An opera house was a sumptuous feature for the performance of highly stylized musical plays. Society figures attend to be seen rather than for amusement. No expense is spared in making an opera house a grand venue. An opera house rivals many great palaces with the luxury of its fixtures and fittings, as these public areas for the audience are more important than the entertainment. Theatrical contrivances and mechanical tricks may make the staging as grand as the music, but for the elite it was the gossip, plotting and backbiting that is the real pleasure of a night at the opera.
In the 18th Century opera was done in the Italian "serious" style, a musical form that influenced many non-Italian composers such as Mozart. The plots were intentionally simple, based on Classical themes, usually tragic and often had a highly conservative bent - as befitted the tastes of the patrons paying for the music. Many are still performed today. One fashion that has (mercifully) ended is the use of castrati singers: young men gelded so that their voices did not break and remained in the soprano range.
- Level 1
- 3 Turns to Build
- 1000 Coin