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Humanities LibreTexts

11.3: Operatic Terminology

  • Page ID
    72423
    • Libretto – the words of an opera. Some composers wrote their own librettos; some collaborated with their librettists.
    • Orchestral overture – an instrumental opening to most of the operas. Some overtures are based on melodies from the arias.

    Listen: Overture

    Thumbnail for the embedded element "Gluck Overture to Iphigenie en Aulide"

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    • Aria – a formal song in which characters expresses their emotions.

    Listen: Aria

    Thumbnail for the embedded element "The Barber of Seville - Figaro's Aria"

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    • Recitative – the plot-driving passages sung in a style designed to imitate and emphasize the inflections of speech.

    Listen: Recitative

    Listen to the recitative “Ch’io mi scordi di te” from The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart.

    • Ensembles – duets, trios, other ensembles, and choruses.

    Listen: Chorus

    Thumbnail for the embedded element "Verdi: La Traviata - III.Act - Gypsy and Picadors Chorus "Noi siamo zingarelle""

    A YouTube element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here: http://pb.libretexts.org/map/?p=202

    All rights reserved content
    • Gluck Overture to Iphigenie en Aulide. Authored by: mvvm18. Located at: https://youtu.be/ctko9P6IaMM. License: All Rights Reserved. License Terms: Standard YouTube License
    • The Barber of Seville - Figaro's Aria. Authored by: Gioreto1. Located at: https://youtu.be/7qHZkkgowdY. License: All Rights Reserved. License Terms: Standard YouTube License
    • Verdi: La Traviata - III.Act - Gypsy and Picadors Chorus Noi siamo zingarelle. Authored by: Kanu00e1l uu017eivatele AchillesValda. Located at: https://youtu.be/c3bHC8B5o-k. License: All Rights Reserved. License Terms: Standard YouTube License
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