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Italian opera played a significant role in history as the art form was born in the country around the year 1600. Many famous opera composers and singers came from Italy, and some of the most famous operas ever written are still performed in opera houses the world over. Native Italian opera composers of the 19th and 20th centuries include Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini. Other famous operas in Italian were written by foreign composers, such as Handel, Mozart and Gluck.

The Romantic era of opera, which emphasized extreme emotions, began to appear in the early 19th century in Italy. Opera composer, Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) is credited with initiating the Romantic period. His first successful opera was a comic opera called “La Cambiale di Matrimonio, but he also composed serious opera. Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) had a long and successful writing career, during which he transformed the whole nature of operatic writing. Verdi based many of his operas on patriotic themes, which delighted audiences with their vigor. Others were very romantic, including Otello, which he created In 1877, and completely replaced Rossini’s opera. Critics claim Otello to be one of the “finest of Italian romantic operas with the traditional components: the solo arias, the duets and the choruses fully integrated into the melodic and dramatic flow.” Verdi’s last opera was “Falstaff.”

Giacomo Puccini wrote some of the finest Italian operas of the 20th centuries. They iinclude Manon Lescaut, La bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly, Turandot and La rondine, the last two being left unfinished. Other famous Italian opera composers of the 29th century include:
Gian Francesco Malipiero (1882 – 1973) whose 19 operas include L'Orfeide and Torneo notturno
Luigi Dallapiccola (1904 – 1975) whose operas include Ulisse, Volo di notte and Il prigioniero
Luigi Nono (1924–1990) who wrote Al gran sole carico d'amore, Intolleranza 1960, and Prometeo
Sylvano Bussotti (b. 1931- ) whose prolific compositional output includes La Racine, pianobar pour Phèdre, Nympheo, Bozzetto siciliano, and La passion selon Sade
Salvatore Sciarrino (b. 1947- ) who wrote several operas including Luci mie traditrici.

List source: Wikipedia


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