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The Portrayal Of The Tragic Love Story: Through Pictorial And Operatic Representation

5380 words - 22 pages

Background/IntroductionMy essay is going to look at the portrayal of the tragic love story. I am going to compare a variety of different stories, and look at how significant moments and situations have been conveyed through the use of pictorial representations and musical settings . Each stage of the tragic love story is characterised in a different way, for example the way the person dies, or the ending; I am going to concentrate on the portrayal of affection between the two lovers. I am going to consider the idea of fate and how through the power of love and its enticing nature, a tragic ending is often the outcome. When love is finally reciprocated, abandon, loss or death of one of the ...view middle of the document...

The recitative not only acts as a tool to get through a lot of story quickly, but also depicts the raw emotion of human situations, but in circumstances where an outburst of solo song would not always be appropriate. As opera became more popular as a public genre, aria began to take prominence over the more monotonous style of recitative, with the Da-capo aria, particularly popular around 1680s. This compositional technique helps not only to convey the story, but to express a more psychological dimension, such as state of mind. Emotional depth was created whereby changes of character in the character were imitated through the music; ' arias have emotive qualities other than those achieved just through musically heightening speech inflexions and rhythms.'Within the baroque operatic tradition, The idea of 'Dramatis Personae' was used a considerable amount, it was the ability to portray not only the external emotions, but the interior expressions of the characters. Like a musical motif is transformed through harmony, rhythm, timbre and melody, but as the drama continues and intensifies, so to are the main characters. However, the aria is better for depicting emotions etc.............There were some crucial elements of baroque opera that are particularly evident throughout musical versions of the tragic love story. Firstly, the significance of the prologue at the start of the opera . Its function as an opening statement, was to provide the opportunity for philosophical issues to be discussed, and regarding the portrayal of the tragic love story, the fate of the characters were debated or the foreshadowing of a possible tragic ending would be established. Secondly, the chorus were/was!!! extremely important. They would provide a commentary throughout the opera, and help intensify the dramatic qualities of the opera. Often closing acts or even the ending of the whole opera, (see appendix) for great example of opera concluding/providing the musical and emotional climax of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. Perhaps the single most powerful resource of opera as a dramatic form is its capacity to use musical means not only to advance the action in time, but to deepen it. Musical figures associated with certain words and sentiments known to 17th century composers and listeners- i.e. certain instruments projecting certain emotions, important features that composer has picked up on, or arias and recitative depicting tableau/ story.Painting Baroque art is applied to European art of the 17th and early 18th century particualrrly the period between mannerist and rococo styles. There was a move towards great emotional depiction and overt rhetoic qualities, stemming from the Catholic Counter-reformation. The most important painters of the barouque art period include Caravaggio, Caracci, Rubens, Rembrandtz, and Poussin to name a few. They were influenced by the classicism of Greek and Rome, and put a lot of thought into the content and context of the...

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