Notes by Holger Schmitt-Hallenberg

When we talk about the birth of opera, we usually refer to the efforts of a group of Florentine noblemen around 1600 which began staging sung drama. However, they didn’t plan to “invent” a new musical genre, but tried to recreate the declamatory way in which they thought the ancient Greek drama was performed, and after which they modelled their own dramatic efforts. These were mainly guided by the ancient dramatists and theorist, in particular the writings of Plato and Aristotle, whose Poetics (ca. 335 BC) remained the single most influential book on the theory of drama throughout the baroque era.

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