Seeing an opera in Italy can allow you to experience that culture and history from its birthplace. When doing so, you may first want to research a few key points to allow you to get the most out of that time. This could not only help with the opera itself but also benefit the rest of your trip. The opera can be appropriate for those of all ages, depending on the show you choose to view.
Introduction to the Italian Opera
So, let me first make a note. Maybe you think: “But this is a travel blog, not a music magazine, why do you talk about opera?” Yes, here we talk about travel, of course- however, not just about trips to famous landmarks like Venice, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or the Colosseum in Rome, but much more. Because travel also includes diving into the local culture.
Do you know that the Italians are probably the “most musical nation” in the world? Yes, music is so integrated with their life and culture that when we think about Italy, we can’t ignore the music! It is every kind of music- from medieval canzones to modern gothic metal, and from the violin masterpieces of Paganini to the best gems of Italian Opera. So, you can “hear some music” even when they speak their mother language.
We can find the routes of the Italian Opera from medieval times. Italy has been one of the most notorious centers of music in Europe, and the development of this art reached its peak during the Italian Renaissance, from the 14th to the 16th centuries. It started with composers like Francesco Landino to music masters like Orlando di Lasso and Giovanni da Palestrina.
All of them created brilliant vocal music masterpieces like motets, madrigals, cantatas, and oratorios. But they were looking for something more- a story combined with music. And soon it was invented. By who? By an Italian. His name was Jacopo Peri, and the first composition that officially is considered to be an “opera” was called “Dafne”. Peri wrote it in 1597, at the peak of the Renaissance, shortly before the next period- the musical Baroque.
The works of Peri like Dafne and Euridice were only the foundation of the opera. Only a few years later, another famous Italian composer, called Claudio Monteverdi quickly developed this new style of music by creating the first high-quality operas like L’Orfeo and L’Ariana.
From that moment, the opera rapidly grew and spread over Europe, especially in Germany, Austro-Hungarian Empire, France, Russia, and more countries. But the Italian Opera remained the leader of this genre, with some of the greatest opera composers of all times like Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, and more.
Italian Opera- an important part of the Italian culture
Of course, you can go to the opera in every other country in the world. And it would be “not-so-related” to travel. But going to the opera in Italy is different. The Italian Opera in Italy itself is a “destination” and a “landmark”, worth visiting for travellers.
And this makes sense because diving into the local culture of a region, nation, or country is an important part of travel and geography. It is not only for “regular tourists” but also for adventurous independent travellers who are curious to learn more about our planet.
In the case of Italy, if you want to dive into Italian culture, you have to deal with a lot of art- architecture, paintings, festivals, and of course- music. And the Italian Opera is a significant element of Italian culture.
Visiting Italian Opera
So, if you want to explore Italy, plan a visit to an Italian Opera performance. It is easy to find such an event in every major city in the country. The performances are usually held in the evening, so you can visit various points of interest during the day, and spend 2-3 hours in an opera theater after sunset.
However, it is important to note that younger children may get bored easily, especially when they don’t understand what is being sung, and babies crying could ruin the suspension of disbelief for yourselves and other audience members. Therefore, this might be better suited to adults and older children.
Buy in advance
Some of the opera houses in Italy can hold a large number of people, and the visibility from your seat may vary depending on where you are. Should you wish to buy Verona opera tickets, you may find it better to do so as soon as you have confirmed your travel dates.
This can allow you to choose from the seating currently available, depending on your budget, to try and get a great view of the show. Certain areas of the venue, such as private boxes, may be reserved for celebrities or royalty, or cost significantly more than standard seats.
Finalizing your plans
When you want to take a vacation to Italy, there may be many things you want to see alongside the opera. Creating an itinerary for your travels can allow you to know roughly what will be going on each day. This means that you can make plans for things to do on other days, as well as before and after the performance itself.
Doing your research into some key opera facts can help with the timings, as well as enable you to behave appropriately within the opera house. This might be especially important if you haven’t had the chance to view an authentic opera in the past.
The different types of performances
A number of operatic performances involve lost love and tragedy, such as the first known opera Dafne, based on the Greek stories of the nymph who was turned into a tree to escape an unwanted suitor. However, there might also be performances that revolve around comedy.
Your choice of a show may depend on who you are with, as well as the genre of movies or television series that you usually tend to enjoy. It could be a good idea to gain a brief summary of each performance on offer before finalizing your decision so that you don’t feel disappointed when the time comes.
Viewing an Italian opera can be a great way to take in the culture and experience a part of history while getting to have a trip. Doing your research beforehand can allow you to find the right performance for your party, and to even streamline the process of getting tickets.
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Hi, we are Krasen and Ying Ying. Krasen is from Bulgaria, and Ying Ying is from China. We are passionate about geography and history, and we believe that the best way to experience it is by exploring the Earth in reality, not in a school, and not virtually.
So, we created this blog Journey Beyond the Horizon, where we share geographical knowledge, travel guides and tips how to experience it when you explore our planet, and a lot of inspiration.
And we wish you a happy journey, not just virtually, but most of all- in reality.