Music 30 – History of Opera Example: Bizet, Carmen , Act 2: Escamillo's Song (narrative song, two verses, with refrain repeated by the chorus) French opera in the 19th century: • Grand Opera: 5 acts (minimum 4 acts), includes a ballet, commissioned by the Paris Opéra, uses recitative for conversational scenes • Opéra-comique: 3 acts (sometimes 4), no formal ballet, commissioned by the Opéra-comique or the Théâtre Lyrique, uses spoken dialogue Important composers of Grand Opera: Daniel Auber, Jacques Halévy, Giacomo Meyerbeer. Giuseppe Verdi wrote two grand operas: Les V êpres siciliennes and Don Carlos . • Charles Gounod, Faust (1859), based on Goethe's play ( Faust part 1). Began as an opéra-comique, but Gounod revised it in a Grand Opera version when it was performed at the Paris Opéra in 1869 • Georges Bizet, Carmen (1875), opéra-comique based on a novella by Prosper Mérimée • Jacques Offenbach, The Tales of Hoffmann (1888): an opéra-comique based on short stories by German writer E.T.A. Hoffmann
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