The operatic aria developed from the song form. The aria da capo was preponderant in early baroque opera and for much of the classical period. The ABA form was sometimes criticized because the repetition did not always make sense in the dramatic flow. It is a situation where the musical symmetry of the form takes precedence over the continuous flow of action.
I have felt that my favorite composers, all had a strong connection with popular styles of their time. Opera was born with the intent to bring the dramatic ritual of the Greek tragedy into Florence at the Renaissance. Their peculiar view of the world and the popular songs of the time influenced some of the most marked characteristics of what we have come to call Opera, or at least of the stereotype we tend to have of opera.
Yet there are peculiarities usually associated with the style that may not hold true in the world of contemporary opera.
– But what is it that defines contemporary opera as such?
– What is it that makes it an independent style / form / performance / proposition / ritual?
– If one can cry at the sight of a cathedral, or sitting through a movie…How relevant does a work need to aim to be to fit in a class that may elicit to create such radical emotions?
– How radical can our emotions be? in which ways? Emotions covering paths that we don’t even want to experience in real life, yet may be conceived and perceived through opera…
The power and expression of the human voice taken to the extremes.
– Or is it a set of purely technical characteristics that may define the genre today?