Opera (Italian opera - work, labor, work; Latin opera - works, products, works, plural from opus) is a genre of musical and dramatic art in which content is embodied by means of musical drama, mainly through vocal music. The literary basis of the opera is the libretto. The word "orega" in translation from Italian literally means labor, composition. In this musical genre, poetry and dramatic art, vocal and instrumental music, facial expressions, dances, paintings, sets and costumes are merged into a single whole.
The composer writes an opera on a plot taken from literature, for example, Ruslan and Lyudmila, Eugene Onegin. The verbal text of the opera is called the libretto.
Almost every opera begins with an overture - a symphonic introduction that introduces the listener in general terms to the content of the entire action.
The origins of the opera can be considered the ancient tragedy. As an independent genre, opera arose in Italy at the turn of the 16-17th centuries in a circle of musicians, philosophers, poets in the city of Florence. The circle of art lovers was called "camerata". The “Camerata” participants dreamed of reviving the ancient Greek tragedy, combining drama, music and dance in one performance. The first such performance was given in Florence in 1600 and spoke about Orpheus and Eurydice. There is a version that the first musical performance with singing was put in 1594 on the plot of the ancient Greek myth of the struggle of the god Apollo with the serpent Python. Gradually in Italy, opera schools began to appear in Rome, in Venice, in Naples. Then the opera quickly spread throughout Europe. At the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries, the main varieties of opera took shape: opera series (big serious opera) and opera buffa (comic opera). The opera is based on a literary plot. Based on it, a libretto is created. The writer creating the libretto is called the librettist.