Going to the opera never goes out of style – it defines style. Opera tickets reward American audiences in search of entrancing overtures and sweeping sets. With 125 professional opera companies performing in 44 states, audiences need look no further than their own city or one nearby. Ticket Liquidator makes it easy for you to find those opera tickets for masterpieces like La Boheme or Tosca.
A Brief History of Opera
In the earliest days, opera was an art form reserved for royalty. When revolutionaries like Mozart and Wagner brought their creative prowess to the genre in the 19th century, opera developed into the most prolific and widely recognized style of performance. Today, solo performers need nothing but their own voices to fill an auditorium with a sellout show. But that's not to say that there aren't brilliant ensemble operas and masterpieces known for capturing the power of love, like Italian composer Puccini's Turandot. Others grasp the audience’s attention by portraying real life events like Madame Butterfly, set in Nagasaki, Japan, in the early 1890s. Popular productions like Verdi's La Traviata and Bizet's Carmen continue to draw house-packing crowds. Opera tickets are still a strong magnet for lovers of operatic staples.
And what better place to celebrate the opera classics than the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center in New York City or the Boston Opera House? Even though The Met is one of the top-selling opera venues in the world, you can always find opera tickets through Ticket Liquidator. Perfect for a romantic date or a little bit of cultural and classical enlightenment, opera tickets are the definition of epic. Make every moment count with tickets to an opera concert in your area!
Late Renaissance and Baroque:
Opera has remained a staple of European culture since the art form debuted in the 16th century. Opera originated with a group titled the Florentine Camerata, patrons of Count Giovanni Bardi during the late Renaissance. These early works were rooted in poetry and drama, and the group encompassed musicians, intellectuals, composers and artists. Soon after, they inspired Jacopo Peri to compose what is attributed as the first opera, Dafne.
During the Baroque period, classical music composers expanded the complexity and musicianship of voice performances. The recitative portion of an opera drove the plot, exploring themes centric to religion, mythology and poetry. This era produced classics such as Hendal’s Messiah and Claudio Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea, operas that continue to be performed to this day.
Opera's "Classical Period" during the mid-18th century saw the shift in character portrayals from mythology to everyday people. Individual recitations were also simplified or omitted in favor of emphasizing drama. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart penned 20 Italian operas and German musical theater during the latter half of the century, including Idomeneo, Don Giovanni, Così fan Tutte and many more.
Bel Canto Period:
The emphasis on an opera performer’s singing was heard most strongly during Opera's Bel Canto period between the late 1700s to the 1850s. Composers highlighted a singer’s tonal range, adaptability and strength. Storylines from this era had a central focus on passionate romance. Gioacchino Rossini composed some of the leading opera productions of the time, including such classics as Il bariere di Siviglia (Barber of Seville) and La Cenerentola (Cinderella).
Contemporary opera audiences are familiar with the grand scale of opera’s large casts, elaborate sets and props. This style was popularized by the successful Guiseppe Verdi in Italy during the late 1800s. Verdi’s Aida utilized hundreds of singers, dancers and even animals on a single stage. When you bought a ticket for a Verdi opera, you knew you were in for an elaborate production.
Breaking into the early 20th century, opera composers sought to incorporate the themes of realism with depictions of daily life’s emotions and violence. This was known as “Verismo” and the period was heavily influenced by the work of Giacomo Puccini. After seeing a production of Aida, Puccini left his role as a church musician and began composing opera. His works are some of the most frequently performed shows of modern day; Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, Turandot and Tosca.
While operas in America had been in production since the 1700s, it was not until the early 1900s that the general public outside of the elite class became engaged. American opera composers sought to blur the lines between opera and musical theater. This coincided with the growth in popularity of Broadway shows. The duo of brothers, George and Ira Gershwin, composed popular American works such as Porgy and Bess, utilizing jazz, African-American and folk elements. The American flare introduces new sounds to orchestrations. Arias and recitations combine with rhythmic blues, jubilees and soulful prayer songs. American opera culture continued to weave its way into the plot with Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, Cold Sassy Tree and the John Steinbeck classic Of Mice and Men during the 1950s. The operas depicted rural and small-town themes.
In the 1960s and 70s, opera companies sought out new locations beyond the major metropolis, settling into cities across the country. This increase in attendance contributed to a search for new works. Composers took to a diverse range of subjects. Some were inspired by works of literature, among them The Great Gatsby, Little Women, and the writings of Sister Helen Prejean. Richard Danielpour and Toni Morrison co-wrote the opera Margaret Garner which became a basis for her novel, Beloved.
Opera continues to break new ground while embracing its rich heritage. An opera ticket is not just a treat for the ears, but an immersive journey crossing through time, culture and human experience.