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aria

This is the solo vocal performance of a song.

bel canto

This is an Italian word that means "beautiful song" which was popular during the nineteenth century.

cadenza

This is a molodic flourish of voice sung between specific arias.

coloratura

This is embellished pitch and ranges of soprano singing that may fluctuate from sharp trills to moments of fast singing.

diva

This is an Italian word that means "goddess," often used in reference to famous female opera stars.

ensemble

two or more singers performing simultaneously

grand opera

This is a type of opera that is totally sung and contains no spoken words.

libretto

This is an Italian word tht means "little book"; the script that accompanies musical compositions.

librettist

This is the writer who composes the libretto.

maestro

This is an Italian word that means "master", often used in reference to conductors, composers, or directors of music.

opera comique

This is a French word used to describe an opera that contains songs as well as spoken dialogue.

operetta

This is simlar to an opera yet contains more spoken words than words that are sung.

overture

This is a composition of music played as an introduction to a musical or opera.

range

The inclusive lowest to highest pitches that a particular voice can produce.

recitative

This is written text that describes the action and advances of the plot; the words are sung to few instrumental accompaniments, but sung in a fast speech pattern or in the pattern of ordinary speech.

singspiel

This is a term used to refer to music productions that use dialogue and instruments, similar to the opera comique.

vibrato

This is a wavering or trembling effect produced by a singers voice when sustained over a set period of time.

soprano

This is the highest range of pitch for a female singer.

mezzo soprano

This is the medium range of pitch for a female, between soprano and contralto.

contralto

This is the lowest range of pitch for a female.

tenor

This is the highest range of pitch for a male singer.

baritone

This is the medium range of pitch for a male singer.

bass

This is the lowest range of pitch for a male singer.

music theater

This is a combination of dialogue, vocal music, and instrumental music, all designed to advance the story line.

Jacopo Peri

This Italian composer wrote "Dafne" and later "Euridice", scripts that used the power of singing voices as well instruments to produce the unique new theater form of opera.

opera

This word has its roots in the Latin language. In Italy, where this musical art form originated, this word literally translates to "work".

Claudio Monteferdi

Another Italian composer who wrote "Orfeo". This opera is still performed in modern times.

Jean-Baptiste Lully

This man brought the art of ballet to the court of King Louis XIV. He also enlivened the dying form of opera in France.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

This composer is still considered one of the best opera composers of all time. At age six, he could play three different instruments and wrote his first opera at the age of 13. He wrote more than six hundred compositions.

Vincenzo Bellini

This composer wrote "The William Tell Overture" and "The Barber of Seville".

Giuseppe Verdi

This man was one of the best known and widely produced composers of his time. His opera compositions include "Macbeth" and "Othello", based on plays written by Shakespeare.

Wilhelm Richard Wagner

This man was a composer, conductor, and writer who concentrated on applying these three areas of expertise into producing grand operas. His opera "Tristin and Isolde" was a love story based on lovers from the fictional works of King Arthur's court.

Giacomo Puccine

He wrote "manon Lescaut", "Tosca", and "Madame Butterfly".

Rock Opera

This was a collection of rock music which was set to a story line and performed in theaters and later produced in films. Some of these were "The Beat Opera," "Hair," and "Jesus Christ Superstar".

Peter Townsend

This member of the rock group "The Who" officially coined the term "rock opera" with the production of "Tommy" in 1969.

vocal folds

These, also known as vocal cords, are ligaments along either side of the larynx (voice box). This is where the human voice is produced.

the Bernoulli effect

This involves pushing air through the closed vocal cords that open and shut again as air pressure drops. It is through vibration that sound is produced.

onomatopoeia

This is using the voice to imitate particular sounds. Singers utilize the voice as an element of the instrumentals.

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