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Opera seria
Italian - 18th century
Serious, noble opera with formal conventions and ancient, heroic or mythological themes .
Literally, 'serious opera'. Dominant style of opera in the 18th century, not only in Italy but throughout Europe except France. Rigorously formal works using texts, mainly based on ancient, heroic, mythological history, by poet-librettists led by Metastasio. Patronized by the court and the nobility. As only high voices where used the star singers were often castrati.
Tree acts, with unity of time, drama and plot
Da capo aria's: y-x-y'
Also referred to as Melodramma serio

Notable composers: Alessandro Scarlatti, Vivaldi, Hasse, Handel, Gluck, Mozart, Monteverdi
Giulio Cesare (Handel) IT - 1724 2*
La clemenza di Tito (Mozart) IT - 1791 1*
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) 3*
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) 3*
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725) 1*
Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787) 1*
Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842) 1*
Leonardo Vinci (1690-1730)
Johann Adolph Hasse (1699-1783)
Baldassarre Galuppi (1706-1785)
Ferdinando Bertoni (1725-1813)
Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1752-1814)
Marcos Portugal (1762-1830)
Luigi Mosca (1775-1824)