Concept

Opera in German

Summary
Opera in German is that of the German-speaking countries, which include Germany, Austria, and the historic German states that pre-date those countries. German-language opera appeared remarkably quickly after the birth of opera itself in Italy. The first Italian opera was Jacopo Peri's Dafne of 1598. In 1627, Heinrich Schütz provided the music for a German translation of the same libretto. Yet during much of the 17th and 18th centuries German-language opera would struggle to emerge from the shadow of its Italian-language rival, with leading German-born composers such as Handel and Gluck opting to work in foreign traditions such as opera seria. Some Baroque composers, such as Reinhard Keiser, did try to challenge Italian dominance, and the theatre principal Abel Seyler became an eager promoter of German opera in the 1770s, but it was only with the appearance of Mozart that a lasting tradition of serious German-language opera was established. Mozart took the simple, popular genre of S
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