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German Opera in the Eighteenth Century

German Opera in the Eighteenth Century - German Opera in...

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German Opera in the Eighteenth Century Singspiel : The word combines the terms for singing (singen) and play (Spiel). The usual German word for a spoken play or drama is Schauspiel (schaunen = to look), so Singspiel echoes that idea. Abduction from the Seraglio ( Die Entführung aus dem Serail , 1782): libretto by Johann Gottlieb Stephanie Pasha Selim (speaking role), a complicated oriental despot, in love with – Constanze (soprano), Belmonte’s fiancée, kidnapped by the Pasha and installed in his seraglio. She resists the Pasha’s courtship. Belmonte (tenor), searching for Constanze Osmin, a servant (comic bass), guardian of the harem Blonde (soprano) Constanze’s maid, object of Osmin’s attention. But Blonde’s true love is – Pedrillo (baritone), Belmonte’s former manservant, also a prisoner in the Seraglio Strophic form – A single musical verse repeats (exactly, or with little change) for each verse of the text. Always used for “phenomenal” music, which is music making within the opera (i.e., songs the characters sing knowing that they are singing).
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