Dido and Aeneas

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Which voice part sings Dido?
Soprano
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Which voice part sings Aeneas?
Tenor
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Which voice part sings Belinda?
Soprano
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Which voice part sings the Sorceress?
Mezzo-Soprano OR Bass
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Which voice part sings the two witches?
Soprano
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Which voice part sings the second woman?
Soprano
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Which voice part sings spirit?
Mezzo-soprano
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Which voice part sings sailor?
Soprano OR Tenor
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What is the Tonal Scheme for Act 1?
C Minor - C Major - E Minor - C Major
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What is the Tonal Scheme for Act 2?
F Minor - D Minor - F Major - A Minor - D Minor - D Major - A Minor
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What is the Tonal Scheme for Act 3?
Bb Major - G Minor
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When and where was the first performance of Dido and Aeneas
1689 at a Girls School in ChelseaW
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Who wrote the libretto?
Nahum Tate, from Virgil's Aeneid
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Why did opera struggle in England at this time?
The English Court Masque was more popular with the English public and they preferred plays with no music.
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Why was Dido and Aeneas seen as unusual at the time?
Very short (only an hour long), English word setting which was not done before in opera, simple vocal technique (possibly because it was first performed in a school), only strings and harpsichord in orchestra, no elaborate scenery.
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What was significant about the libretto?
Short verses, repetition, ryhming couplets, characters rarely sing uninterrupted for more than a few lines.
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What are the key features of the style of this opera?
Influences from both French and Italian opera, expressing personality and emotion through arias and recitative. Italian- developing extended solo arias to express emotion. French- More melodic recitatives.
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What is recitative?
Speech like singing, serves as dialogue or narrative to move the plot along.
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What is an aria?
Solo vocal piece to express emotion. Use of ornamentation is common.
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What is a chorus?
A piece of music for a group of singers.
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What are the key features of a Da Capo Aria?
Popular in the baroque era, Ternary form (ABA), Solo and accompaniment.
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What are the issues surround the libretto and the score of Dido and Aeneas?
Whether to nclude extra dances, differences in tempo, different tones of voice requested, disagreement over whether sorceress should be sung by a bass or not, should the witches distort their voices>
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What is the structures of the scenes?
Recitative - aria - chorus - dance.
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What is the most significant extended scene in Act 1?
Shake the clouds, Banish Sorrow and Ah Belinda
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What are are the key features of 'Shake the Clouds'?
Dotted rhythms (word painting on the word 'shake'), thin texture due to sparse accompaniment, short 2-3 bar phrases, influences from both recitative style (syllabic word setting for a majority of the piece) and from an aria style (melisma, melodic)
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What are the key features of 'Banish Sorrow'?
Homorhythmic, crochet movement, imitation, traditional harmony.
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What are the key features of 'Ah Belinda'?
Ground bass, traditional harmony (tonic -> dominant), irregular phrase lengths to avoid repetition (start of ground bass doesn't always coincide with vocal phrases), lombardic rhythms, ends with instrumental ritornello.
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What is the most significant extended scene in Act 2?
The witches appear, Harm's our delight, hohoho's and But ere we this perform.
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What are the key features of 'Witches-appear'?
F minor, dotted rhythms, chromaticism, slow moving bass line, chordal accompaniment, quaver movement in vocal line, syllabic word setting, modulates to major key for first witch (all bad doing is at fault of sorceress).
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What are the key features of 'Harm's our delight'?
Bb major, mostly homophonic texture, soprano line containing most decoration, mostly syllabic word setting, melisma on 'mischief', accompaniment moves with vocal line,
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What are the key features of the 'hohoho's'?
Syllabic word setting, fast quaver movement, chromatic, harmony in 3rds, dotted rhythms, homphonic texture.
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What are the key features of 'But ere we this perform'?
Imitative entries, sequences, scalic run passages, all phrases end together despite starting at different times.
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What is the most significant extended scene in Act 3?
Thy hand Belinda, When I am Laid in Earth, With Drooping Wings (Dido's Lament)
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What are the key features of 'Thy Hand Belinda'?
Chromatic, low in soprano range, G minor, melody moves down through the bar using most notes of the chromatic scale, syllabic word setting, short 2 bar phrases.
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What are the key features of 'When I am laid in Earth'?
Ground bass, slow moving and simple bass line so focus is on Dido, chromatic, phrases begin and end in time with ground bass, melisma on important words (eg. laid), dotted rhythms, G minor, ground bass continues in ritornello at the end of the piece.
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What are the key features of 'With drooping wings'?
G minor, scalic/step-wise movement, accompaniment plays vocal lines, mostly homphonic texture, imitative entries, 'drooping' sung on a descending G minor scale, mostly syllabic word setting except important words (eg. drooping, scatter, cupid, soft)
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What are the two key pieces of related repertoire?
Venus and Adonis (John Blow), Acis and Galatea (Handel)
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What are the key features of 'Venus and Adonis'?
Masque in 3 acts & prologue, included no spoken dialogue, use of English text,
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What are the key features of 'Acis and Galatea'?
Basso continuo, Italian approach to an English court masque, Da capo aria, very little recitative-long series of arias.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Which voice part sings Aeneas?

Back

Tenor

Card 3

Front

Which voice part sings Belinda?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Which voice part sings the Sorceress?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Which voice part sings the two witches?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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