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As opera becomes more popular in America the scarcity of theatres and

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As opera becomes more popular in America the scarcity of theatres and  [#permalink]

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As opera becomes more popular in America the scarcity of theatres and the unconscionably costly logistics of the lyric stage make it difficult to meet the demand. Many a good-sized and well-to-do community would be able to operate and maintain a modest but live opera theatre, but are unwilling to do so because it would unfavourably compare with the splendours of New York‘s Metropolitan Opera.

It is not realized that the rich operatic culture of Italy and Germany is mainly due to their many small municipal theatres which alternate repertory theatre with opera. These circumstances have led to concert or “semi-staged” performances which, formerly an exception, now occupy entire companies expressly formed for this purpose. However, stage music, real operatic music, often fails to exert its full power in the frozen formality of the concert platform. In a true opera the particular charm and power of the music does not come through without staging and acting, for gesture is an expression of feeling, and the decor and costumes summarize the external aspects, providing a vision of the whole action. Both are to a considerable degree determined by the music, but they also complement it.

An opera is a play in music. If it is presented in concert version, then it should not offer a half-hearted gesture towards the theatre. Indeed, the “partly staged” performances are even more unsatisfactory than the concert variety. The tenor is all excited, but you do not know why; the soprano is obviously dying, but she remains on her feet. Nor does the stationary chorus, its members turning the pages of their scores without looking at the person they sing about, contribute to the illusion.

Different aesthetic laws of governance apply to concert music and theatrical music, for they are incongruous worlds calling for an entirely different sort of imagination from both performers and audience. Opera is theatre, the most involved, elaborate, and exciting form of theatre. The Italian term “opera” is far more inclusive than its English interpretation, for it embraces not only the musical score but the whole theatre, “the work.”

Without the stage, paucity of musical ideas immediately becomes evident, often painfully so. Take for instance Richard Strauss, some of whose late operas are being performed in concerts. Strauss was a composer who knew every facet of the lyric stage as few have known it, yet what can be quite pleasant on the stage, even if it is not particularly inventive, appears bare and contrived when removed from its natural habitat.

Some may say that the end justifies the means. I can see merit in the concert performance of an opera which otherwise could not hope to be heard, or of one deficient in true theatrical qualities yet of genuine musical value. But neither Strauss, nor Bellini, nor Donizetti qualifies for such a role. Even if we forget the vital function of staging, it is practically impossible, for purely musical reasons, to present such a work on the concert platform. The large orchestra belongs in the pit; when placed on the stage, together with the singers, it makes their position almost untenable, even when led by an experienced opera conductor.





1. Which of the following statements seems most in agreement with the attitude of most “good-sized and well-to-do” communities regarding opera?

A. Certain pleasures can only be appreciated by the educated.

B. Much can be achieved even if inherent limitations exist.

C. There is no sense in trying if you can‘t be among the best.

D. The opinions of your neighbours are more important than those of strangers.

E. The early bird gets the worm


2. Based on the information in the passage, with which of the following statements would the author most likely NOT agree?

A. Staging and acting are an integral part of the operatic work.

B. Some acting in a concert is better than no acting at all.

C. An opera is a much more involved production than is a concert.

D. Understanding the characters is essential to an appreciation of operatic music.

E. Italy and Germany have small municipal theatres


3. The author discusses “opera” in a very particular way in the fourth paragraph of the passage. Implicit in the author‘s discussion of the term is the idea that:

A. Italian words typically have broader meanings than English words.

B. the term “opera” in English refers to only some part of the theatrical work.

C. the same word can have different meanings in only two different languages.

D. there is a fundamental difference between Italian and American opera.

E. American opera is way inferior to Italian opera


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Re: As opera becomes more popular in America the scarcity of theatres and  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2018, 04:29
7 mins two correct.
OEs.

1) Find the author‘s discussion of these communities: they appear in ¶1. The author argues that they don‘t produce operas because they won‘t be as good as New York‘s enormous opera. Looking for an attitude that would reflect this immediately yields (C). Paraphrasing in advance usually means quick points!

(A): Out of Scope. The author never says anything about education and opera.

(B): Opposite. This would more accurately reflect the opinion of a community that did produce opera.

(C): The correct answer

(D): Out of Scope. There‘s nothing in the passage that reflects this distinction.

(E): No connection with the paragraph

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Re: As opera becomes more popular in America the scarcity of theatres and  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2018, 04:30

2) The author has a strong point throughout the passage: operas and concerts don‘t mix. Look for a statement that the author would actively dispute, or eliminate the three answers that he‘d agree with. (B) turns up as a statement that distorts what the author spends ¶3 arguing.

(A): Opposite. This is the point of the passage.

(B): The correct answer

(C): Opposite. This is implicit in the idea that communities stage concerts when they feel they can‘t do justice to an opera.

(D): Opposite. The author mentions this in ¶3.

(E): Opposite. The author mentions this in ¶2.

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Re: As opera becomes more popular in America the scarcity of theatres and  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2018, 04:31


3) Look to the fourth paragraph for this information. The author argues that the term ―opera‖ in English does not connote the full experience of the theatrical work (as it does in Italian); choice (B) mirrors this.

(A): Faulty Use of Detail. This could possibly be inferred from the passage, but the author is not trying to make this point.

(B): The correct answer

(C): Faulty Use of Detail/Distortion. The author never goes so far as to limit the scope of the discussion to only two languages.

(D): Distortion. The author does not imply this, he is only saying that the way we think of opera is different.

(E): Extreme language

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Re: As opera becomes more popular in America the scarcity of theatres and &nbs [#permalink] 12 Sep 2018, 04:31
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