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Monday, May 01, 2006

Reaction to Chapter 17
Comparing and Contrasting Operas and Operettas


Many theatre lovers are familiar with opera, which was invented in the Renaissance era, however many lack the familiarity with operettas. An operetta is more of a “lighthearted musical theatre” and its meaning says it all, a little opera (299). Operettas were created to off set the sadness and complexity of operas.
The Italians are credited for creating the opera, which is sung from beginning to end and usually in a different language than the audience understands. Audiences do not attend operas to understand the story, though it’s always a plus, they go to experience and listen to the beautiful music that is sung by the most gifted singers. The scenery is always stunning and can usually tell the audience a lot, along with the body language of the performers. The music is always very complex with tragic plots based upon “ancient Greek or German myths” (299).
Contrastingly operettas are considered to be more comic; there is always humor involved that has the audience laughing hysterically. In addition the endings to the operettas are not sad and depressing like operas; they end happily and are uplifting. The languages of operettas are always translated so that the audience is sure to understand what the performers are saying, not to mention that some of the words are not sung but spoken. The music is not as complex as the music one would hear in an opera, it is more romantic and is often like a waltz. The plots of operettas tend to be more exotic and romantic than those of operas.

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