Some useful information about Italian opera
by Claudia, age 12.

 Claudia's Opera Advice Section
Here is some advice if you want to go the opera in Italy:-

1.  Dress smartly.  Do not wear jeans or trainers. 

2.  Try to read about the story of the opera before you go.  This will help you to understand what is happening.
3.  Remember to think about EVERYTHING that has gone into creating the opera.  All the musicians in the orchestra and the singers have been training for most of their lives to be able to produce the sounds that you are hearing. 

4.  Remember to call out Bis! if you want to hear the music again.  If, in your opinion, the music was wonderful then you should STAND UP and shout out Bis! or Bravo!   Do not be shy.
The orchestra and the conductor should also be praised.  If you think that the conductor did an excellent job then you should call out Bravo Maestro!

5.  If you are good at singing, then perhaps you should think about becoming an opera singer. 

More Information
Opera began in Italy.  The word 'opera' actually means 'a work', probably because so much 'work' goes into making an opera.  It is like a play but the actors must sing all the words and an orchestra plays the music. 

The first opera was called Dafne, composed by Jacopo Peri in 1598. 
The first great composer of opera was Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) and his works are still performed today.

Nowadays, the most well-known Italian composers of opera are Verdi and Puccini.  Other opera composers are Mascagni, Bellini, Donizetti and Leoncavallo.

Usually, an opera is very long, with three or four Acts.  But there are some short operas that have only one or two Acts.

The most famous opera house in Italy is Il Teatro alla Scala in Milan.  The most famous opera house in the UK is
The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London.

Some famous Italian opera singers are Luciano Pavarotti, Enrico Caruso, Giuseppe di Stefano, Andrea Bocelli,  Mirella Freni, Mario del Monaco, Renata Tebaldi, Mario Lanza.

Some Important Operatic Words
Aria  -  This is the word for an individual song in an opera.

Soprano -  This is the name of a female opera singer who can sing the very high notes.  She is usually the most important lady in an opera.

Mezzo soprano - This is the name of a female opera singer with a lower voice than a soprano.  Her voice does not reach the highest notes.

Tenore - This is the name of a male opera singer who can reach the higher notes.  He is usually the most important man in an opera.

Baritono - This is the name of a male opera singer who has a lower sound to his voice.  He doesn't reach the same high notes as a tenor. 

Coro - A group of people singing in a chorus.

Intermezzo - A piece of music somewhere in the middle of the opera.  It is a kind of musical interval.

Preludio - A piece of music at the beginning of the opera.  It often gives you an idea of the kind of music that you will be hearing later in the opera.

If you still want to come with me to the opera, then
Andiamo all'opera!