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Contralto
A contralto (Italian pronunciation: [konˈtralto]) is a type of classical female singing voice whose vocal range is the lowest female voice type.[1] The contralto's vocal range is fairly rare; similar to, but different from the alto, and almost identical to that of a countertenor, typically between the F below middle C (F3 in scientific pitch notation) to the second F above middle C (F5), although, at the extremes, some voices can reach the E below middle C (E3) or the second B♭ above middle C (B♭5).[1] The contralto voice type is generally divided into the coloratura, lyric, and dramatic contralto.Contents1 History 2 Voice type 3 Subtypes and roles in opera3.1 Coloratura 3.2 Lyric 3.3 Dramatic4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External linksHistory[edit] "Contralto" is primarily meaningful only in reference to classical and operatic singing, as other traditions lack a comparable system of vocal categorization
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Ornament (music)
In music, ornaments or embellishments are musical flourishes—typically, added notes—that are not essential to carry the overall line of the melody (or harmony), but serve instead to decorate or "ornament" that line (or harmony), provide added interest and variety, and give the performer the opportunity to add expressiveness to a song or piece. Many ornaments are performed as "fast notes" around a central, main note. There are many types of ornaments, ranging from the addition of a single, short grace note before a main note to the performance of a virtuostic and flamboyant trill. The amount of ornamentation in a piece of music can vary from quite extensive (it was often extensive in the Baroque
Baroque
period, from 1600 to 1750) to relatively little or even none
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Staff (music)
In Western musical notation, the staff (US) or stave (UK)[1] (plural for either: staves) is a set of five horizontal lines and four spaces that each represent a different musical pitch—or, in the case of a percussion staff, different percussion instruments. Appropriate music symbols, depending on the intended effect, are placed on the staff according to their corresponding pitch or function. Musical notes are placed by pitch, percussion notes are placed by instrument, and rests and other symbols are placed by convention. The absolute pitch of each line of a non-percussive staff is indicated by the placement of a clef symbol at the appropriate vertical position on the left-hand side of the staff (possibly modified by conventions for specific instruments)
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Zarah Leander
Zarah Leander
Zarah Leander
(15 March 1907 – 23 June 1981) was a Swedish singer and actress whose greatest success was in Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
during the 1930s and 1940s.Contents1 Biography 2 Beginnings 3 The UFA star 4 Return to Sweden 5 Controversy 6 Legacy 7 Filmography 8 Operettas and musicals 9 References 10 Sources10.1 General literature 10.2 Autobiography11 External linksBiography[edit] Leander began her career in the late 1920s, and by the mid-1930s her success in Europe, particularly in Germany
Germany
and the Scandinavian countries, led to invitations to work in the United States. She was reluctant to relocate her children, and opted to remain in Europe. From 1936, she was contracted to work for the German Universum Film AG (UFA) while continuing to record songs. Leander later noted that while her films were successful, her work as a recording artist was more profitable
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Bally Prell
Bally Prell
Bally Prell
(born Agnes Pauline Prell; 14 September 1922 – 20 March 1982) was a German performer, humorous singer, and folk singer, who performed mainly in Bavarian language.Contents1 Life 2 Honors 3 References 4 Further reading 5 External linksLife[edit] Prell was the daughter of folk singer and composer Ludwig Prell on Leopold Street 77 in Schwabing, a district in the Bavarian capital of Munich, where she lived her entire life. As early as five years old, she performed at Munich's Odeon Hall and wowed the audience with her voice. Her voice was a soft tenor, which enabled her to sing classical arias. On 31 October 1953, she appeared for the first time in Munich's Platzl with her song, "Die Schönheitskönigin von Schneizlreuth" ("The Beauty Queen of Schneizlreuth"). The song used Prell's unusual vocal range and decidedly un-beauty queen-like appearance to caricature the emerging beauty craze
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Scientific Pitch Notation
Scientific pitch notation (or SPN, also known as American Standard Pitch Notation (ASPN) and International Pitch Notation (IPN))[1][unreliable source?] is a method of specifying musical pitch by combining a musical note name (with accidental if needed) and a number identifying the pitch's octave. Although scientific pitch notation (SPN) was originally designed as a companion to "scientific pitch" (see below), the two are not synonymous, and should not be confused. Scientific pitch is a pitch standard—a system which defines the specific frequencies of particular pitches (see below). SPN concerns only how pitch names are notated, that is, how they are designated in printed and written text, and does not inherently specify actual frequencies
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Benjamin Britten
Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh
Aldeburgh
OM CH (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976) was an English composer, conductor and pianist. He was a central figure of 20th-century British classical music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music, orchestral and chamber pieces. His best-known works include the opera Peter Grimes
Peter Grimes
(1945), the War Requiem
War Requiem
(1962) and the orchestral showpiece The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (1945). Born in Suffolk, the son of a dentist, Britten showed talent from an early age. He studied at the Royal College of Music
Royal College of Music
in London and privately with the composer Frank Bridge. Britten first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy was Born in 1934
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Il Trovatore
Il trovatore
Il trovatore
(pronounced [il trovaˈtoːre]; Italian for "The Troubadour") is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi
to an Italian libretto largely written by Salvadore Cammarano, based on the play El trovador (1836) by Antonio García Gutiérrez. It was Gutiérrez's most successful play, one which Verdi scholar Julian Budden describes as "a high flown, sprawling melodrama flamboyantly defiant of the Aristotelian unities, packed with all manner of fantastic and bizarre incident."[1] The premiere took place at the Teatro Apollo
Teatro Apollo
in Rome on 19 January 1853, where it "began a victorious march throughout the operatic world,"[2] a success due to Verdi's work over the previous three years. It began with his January 1850 approach to Cammarano with the idea of Il trovatore
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André Campra
André Campra
André Campra
(French: [kɑ̃pʁa]; baptized 4 December 1660 – 29 June 1744) was a French composer and conductor. Campra was one of the leading French opera composers in the period between Jean-Baptiste Lully
Jean-Baptiste Lully
and Jean-Philippe Rameau. He wrote several tragédies en musique and opéra-ballets that were extremely well received. He also wrote three books of cantatas as well as religious music, including a requiem.[1][2]Contents1 Biography 2 Compositions and style 3 Principal works 4 Legacy 5 References 6 External linksBiography[edit] Campra was the son of Jean-François Campra, a surgeon and violinist from Graglia, Italy, and Louise Fabry, from Aix-en-Provence. His father was his first music teacher. He was baptised on 4 December 1660 in the Église de la Madeleine in Aix.[3] He became a choirboy in the Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur there in 1674 and commenced ecclesiastical studies four years later
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Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (Italian: [dʒuˈzɛppe ˈverdi]; 9 or 10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was an Italian opera composer. Verdi was born near Busseto
Busseto
to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history. In his early operas, Verdi demonstrated a sympathy with the Risorgimento
Risorgimento
movement which sought the unification of Italy. He also participated briefly as an elected politician
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Classical Music
Classical music
Classical music
is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820 (the Classical period), this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods.[1] The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period
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Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
(/ˈvɑːɡnər/; German: [ˈʁiçaʁt ˈvaːɡnɐ] ( listen); 22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas (or, as some of his later works were later known, "music dramas"). Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber
Carl Maria von Weber
and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk
Gesamtkunstwerk
("total work of art"), by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852
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Gaetano Donizetti
Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti (Italian: [doˈmeːniko ɡaeˈtaːno maˈriːa donidˈdzetti] ( listen); 29 November 1797 – 8 April 1848) was an Italian composer. Along with Gioachino Rossini
Rossini
and Vincenzo Bellini, Donizetti was a leading composer of the bel canto opera style during the first half of the nineteenth century. Donizetti's close association with the bel canto style was undoubtedly an influence on other composers such as Giuseppe Verdi.[1] Donizetti was born in Bergamo
Bergamo
in Lombardy. Although he did not come from a musical background, at an early age he was taken under the wing of composer Simon Mayr[2] who had enrolled him by means of a full scholarship in a school which he had set up. There he received detailed training in the arts of fugue and counterpoint
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Gioachino Rossini
Gioachino Antonio Rossini[1][2] (Italian: [dʒoaˈkiːno anˈtɔːnjo rosˈsiːni] ( listen); 29 February 1792 – 13 November 1868) was an Italian composer who wrote 39 operas as well as some sacred music, songs, chamber music, and piano pieces. He was a precocious composer of operas, and he made his debut at age 18 with La cambiale di matrimonio. His best-known operas include the Italian comedies The Barber of Seville
The Barber of Seville
(Il barbiere di Siviglia), The Italian Girl in Algiers (L'italiana in Algeri), and Cinderella
Cinderella
(La Cenerentola). He also wrote a string of serious operas in Italian, including works such as Tancredi, Otello, and Semiramide. The Thieving Magpie (La gazza ladra) features one of his most celebrated overtures. Rossini moved to Paris
Paris
in 1824 where he began to set French librettos to music
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Julie D'Aubigny
Julie d'Aubigny
Julie d'Aubigny
(1670/1673–1707), better known as Mademoiselle Maupin or La Maupin, was a 17th-century swordswoman and opera singer. Her tumultuous career and flamboyant life were the subject of gossip and colourful stories in her own time, and inspired numerous portrayals afterwards. Théophile Gautier
Théophile Gautier
loosely based the title character, Madeleine de Maupin, of his novel Mademoiselle de Maupin (1835) on her.Contents1 Early life 2 Youth and wild reputation 3 Opera
Opera
and adult life 4 Gautier's Mademoiselle de Maupin 5 Opera
Opera
roles created 6 Portrayals 7 References 8 Bibliography 9 External linksEarly life[edit] Julie d'Aubigny
Julie d'Aubigny
was born in 1673[1] to Gaston d'Aubigny, a secretary to Louis de Lorraine-Guise, comte d'Armagnac, the Master of the Horse for King Louis XIV
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L'Italiana In Algeri
L'Italiana in Algeri (Italian pronunciation: [litaˈljaːna in alˈdʒɛːri]; The Italian Girl in Algiers) is an operatic dramma giocoso in two acts by Gioachino Rossini
Gioachino Rossini
to an Italian libretto by Angelo Anelli, based on his earlier text set by Luigi Mosca. It premiered at the Teatro San Benedetto
Teatro San Benedetto
in Venice
Venice
on 22 May 1813. The music is characteristic of Rossini's style, remarkable for its fusion of sustained, manic energy with elegant, pristine melodies.Contents1 Composition history 2 Performance history 3 Roles 4 Synopsis4.1 Act 1 4.2 Act 25 Recordings 6 References 7 External linksComposition history[edit] Rossini wrote L'Italiana in Algeri when he was 21. Rossini stated that he composed the opera in 18 days, though other sources claim that it took him 27 days
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