When you want to experience true culture in Italy, you can’t beat the Italian opera scene. Here’s what you need to know before your first show.
Italy is the home of the opera, where the art form was born and where it continues to thrive. If you visit the country, attending an opera should be on your list of things to do.
There are venues all over Italy with astounding performances being shown throughout the year. In particular, Rome has a lot of choices regarding Operas and is popular for tourists looking for their first introduction to the art. Make sure you get your Rome opera tickets before you travel to avoid disappointment.
What is opera?
Opera comes from the Italian word for work (referencing the hard work that goes into the performance). It is an art form that tells its story through musical scores and signing. What makes it different from musicals is that opera singers do not use microphones to amplify their voices and the music is played live by an orchestra. They are typically dramatic tales full of heartbreak, death, and tumultuous love stories.
Where are operas performed?
Usually, operas are performed at an opera house or a theatre specifically designed for productions on a grand scale. There is a large stage where the opera singers perform, seats in front of the backstage area used to house the set and below the stage, there is a ‘pit’ where the orchestra sits.
However, you can opt to attend a smaller venue or get yourself tickets for a travelling production company if you are looking for a more intimate experience.
What Opera Is Best For Beginners?
Many people agree that La Traviata by Verdi, La Bohème, or Tosca by Puccini are some of the best choices for beginners who want to get into the opera scene. The plots are straightforward and contain some famous songs you have likely heard.
How To Listen To Opera
Before going to the opera, you should look into who wrote it and what language it will be in as you may require a translation of the text.
Styles Of Singing
To help you truly appreciate and understand an opera you may want to equip yourself with information regarding the two main forms of singing. They are very distinct and each plays a specific role whilst telling a story.
- Recitative – this style helps move the story along as it is a narrative singing method in which the singer emphasises particular words to help you understand what they are trying to say.
- Aria – on the opposite end of the singing style spectrum is the aria. This is a song that depends heavily on the melody to delve deep into the feelings of the characters rather than moving forward with the plot. This is more creative whereas the recitative is more practical.
What to wear
Attending the opera is the perfect opportunity to break out your sparkly shoes or throw on that beautiful dress you have never had the occasion to wear. There are a variety of different venues that house a more casually dressed audience but in Italy, it is all about looking elegant. Even in cheaper seats or smaller venues, it is not the place to wear your shorts and sandals.