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Orianna2000
06-26-2012, 12:54 AM
Is there a set formula for 19th century operas? Specifically, I need to know if it's okay to place a ballet near the beginning of the first act of an opera that was written and performed in the early 1880s.

The writer is a bit eccentric and advanced for the period, so he might very well add a ballet if it bucks tradition--but I need to know whether it is, in fact, against the standards of the time or not, so the characters can comment if it's something unusual. I tried Googling the subject, but couldn't find anything helpful.

Siri Kirpal
06-26-2012, 01:27 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

French grand opera always includes a ballet, usually in the last or next to last act. Reason for the position was that the dandies who were the "patrons" of the dancers tended to arrive to the opera late. Operas performed anywhere outside the main opera house in Paris did and do not need to have ballets, though some do.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Shakesbear
06-26-2012, 01:29 AM
Have you tried contacting some of the large opera houses to see if they have an archivist who can help you? You could try the Royal Opera in London, La Scala, Milano and Metropolitan Opera House, New York.

Orianna2000
06-26-2012, 03:03 AM
@ Shakesbear: I hadn't thought of contacting any opera houses. I'm not good at talking with people, so that sort of idea never occurs to me!

@ Siri Kirpal: Hmm. I was going to say that the composer was "revolutionary" in that he put a ballet at both the beginning and the end of the opera, but then I realized that I got my characters mixed up. This guy didn't write the opera after all, he's just overseeing its production. So . . . I guess I have to change it so there is no ballet in the first act. It fit so nicely, too. Shucks.

Siri Kirpal
06-26-2012, 03:09 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

It wouldn't have been all that revolutionary. All 3 acts of Handel's Ariodante (18th C) include ballets.

Wagner, on the other hand, put his ballet for Tannhauser at the beginning (where it belongs, as far as the plot goes), and only at the beginning, and was roundly berated by the press for such a deed.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Orianna2000
06-26-2012, 03:52 AM
Oh? Well, I already went and edited it out, LOL. It's not a huge deal, it just would have been another superfluous detail that most readers wouldn't care about, anyway. But I shall keep that in mind for future writings, thanks.