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Transcript of MT1 Week1:4
19th Century 'Melos': short instrumental snippets of music used to heighten emotional effect Melodrama Blackface Minstrelsy A copy of Blackface Minstrel's Olio Variety Still no sign of 'the musical' Pick 'n' Mix Genres Grand Opera extremely popular in France Government sponsorsed some operatic productions Independent works were limited to one act and three singing characters Refined sexual innuendo 1855 - The Two Blind Men 1858 - The law was changed 1858 - Orpheus in the
Underworld Works spread through Europe Toured in London and in particular Vienna Lack of international copyright laws 1860's and 1870's opera and foreign language operetta was closely associated with the elite and immigrant communities English language operetta continued to appeal Billed as 'opera for the people' Increased population (plus large immigration rate) towns and cities large enough to support at least one established theatre with a resident company
'Star' visits New York:
Upper class controlled Broadway through ticket sales
working and lower class had the Bowery, an avenue of theatres, taverns and brothels
Theatrical Forms Comic Opera Ballad Opera Operetta Melodrama Blackface Minstrelsy Variety Burlesque Began by alternating speech and music
Music used for the moments of heightened emotion or when speech was inadequate or realistically impossible Music was not necessarily drawn attention to Became a term for emotional drama whether music was used or not White performers blacked their faces with burnt cork Combined all elements of popular culture; dancing, singing, comedy, circus skills Mocking theatre from singing families, opera to Shakespeare
A Cappella four part harmony
Commercialised the art form
Black performers began to perform towards the end of the century
Developed a three part format: Minstrel Line semi-circle of chairs after an opening number followed by loosely structured scenes of songs and jokes
Olio showcasing their talents; comedy, singing, music, circus skills etc. Only family friendly material was allowed. After Piece one act play with songs about popular topics, novels or plays Performances ran several times a day to keep audiences in and drinking Women dressed in tights Less family friendly Began to die out in the mid-1880's Multi-act format of minstrelsy and variety meant that it could be tailored to please any audience
1852 – Magic Deer ‘A Serio Comico Historical Extravaganzical Burletical Tale of Enchantment’
1865 The American Civil War ended Injection of money gave new ways of staging; trapdoors, riggings for scene changes
The Black Crook 1866
Charles M. Barras
Four acts over five and a half hours
100 ballet dancers in tights
Religion condemned the show; threat to morality
First stage production to run for more than a year
New songs and scenic effects were added periodically
Songs had little to do with the storyline Burlesque v. To imitate mockingly or humorously Women handled all the main roles Forked off and used in variety and cabaret with the connotations we have today Amalgamation 1860’s saw introduction of the Theatrical Syndicate Publicising of shows Popular songs available as sheet music 'Evangelina' (1874)
Melodrama: elaborate costumes, sets and stage machinary
Burlesque: rhyming text, puns and topical references
Variety / Minstrelsy: skits, gags and specialised acts
Comic / Ballad Opera: spoken dialogue, romantic plot and musical score Rhyming text, puns and topical references