5 Posts
Opera Wars
Gluck vs. Piccinni
When Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787) set out to reform opera, he knowingly provided the spark for a full-out culture war. Gluck believed that the principal Italian operatic genres—opera buffa and opera seria—had become unnatural. Characters seemed nothing more than empty
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At the Center of the Musical Universe
Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)
Christoph Willibald Gluck was a true visionary! Working at the Habsburg court in Vienna and at the Parisian stage, he completely reformed operatic traditions. Basically, he was sick and tired of singers dominating the operatic stage. Vocal acrobatics were the
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Death to the Diva
Gluck and the Reform Opera
According to his contemporaries, Johann Adolph Hasse (1699-1783) was one of the greatest masters of opera seria. Hasse had married the fabled Italian soprano Faustina Bordoni, and he specifically created the title role of his opera Cleofide of 1731 for
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Skipping Town: Christoph Willibald Gluck
Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787) was a prodigious musical talent. By age 13—entirely self-thought—he was a proficient vocalist and expert performer on the violin, cello, harpsichord, and the organ. Regrettably, his father, a successful and prosperous forester did not share his
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Divine Intervention!
Christoph Willibald Gluck and Maria Anna Bergin
Christoph Willibald Gluck: Ezio, “Va, ma tremo” He was 36, an internationally acclaimed but impoverished composer of opera. She was 18, daughter of a wealthy merchant and banker, and a member of the circle of ladies in waiting who surrounded
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