grand opera1.What are the characteristics of grand opera?
2. Meyerbeer quoted the Lutheran chorale Ein feste Burg (NAWM 46c) many times in Les Huguenots prior to its statement in the conclusion of act 2 (NAWM 147), although you do not have excerpts from all its statements. Why is the use of this particular hymn appropriate dramatically for the entire opera? Why is it appropriate for this scene in particular?
3. What is opéra bouffe, when did it come into existence, and what social roles did it serve?
4. What makes Carmen an example of realism and exoticism? Refer to the scene in NAWM 152 specifically to illustrate your points.
5. Diagram the form of the scene from Il barbiere di Siviglia in NAWM 145, including indications of instrumental and vocal sections, melodic and thematic repetitions, and changes in tempo, style, and figuration. How do the changes of style, tempo, and figuration help to convey what Rosina is saying and feeling? What did audiences value in Rossini’s operatic style? Refer to specific aspects of this scene from Il barbiere di Siviglia to illustrate your general points.
6. Sketch the form of the scena and duet from act 3 of Verdi’s La traviata (NAWM 150), providing terms for each section. Describe the melodic styles of the Andante section, “Parigi, o cara,” and the Allegro section, “Ah! Gran Dio!” Why do you think Verdi used the melodic styles that he did? Do you think his choices were effective? Explain your answer.
7. What distinguishing characteristics of German Romantic opera plots in the early nineteenth century are exemplified in Weber’s Der Freischütz as a whole and in the Wolf’s Glen scene (NAWM 148) in particular?
8. What is melodrama? Where and how is it used in the Wolf’s Glen scene of Der Freischütz? Why do you think its use in this scene might be more effective than using recitative?
9. Look at the form diagram of the conclusion to act 1 of Tristan und Isolde (NAWM, p. 787). How does Wagner use leitmotives to develop the plot in the conclusion of act 1 (NAWM 149b)? How does the harmonic language used for the sailors (e.g., at mm. 196–203), “Heil! König Marke Heil!”) differ from that used for Tristan and Isolde after they have drunk the love potion? Why is this contrast appropriate, and how does it heighten the drama?