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Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage$
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Peter Brown and Suzana Ograjenšek

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558551

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199558551.001.0001

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Precursors, Precedents, Pretexts

Precursors, Precedents, Pretexts

The Institutions of Greco-Roman Theatre and the Development of European Opera

(p.1) 1 Precursors, Precedents, Pretexts
Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage

Roger Savage

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the roles of four ‘institutions’ of ancient theatre: the singing of actors on the ancient stage; the presence behind that stage of a controlling or enabling figure; the shaping of the auditorium; and the placing of choric odes around the episodes of the drama. Each of these has been seen at one time or another as the precursor of some important aspect of operatic activity, supplying a stimulating precedent perhaps, or perhaps a convenient pretext that would add respectability to something which was in fact an innovation.

Keywords:   opera, actors, auditorium, choric odes, drama, operatic activity, ancient theatre

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