Baroque Opera

Course content

Lessons provide a survey of the main operas as well as their evolution both chronologically and geographically. The main innovations and techniques will be explained:  monody, aria, recitative, basso continuo, treble-bass polarity, concertato medium, and the evolution from modality to tonality. From the birth of opera around 1600, we will explore the social, historical, and musical contexts in which the genre was born and its developments in Mantova and Rome, the trajectories that brought the emergence of commercial theaters in Venice, and the dissemination of Italian opera in Europe. We will also study the other national dramatic works such as the tragédie lyrique in France, the masque in England, the singspiel in Germany and Northern countries and the emergence of comic opera. Case studies will illustrate the issues of patronage, the singers (among which women singers and castratos) and impresarios, the librettos and their settings in music, the conventions of the new genre as well as staging, machinery, and costumes. The revival of baroque opera today with the questions of historical vs. radical staging will conclude the semester.


Musikvidenskab BA2012 ordning, KA2013 Gymnasierettet sidefagsordning

Forelæsninger med analysehold tilknyttet

Type of assessment
Written assignment
Se BA2012 studieordningen, fagelement HMVB01591E og KA2013 studieordningen, fagelement HMVK03021E
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Course Preparation
  • 307
  • Exam Preparation
  • 84
  • Guidance
  • 1
  • English
  • 420