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Musical Theatre: History and Overview

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on 18 November 2014

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Transcript of Musical Theatre: History and Overview

History and Origin
Most important elements of a musical are music and lyrics
Our modern genre of musical theatre originates from opera, and some specific musicals have been heavily influenced by opera
La Boheme
La Boheme
was written in 1896 by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini
opened on broadway in 1996 and was written by Jonathan Larson
Plots both about struggling artists living a bohemian lifestyle
Musical Theatre
A form of theatrical performance that combines
spoken dialogue
, and

Tells a story through music, words, and movement.
Take a closer look...
Operetta, Minstrelsy...
The opera tradition gradually transitioned into new forms of theatre
was entertainment for the refined middle class (1870s/80s)
Notable composers: Gilbert & Sullivan, Jacques Offenbach, Victor Herbert
Big (exaggerated), romantic, exotic
Satirical comedies on society/politics at the time
...Vaudeville and Revues
consisted of "bills" of "acts"
Comedians, singers, magicians
Line-up changed every week
Early 1900s, and was very popular
To Review...
Musical Theatre: History and Overview
Experiencing Music 2200
What are some examples of musical theatre that you know of?
Opera was invented in the early 1600s by a group of Italian artists (poet, composer, stage director)
Opera is through-sung (meaning there is no spoken dialogue)
Characters in
La Boheme
: Mimi, Rodolfo, Marcellus, Colline, Benoit
Characters in
: Mimi, Roger, Mark, Collins, Benny
"Light my Candle" from
"Non sono in Vena... Oh! Sventata..."
La Boheme
was popular in the 1800s
Performers sang, danced, and joked in "blackface"
Very derogatory to image of African-Americans
were plotless shows that featured first-class performance and design
Elaborate costumes and sets
Beautiful women
Musical Theatre came out of many different theatrical traditions that began with opera. Operetta, Minstrelsy, Vaudeville, and Revue shows were all important precursors to musical theatre.
Next day, we'll look at how musical theatre fits into society, and how the needs of society at the time influence the art form.
Full transcript