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Opera in the United States Part 2

Within the genre of musical there are two main types: the so-called European and American. This division is very conditional. European oriented musical created by composers and playwrights who laid the basis of his works, operetta (English and Austrian options). This musical is the creators of such recognized masters as Rudolf Friml (b. 1879), Prague, pianist, accompanist J. Kubelík, became a Hollywood film composer author of the world famous “Rose Marie” (1924).

Sigmund Romberg (1887-1951), Hungarian engineer and immigrant, the author’s favorite in new York, operettas, revues and musical comedies; finally, Jerome Kern (1885-1945) at one time the most popular of song composers of the United States; further R. Rogers (1902) in those plays which were composed on texts of Oscar Hammerstein son among them the famous “Oklahoma!”, 1943) and Frederick Lowe’s “My fair lady”, a well-known Broadway metamorphosis “Pygmalion” by B. Shaw. For this kind of musical characteristic in cachets as the story of material love stories in historical or exotic the background, the romantic-sentimental melodies, simple singing, and the orchestra, basically repeating part of the European operetta orchestra.

The second type of musical that made the character start as a more native American in some works completely identified with the genre of American “folk Opera” (for example, “Porgy and Bess” by Gershwin). The plots of these musicals are almost exclusively national American and urban, often with features of parody and satire and critical social issues. The musical style is much more specificity, modernity and sharpness than in the European variety.

A much more important role here acquire technical means of jazz and national folklore material, mainly Negro. Peaks in the development of this line of musical Comedy was “Jones” by M. Cohen (1904), works Gershwin, R. Rogers (written in collaboration with librettist L. Hart); “Kiss me, Kate” C. porter (1948); plays by F. Loesser (born 1910), M. Wilson (b. 1902), Vernon Duke (1903-1969), author of the popular musical “Cabin in the sky” (1940), diverse use of Negro folklore.

The latest American musical, designed for “mass consumption” product “of the entertainment industry”, admits the comparison with Hollywood commercial cinema. Psychological primitive and “distracting” from the conflicts of life’s reality tone of this art can be considered the norm for this genre, however, modern musicals often come into contact with topical social and political issues, and “Three penny Opera” by Brecht Weill classic work of German political theatre, according to the American press, even in 1961 was on Broadway in 2249-th time and broke the record for the most popular American; “Oklahoma!” and “My fair lady”.

Kurt Weill during his American exile he was involved in the writing of many musicals for Broadway theatres and under the influence of the new conditions largely departed from the traditions of his German period in the direction of a powerful American “standard”, but this “standard” was quite high artistic quality, through the efforts of Weil social Korea and political trends in American musical theatre remained highly visible.

Deviations from the “entertainment” norms in the genre of the American musical was a lot. The musical Comedy of Broadway “West Side story” L. Bernstein (1957), exposing some of the tragic aspects of American life. The trend of political theater in the genre of musical developed mark Blitzstein (1905-1964), who created a number of acute socio-literary criticism under the influence of K. P. Weill and Dessau (“The Cradle will begin”, 1937; “No Answer”, 1940; “Sacco and Lacetti”, 1960).

Since the beginning of the 40s in General is much expanded perspective of the musical until a psychoanalytic themes in the play by K. Weill “Lady in the dark” (1942) and racial problems, reset World War II, in the plays of R. Rogers, the Work on the creation of musicals turned into a kind of collective, synthetically is a creative enterprise with a clear division of labor: the simultaneous cooperation of the playwright, composer, poet, writer of song texts, the designer of the scene, the Director, choreographer, musician, arranger and conductor. The show was always intended for a universal. Singing and dancing actors.

All this is much more like the collective process of creating the film than the individual execution of the order composer for the Opera. This style is the “production” of musicals had received its final completion in numerous plays of the 60s the American musical Tradition influenced the musical Comedy of other Countries, primarily England, but also France and Germany.

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