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Choruses, Ancient and Modern$
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Joshua Billings, Felix Budelmann, and Fiona Macintosh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199670574

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670574.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2021

‘Something like the Choruses of the Ancients’: The Coro Stabile and the Chorus in European Opera, 1598–1782

‘Something like the Choruses of the Ancients’: The Coro Stabile and the Chorus in European Opera, 1598–1782

Chapter:
(p.117) 7 ‘Something like the Choruses of the Ancients’: The Coro Stabile and the Chorus in European Opera, 1598–1782
Source:
Choruses, Ancient and Modern
Author(s):

Roger Savage

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670574.003.0008

In ‘“Something like the Choruses of the Ancients”: The Coro Stabile and the Chorus in European Opera, 1598–1782’, Roger Savage discusses the polymorphism of operatic choruses from the early days of the genre to the works of Christoph Willibald Gluck on the eve of the French Revolution. The chapter describes a tension between practices of the coro stabile, which, modelled on the Greek tragic chorus, would remain onstage representing a single group for most of a work, and the coro mobile, which would enter, exit, and assume different identities through the course of a performance. Despite the professed desire of many to return to the model of Greek tragedy, the demands of music, performance, and the changing tastes of the public complicate choral practice onstage during this period, and create a number of hybrid forms that recall antiquity while remaining distinctly modern forms.

Keywords:   opera, chorus, coro stabile, coro mobile, Greek tragedy, Christoph Willibald Gluck

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