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17 Dec 2013

La Traviata, Glossary and Works Cited

Aria: a solo scene in an opera in which a character expresses inner feelings to the audience, roughly analogous to the Shakespearean soliloquy
Brindisi: a drinking song, typically introduced as a toast by one character
Cabaletta: the fast final part of a solo scene or ensemble, which typically ends with a virtuosic vocal display. It follows the slower cantabile and transitional tempo di mezzo section, and in Verdi’s hands usually introduces an emotional change or resolution.
Cantabile: the first part of a solo aria or ensemble, cantabile sections are typically slow, song-like, and flowing in nature.
Coloratura: operatic singing (usually by a soprano) marked by virtuosic ornamentation and embellishment and a particularly high range.
Concertato: In this ensemble form, multiple characters weave their melodies together. It typically functions as a finale for the acts of an opera.
Reminiscence Motive: a musical theme that recurs over an opera as a reference to earlier events.
Scena: A typical Italian opera scene, structured with a slow cantabile, a transitional tempo di mezzo, and finishing with a fast cabaletta.
Tempo di Mezzo: a short transitional section in between the cantabile and cabaletta sections in a scena, it typically introduces a conflict or change in emotion.
Tritone: A particularly unstable and dissonant interval where two notes are separated by three whole steps. Over the 19th century, it became commonly used as a reference for something evil or scary.
 
Works Cited
Budden, Julian. The Operas of Verdi. Vol. 2. London: Cassell Ltd, 1978.
Dalhaus, Carl. Realism in Nineteenth-Century Music. Trans. Mary Whittall. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
De Van, Gilles. Verdi’s Theater: Creating Drama Through Music. Trans. Gilda Roberts. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1998.
Fishberg, Maurice. Pulmonary Tuberculosis. 3rd Ed. New York: Lea and Febiger, 1922.
Rosselli, John. The Life of Verdi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Taruskin, Richard. Music in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
La Traviata. Dir. Carlo Rizzi, Willy Decker. Perf. Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazón, Thomas Hampson. Deutsche Grammophon, 2006. DVD.