OperaVision, the freeview platform supported by the European Commission, offers new productions streamed from across Europe every week. In OperaVision’s Baroquissimo collection, you will find a selection of full-length opera and extracts from the period of baroque opera.
The first ever operas were written around 1600 by baroque composers, including Monteverdi and Cavalieri, who used dramatic text and music to express their stories, which were often based on Classical Greek and Roman mythology. Early operas usually had happy endings, featured choruses and songs, a simple plot and a small group of instrumentalists. Typically, the compositions alternate between recitative, speech-like song that advances the plot, and arias, songs in which characters express feelings at particular points in the action. A new form of aria, a ‘da capo’ aria in two sections, where the first section is repeated at the end of the song, is a hallmark of the baroque period which extended to the middle of the 18th century.