah, sang in Beethoven's Christ on the Mount of Olives, packed the hall in a recital of Oberon. At the Norwich Festival he was sensational in Israel in Egypt.
After his November appearance at the Sacred Harmonic Society in Judas Maccabaeus, a critic wrote,'the mantle of Braham is destined to fall'. Critic H. F. Chorley wrote that Reeves had created'a positive revolution in the interpretation of Handel's oratorios.' Reeves toured in Dublin for Mr Calcraft. After his successful engagement he attended the debut there of the Irish soprano Catherine Hayes, in Lucia: her Edgardo, Sig. Paglieri, was hissed from the stage, Reeves was obliged to stand in for the performance, his London Covent Garden Italian debut was in 1849, as Elvino in Bellini's La sonnambula, opposite Fanny Tacchinardi Persiani: he made a great effect of full lyrical declamation in Tutto e sciolto... Ah! perche non-posso odiarti?. After his Edgardo in Lucia, Reeves' Elvino was considered his finest role in Italian opera. In the winter of 1849 he returned to English opera, in 1850 at Her Majesty's he made a further great success in Verdi's Ernani, opposite the Elvira of Mdlle Parodi and Carlo of Giovanni Belletti, about to embark on an American tour at the invitation of Jenny Lind.
In encores, the cry of'Reeves!' became widespread. On 2 No
Frankfurt is a metropolis and the largest city of the German federal state of Hesse, its 746,878 inhabitants make it the fifth-largest city of Germany after Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne. On the River Main, it forms a continuous conurbation with the neighbouring city of Offenbach am Main, its urban area has a population of 2.3 million. The city is at the centre of the larger Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region, which has a population of 5.5 million and is Germany's second-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr Region. Since the enlargement of the European Union in 2013, the geographic centre of the EU is about 40 km to the east of Frankfurt's central business district. Like France and Franconia, the city is named after the Franks. Frankfurt is the largest city in the Rhine Franconian dialect area. Frankfurt was a city state, the Free City of Frankfurt, for nearly five centuries, was one of the most important cities of the Holy Roman Empire, as a site of imperial coronations, it has been part of the federal state of Hesse since 1945.
A quarter of the population are foreign nationals, including many expatriates. Frankfurt is an alpha world city and a global hub for commerce, education and transportation, it is the site of many European corporate headquarters. Frankfurt Airport is among the world's busiest. Frankfurt is the major financial centre of the European continent, with the headquarters of the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Deutsche Bank, DZ Bank, KfW, several cloud and fintech startups and other institutes. Automotive and research, consulting and creative industries complement the economic base. Frankfurt's DE-CIX is the world's largest internet exchange point. Messe Frankfurt is one of the world's largest trade fairs. Major fairs include the Frankfurt Motor Show, the world's largest motor show, the Music Fair, the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest book fair. Frankfurt is home to influential educational institutions, including the Goethe University, the UAS, the FUMPA, graduate schools like the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.
Its renowned cultural venues include the concert hall Alte Oper, Europe's largest English theatre and many museums. Frankfurt's skyline is shaped by some of Europe's tallest skyscrapers; the city is characterised by various green areas and parks, including the central Wallanlagen, the City Forest and two major botanical gardens, the Palmengarten and the University's Botanical Garden. Important is the Frankfurt Zoo. In electronic music, Frankfurt has been a pioneering city since the 1980s, with renowned DJs including Sven Väth, Marc Trauner, Scot Project, Kai Tracid, the clubs Dorian Gray, U60311, Omen and Cocoon. In sports, the city is known as the home of the top tier football club Eintracht Frankfurt, the Löwen Frankfurt ice hockey team, the basketball club Frankfurt Skyliners, the Frankfurt Marathon and the venue of Ironman Germany. Frankfurt is the largest financial centre in continental Europe, it is home to the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt Stock Exchange and several large commercial banks.
The Frankfurt Stock Exchange is one of the world's largest stock exchanges by market capitalization and accounts for more than 90 percent of the turnover in the German market. In 2010, 63 national and 152 international banks had their registered offices in Frankfurt, including Germany's major banks, notably Deutsche Bank, DZ Bank, KfW and Commerzbank, as well as 41 representative offices of international banks. Frankfurt is considered a global city. Among global cities it was ranked 10th by the Global Power City Index 2011 and 11th by the Global City Competitiveness Index 2012. Among financial centres it was ranked 8th by the International Financial Centers Development Index 2013 and 9th by the Global Financial Centres Index 2013, its central location within Germany and Europe makes Frankfurt a major air and road transport hub. Frankfurt Airport is one of the world's busiest international airports by passenger traffic and the main hub for Germany's flag carrier Lufthansa. Frankfurt Central Station is one of the largest rail stations in Europe and the busiest junction operated by Deutsche Bahn, the German national railway company, with 342 trains a day to domestic and European destinations.
Frankfurter Kreuz, the Autobahn interchange close to the airport, is the most used interchange in the EU, used by 320,000 cars daily. In 2011 human-resource-consulting firm Mercer ranked Frankfurt as seventh in its annual'Quality of Living' survey of cities around the world. According to The Economist cost-of-living survey, Frankfurt is Germany's most expensive city and the world's 10th most expensive. Frankfurt has many high-rise buildings in the city centre, forming the Frankfurt skyline, it is one of the few cities in the European Union to have such a skyline and because of it Germans sometimes refer to Frankfurt as Mainhattan, a portmanteau of the local Main River and Manhattan. The other well known and obvious nickname is Bankfurt. Before World War II the city was globally noted for its unique old town with timber-framed buildings, the largest timber-framed old town in Europe; the Römer area was rebuilt and is popular with visitors and for eve
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
St James's Hall
St. James's Hall was a concert hall in London that opened on 25 March 1858, designed by architect and artist Owen Jones, who had decorated the interior of the Crystal Palace, it was situated between the Quadrant in Regent Street and Piccadilly, Vine Street and George Court. There was a frontage on Regent Street, another in Piccadilly. Taking the orchestra into account, the main hall had seating for over 2,000 persons, it had a grand hall 140 feet long and 60 feet broad, the seating was distributed between ground floor, balcony and platform and it had excellent acoustics. On the ground floor were two smaller halls, one 60 feet square; the Hall was decorated in the'Florentine' style, with features imitating the great Moorish Palace of the Alhambra. The Piccadilly facade was given a Gothic design, the complex of two restaurants and three halls was hidden behind Nash's Quadrant. Sir George Henschel recalled its'dear old, long, green-upholstered benches with the numbers of the seats tied over the straight backs with bright pink tape, like office files.'The Hall was built jointly by two music publishing firms, Chappell & Co. and Cramer & Co. in the hope of attracting the growing audiences for fine musical performances that attended the Crystal Palace and the halls being built in the provinces.
It stood empty for nearly a year after its opening. For half a century thereafter, the Hall was London's principal concert hall, to be succeeded by Queen's Hall in the 1900s and by Wigmore Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall, it became famous for its'Monday Pops' concerts and Ballad Concerts, as the home of the Philharmonic Society and the Christy Minstrels and for the many famous conductors and performers who gave important performances there. The first performance at the hall was The Hymn of Praise by the Vocal Association, under Julius Benedict. Sims Reeves sang Beethoven's'Adelaide' there, accompanied by Arabella Goddard, in a concert at the end of May 1858. According to Reeves' biographer,'The hall itself met with general approval, but the arrangements for chorus and orchestra were condemned.' In the same year, one of the first complete performances of J. S. Bach's St Matthew Passion to be heard in England was given there under William Sterndale Bennett, with Sims Reeves, Helen Lemmens-Sherrington, Charlotte Sainton-Dolby and Willoughby Weiss.
The hall became known for its continuous production of blackface minstrelsy from 1862 until 1904. Known as the Christy Minstrels and the Moore and Burgess Minstrels, the Hall's resident minstrel troupe performed in one of the smaller halls located on the ground floor near the restaurant, below the main hall. Gilbert and Sullivan's 1893 comic opera, Limited, contains a joke in which the Court of St. James's is purposely confused with St. James's Hall and its minstrel shows, a parody of a minstrel number is included in the same scene. In residence for the whole active life of the hall, the Minstrels had their permanent home there, but their interests conflicted with those of the main hall. In January 1890, for instance, George Bernard Shaw wrote: At the Hallé orchestral concert... I was inhumanly tormented by a quadrille band which the proprietors of St James's Hall had stationed within earshot of the concert-hall; the heavy tum-tum of the basses throbbed obscurely against the rhythms of Spohr and Berlioz all the evening, like a toothache through a troubled dream.
Only a fortnight the band, at first subdued, broke out in a'wild strain of brazen minstrelsy' during the final bars of the funeral march in the Eroica Symphony. After the movement was applauded a member of the audience began calling out that a complaint should be lodged, won general approval, hear and people standing up to look at him. On one occasion Lady Henschel and her daughter went to hear Joseph Joachim play at a Saturday'Pop', but were so aware of the'rhythmic gay sounds and shimmering away in a most enlivening manner', that they decided to go and hear Moore and Burgess instead. Samuel Arthur Chappell, one of the brothers in the Chappell & Co. firm of Bond Street music publishers, who concentrated on selling brass and woodwind instruments, together with his brother Thomas, devised the idea of the Monday Popular Concerts, which established the fame and popularity of the hall. George Bernard Shaw reported that the concerts at the hall contributed to the spread and enlightenment of musical taste in England.
Monday'Pops' were held in the evening, Saturday'Pops' on Saturday afternoons. These were chamber-concerts, their programmes were exclusively'classical', consisted of piano and organ recital, violinists, string quartets and other chamber ensemble. They were managed by John Boosey, by William Boosey, together with Chappell. In 1861 the Musical World observed:'classical chamber music of the highest order is brought week after week within the reach of the shilling paying masses as it has now been no less than fifty-two times at St James's Hall.... Swelling the total of the Monday Popular Concerts to no less than sixty-three within two years of their foundation.... Such a result is unparalleled in the history of musical entertainments.'George Bernard Shaw gives an interesting narrative of the'Pops' between 1888 and 1894. Shaw admired the Joachim Quartet, led either by Joachim himself or by Mme Wilma Norman