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melody line. In his later work, these melody lines were created by combining musical themes (motifs) which represented different characters, objects, and emotions in the drama. • What is a leitmotif? Leitmotifis a clearly defined musical theme, representing a person, object or idea, which appears at the appropriate moment in a dramatic (usually an opera or film) work. In addition to the music dramas of Wagner, leitmotifscan be seen in John Williams' scores for the three Indiana Jonesand six Star Warsfilms. • What is considered Wagner's masterpiece? Der Ring des Nibelungen(1876). The "Ring" is actually four music dramas: Das Rheingold("Rhinegold"), Die Walkure("The Valkyries"), Siegfriedand Gotterdammerung("The Twilight of the Gods") with a combined playing time of seventeen hours. Wagner began working on Rheingoldin November 1851 and finished Gotterdammerung, the last of the series, in November 1874. The premiere performance in August 1876 was on the stage of Wagner's just opened opera house (Festspielhaus) in Bayreuth. • Who was Marcus Vitruvius Pollio? Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, better known as Vitruvius (90-20 BCE) was a Roman writer, architect and military engineer who we believe served both Julius Caesar and Caesar Augustus. His most influential work was de Architectura libri decem(ca. 27 BCE) – “The Ten Books on Architecture.” His ten books include topics on the manufacture of building materials, machines for heating water for the public
baths, speech amplification in the theatre, and the design of roads and bridges. Book Vcovers public buildings including both Greek and Roman theatres. The effect his work had on Renaissance architecture is monumental. • What is the Teatro Olimpico? Teatro Olimpico di Vicenza Teatro Olimpico(1580 - 1584), a 3000 seat "academic" theatre, is the oldest surviving Renaissance playhouse and is located in Vicenza (west of Venice). It is a combination of the old--a classical Roman facade (scaena frons) designed by Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), and the new--a perspective vista of the seven road to Thebes -- designed by Palladio's student: Vincenzo Scamozzi (1552-1616). The architect, Andrea Palladio, was attempting to create for the Accademia Olimpicaan accurate, miniature, indoor Roman theatre for the presentation of classical drama (Scamozzi's vistas were created for the 1585 Accademiaproduction of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex). He based his design on Vitruvius' de Architectura, which he had illustrated in 1556 and his study of the ruins of Teatro Berga di Vicenza.