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“The Sound of Music” Opera Review

Introduction

The world of beautiful is larger when it is accompanied with the art of music and its implementation in opera. The concerts provide a spectator with an appropriate aesthetic pleasure maintained in the manner of singing and performing events on the scene. More efforts are made to make a masterpiece. In many cases, in accordance with the historical overview, one person was not enough to make it. Though, the opera “The Sound of Music” is performed by means of genuine interaction of two men being a composer and a lyricist: Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein respectively.

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A small cadre of composers and lyricists based in New York City produced the best-known songs of the 1920s and 1930s. In most cases, the composers worked in pairs (George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, and so forth). Their songs were popularized by Broadway musicals, by well-known singers accompanied by dance orchestras, and above all else by recordings and radio play.1

The performances of “The Sound of Music” express people all over the world. The point is that it is a feature of a man’s soul to strive at the “song of our inner world”. The opera is concerned with the beautiful manner of actors’ play; virtuous and tendering coloring of orchestra music under the supervision of musical director Jeffrey Huard and the group of eminent musicians of this kind of playing music featuring Corey Gemmel (concertmaster) on violin and Luc Michaud on bass. The professional featuring of this concert performance made the work of Rodgers and Hammerstein go marvelous and fascinating in all periods of time since it was first written, namely 1959.

The music sounds quite plain and without sudden drops in a classical manner. It is so due to the plot of the opera. The scenes describe a true storey of how Baron Von Trapp and his family escaped from Austria in 1938 where Nazis occupied the entire territory of the country. They went through the Alps on foot and reached Switzerland. Actually it is based on the personal memoirs of Maria von Trapp. The storey is full of picturesque implementations such as, first, the main idea of the opera.

Maria is a tutor to one of von Trapp’s children feels like having not enough place to make her songs express their gracefulness, so this girl, being religious postulant, “is not singing with the other nuns but it is, instead, somewhere atop an alp singing that the hills are alive with the sound of music. ”2 This opera presents a sort of “nostalgic regression” as of actors’ arrangement of the emotional states of soul.3

The result of Maria’s work at von Trapp’s house near Salzburg fell into the powerful and well-shaped love of Baron and Maria. The scene in opera provides a spectator with many examples of their sincere relationships and emotional flows which are greatly observed throughout the vigorous singing of the starring actors. The opera performance is divided into several parties of song representation, such as: “The Sound of Music”, “I have a Confidence”, “Do-Re-Mi” etc. The opera also comprises two acts with fourteen scenes totally.

The musical features

The music features are distinctive in their traditional way of presentation. Regarding to the pre-war times the population in many European countries adored the classical way of music coloring. Moreover, the fact that von Trapp lived near Salzburg being the city where Mozart was born supports the tendency of Rodgers and Hammerstein to nurture the deepest intentions in order to grab spectators’ attention on the way people lived and behaved at that period of time.

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The Sound of Music also regresses musically – “Climb Every Mountain” is another 4/4 anthem of hope and determination, ripped from the cloth of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”; “My Favorite Things” reweaves “Getting to Know You,” another interchange between teacher and pupils; “Do-Re-Mi” whistles a “Happy Tune” with the notes of the musical scales.4

The time when the opera was written was between two wars: in Korea and Vietnam. At that time a new genre became known to the publicity. It is, of course, musical. The opera performance is a prior implementation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s interaction. Then the Broadway directors were interested in the story of Maria von Trapp and brought out “The Sound of Music”. So there are many features of musical. The singing and music itself are characterized by inseparable parties and expressive representation in gestures and movements of actors giving the idea of every single moment in this or that song. Some modules of moderation are presented in it.

What is more, this opera, as “South Pacific” (1949), is made without a mere presence of choreographer even listed.5 The excerpt of the primordial song regarding the title of the opera and graphical description shows the significant feature of smooth sounding and relatively steady rhythm of the music.

The Sound of Music, Williamson Music Inc.

The world of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein

One of the well-known contemporary composers of Richard Rodgers, Sondheim was quite admired by the manner in which Rodgers wrote his examples of songs. The characteristic technology of Richard Rodgers as a music editor and creator for “The Sound of Music” falls into the use of three-note lower-neighbor rocking idea with dramatically different results of musical motives, because, as Sondheim always thought, Rodgers had a talent of a motivic composer.6

The music is presented with a genius play of actors and every point depicted in it is followed by the expressional use of movements and characteristic gestures to better express what on the scene factually is happening. The actors also dynamically symbolize the events and emotional coloring of their inner intentions. Due to the music of Richard Rodgers and the words by Oscar Hammerstein the intensely featured episodes in the opera promote the real feelings of Maria von Trapp, particularly.

Place of performance

The performance takes place in The Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto, Ontario. The building of the theatre is well-equipped with the architectural devices for promotion of better and widely-spread acoustic flow of sounds both instrumental and coming as a result of singing. It also suits presentations of chamber music with its high walls and quite convenient orchestra. Another fact in favor of the theatre where the performance should take place is that it is quite new and has the reputation of innovative implementation of art and science into one object. The hall can place 2000 spectators.

The number is rather convincing taking into account the fact that Toronto, in particular, houses a huge amount of palaces of cultural and sport intended purpose. The position of it is rather convenient for spectators to find it, because it is within easy reach from the center of the city. During approximately half an hour one can get to the place of destination.

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The audience shaping

The audience is rather elegant adhering to the traditional dress code of such measurements: men are mostly dressed in dinner jackets; women are in bright evening dresses. The attributes are fans and opera-glass. Every scene of the performance is exposed with applauses every now and then. People are intended to obtain emotional and aesthetic satisfaction. It is seen out of the outcry “Bravo!”. Of course, in present times such reaction is due to the actors’ play mainly, but it is vital for audience to know that the wholeness of the authors and people supporting their ideas in a straightforward representation go together.

The glory and fame came to Rodgers due to his talent in Broadway. “Rodgers was among the most outstanding exclusively Broadway-oriented of American songwriters, writing songs for film only during the brief period 1930-34.”7 The spectators on this event seem to have known the background of the opera along with the authors of it due to a great interest in booklets before the performance. This indicated the point that many of the audience wanted to know the actors’ names, so that to be assured in the pure and genuine manner of acting while singing songs and providing the audience with the moments of great impulsion and emotional splash.

Conclusion

The purpose of the concert is significant because of the main function which art brings in its extent – to provide people with the aesthetical and cultural development and to turn them to the beauty of opera for a man’s further reformation of his probable drawbacks. The suggested aging level has no limits, excepting children under two years old. The aim of the opera itself is also to show the example of love elaborating under conditions of war and responsibility for other people. The theme of higher standards of love points out the surviving nature of it even when dangers appear as direct obstacles on the way of life perfection.

Many of the contemporary playwrights and composers had a slight attitude towards Rodgers’s brainchild, stating that this opera performance “mechanically recycled the most effective devices of the earlier successes.”8 Thus, the opera performance “The Sound of Music” is the manifestation of a deep striving of a man towards the happiness of falling in love. The prospects of it are quite comprehensive and expressive when realizing that the story is inspired by true events.

Bibliography

David Schiff Out of Our Dreams: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! and Carousel, a Model Comedy and a Model Traged, Created a New Theatrical Genre. The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 290, 2002.

Don Michael Randel The Harvard biographical dictionary of music, Harvard University Press, 1996, p. 753.

Geoffrey Holden Block, The Richard Rodgers reader, Oxford University Press US, 2002, p. 100.

James J. Nott Music for the people: popular music and dance in interwar Britain, Oxford University Press, 2002.

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Leo N. Miletich, Broadway’s prize-winning musicals: an annotated guide for libraries and audio collectors, Haworth Press, 1993, p. 35.

Marcel Danesi Popular culture: introductory perspectives Rowman & Littlefield, 2007, p. 124.

Nicholas Cook, Anthony Pople. The Cambridge history of twentieth-century music. Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Steve Swayne,How Sondheim Found His Sound, University of Michigan Press, 2007, p. 61.

The Sound of Music, Williamson Music Inc. Published music. Web.

Thomas S. Hischak, The Rodgers and Hammerstein encyclopedia, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007, p. 22.

Footnotes

  1. Marcel Danesi Popular culture: introductory perspectives (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), p. 124.
  2. Leo N. Miletich, Broadway’s prize-winning musicals: an annotated guide for libraries and audio collectors, (Haworth Press, 1993), p. 35.
  3. Geoffrey Holden Block, The Richard Rodgers reader, (Oxford University Press US, 2002), p. 100.
  4. Geoffrey Holden Block, The Richard, p. 100.
  5. Thomas S. Hischak, The Rodgers and Hammerstein Encyclopedia, (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007), p. 22.
  6. Steve Swayne, How Sondheim Found His Sound, (University of Michigan Press, 2007), p. 61.
  7. Don Michael Randel The Harvard biographical dictionary of music, (Harvard University Press, 1996), p. 753.
  8. David Schiff Out of Our Dreams: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! and Carousel, a Model Comedy and a Model Tragedy, Created a New Theatrical Genre. (The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 290, 2002.)

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