We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

The History of Musical Theatre Essay

The late released Les Misérables earned £8. 1 million in its gap weekend. doing it the largest gap weekend for a musical movie in history. turn outing that the genre is still alive. But how precisely did this powerful art signifier originate? And from so on. how did it germinate to go the stunningly vibrant being that it is today? The oldest known signifiers of music theater were the ancient Greek dramas with music and wordss. every bit good as music and dance being included within the Roman productions of comedies and calamities. Despite their amusement value at the clip. the music of these epochs stopped long ago. intending they had small impact on the development of the modern musicals between the 18th and 21st centuries. both on-screen and on-stage. The Middle Ages so followed with the pioneering of musical “morality play” . staged by the fold and curates of churches.

This perchance stemmed from the combination of fables or the holy Psalms adding anthem as the musical component. However these dramas excessively had small influence on the development of to the full incorporate musicals as a medium of play and storytelling. Although there were an copiousness of musical phase productions in the eighteenth century merely a few of them were referred to as ‘musicals’ . The earliest known English work of this peculiar period was John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera. an operatic sarcasm piece jabing merriment at upper-class reputable citizens who were compared to being no better than a common stealer. The music featured within the drama. nevertheless was non wholly original: a choice of popular vocals of the clip was used as concomitant to originally written wordss. Assorted other lay operas. burlettas and early versions of dumb shows made up the bulk of the musicals performed on phases through America. good into the early nineteenth century. Now. the musical as we witness it nowadays. chiefly based on subjects of comedy. love affair. sarcasm and on occasion calamity. has some of its roots in the Gallic ‘operettas’ of the early nineteenth century.

We will write a custom essay sample on The History of Musical Theatre Essay specifically for you
for only $16.38 $13.9/page

Order now

The satirical plant of Jacques Offenbach. such as Orphée aux enfers ( Orpheus in the Underworld ) . every bit good as the romantic comedies of Johann Strauss. including An der schönen blauen Donau. ( far more normally known as The Blue Danube. the clichéd vocal for a ¾ walk-in ) were the really first musicals of all time to carry through acclaim throughout the universe. translated for public presentation in London. Vienna and assorted other European metropoliss. European opera was instead good received in England. but audiences remained to still favor the broader ‘variety shows’ alternatively of the light operas. While the modern ‘Broadway’ musical was besides partly inspired from assorted Europe an light opera. its comedic psyche was derived from assortment amusement shows that enchanted American from the mid-19th century and beyond.

Simple assortment shows and ‘minstrel’ shows began to settle down to present the more sophisticated pleasances of Vaudeville. every bit good as the rambunctious force of Burlesque. The Black Crook was the first ‘book musical’ . with the book written by American dramatist Charles Barras. Its content was based on that of the narrative that had already been written. differing from Vaudeville and Burlesque. which merely had a series of studies as opposed to a changeless narration. The full production was an amazing five and a half hours long. but still retained the audience’s attending good plenty to travel on and execute over 474 public presentations on Broadway before puting off on a countrywide circuit.

The achievements of the drama gave manner to the enlargement of even more American productions. including extravaganzas. pantomimes more similar to the 1s performed today. and the musical absurdnesss of Harrigan & A ; Hart. the really first celebrated coaction on Broadway and the first well-known Americans to utilize ethnicity as a major component of a character’s development. The witty light operas of Gilbert & A ; Sullivan were crisp. harmonious and like an expert produced. This finally led to new. higher criterions of dramatic production. Post-Gilbert and Sullivan. theatre both in the United Kingdom and the United States were reinvented. ab initio by imitation of others. but finally by originality. During the early twentieth century  intercontinental theater  including The Merry Widow by Franz Lehar. had a monolithic impact on Broadway. although American composers George Cohan and Victor Herbert made certain that the American comedic musical had a alone sound and manner. P. G. Wodehouse. Jerome Kern and Guy Boulton took this even further. seting realistic characters and fortunes onto the musical phase. In the early 20s. the American musical comedy gained world-wide authorization. Broadway saw the composing introductions of George Gershwin. Cole Porter. Rodgers and Hammerstein and legion others.

READ:  What's so bad about feeling good? Essay

Britain added many intimate musicals and produced Noel Coward: a composer. dramatist. histrion. manager vocalist and comedian. now good known for his humourous showy attitude. Kern and Oscar Hammerstein wrote the ground-breaking Showboat in 1927. the most abiding production of the 1920s. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 did non impede Broadway. As a affair of fact. the 30s was informant to positive musical humor making its pinnacle. George Gershwin’s Of Thee I Sing was the first production of all time to be the receiving system of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1931. Cole Porter’s Anything Goes and Rodgers & A ; Hart On Your Toes contributed their portion of enduring hit shows and vocals. the former bring forthing one of musical theatre’s chart-toppers. the rubric path Anything Goes. The 40s began with reasonably musical comedies. but Gershwin’s Lady in the Dark and Rodgers & A ; Hart’s Pal Joey and Weill facilitated for far more realistic musicals.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma  foremost performed in 1943 was the first wholly incorporate musical drama utilizing every vocal and dance to develop the characters and the secret plan. It changed the face of musical theater. going a medium of play renowned for its complex storytelling through the three cardinal elements: play. music and dance. Cardinal minutes of the secret plan were non put aside to be told through traditional duologue or direct reference to the audience but instead were thrust even further into the spotlight with heart-wrenching vocals. of which created the first of all time American cast album that featured the original Broadway dramatis personae of the musical.

Following Oklahoma. musical theater would ne’er be the same once more. its impact still act uponing modern musicals today. However. composers such as Cole Porter. bring forthing Kiss Me Kate in 1946 and Irving Berlin. Annie Get Your Gun in 1947. shortly demonstrated that they were ready to go accustomed to the to the full incorporate musical. During the mid-1950s. Broadway musical albums became the most popular music in the western universe. Each new season would convey a trade name new batch of hit musicals. thirstily celebrated and awaited by the 1000000s of fans. Fine storytelling. combined with tricky vocals and impressive stage dancing were ever on the docket. ensuing in such unforgettable hits as The King and I. My Fair Lady. Gypsy and tonss more. These musicals were shaped by three cardinal elements: Directors

  • George Abbott ( Damn Yankees. The Pajama Game )
  • Bob Fosse ( Redhead. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. • Jerome Robbins ( Peter Pan. Bells are Ringing. West Side Story ) Composers
  • Rodgers & A ; Hammerstein ( Oklahoma. The King and I. The Sound of Music )
  • Frank Loesser ( Guys and Dolls )
  • Leonard Bernstein ( West Side Story )
    Actresss
  • Ethel Merman ( Anything Goes. There’s No Business Like Show Business )
  • Mary Martin ( Annie. Get Your Gun. The Sound of Music. Peter Pan )
  • Gwen Verdon ( New Girl in Town. Redhead. Damn Yankees )

West Side Story was the following widely influential work of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. Inspired by the narrative of Romeo and Juliet. engendering hit such as Maria. Tonight. I Feel Reasonably. America and many more. Its combination of traditional Shakespearean narrative. modernized narrative. catchy tunes and well-written wordss made it one of the most popular musicals in the universe. retaining a immense cult following still today. At first glimpse. the 60s appeared to be more of the same: Broadway churning out record-breaking and record-setting hits. such as Fiddler on the Roof. with the still-popular If I Was A Rich Man. and Hello. Dolly! But as popular musical gustatory sensation shifted. the musical seemed to be deserted. The “hip and happening” stone musical Hair was hailed as a landmark in 1968. but it merely brought with it a period of uncertainness in the musical theater universe.

READ:  They might be elves Essay

Meanwhile. on-screen musicals were quickly going more and more successful. finally bring forthing far more celebrated ‘superstars’ and far more gross. as telecasting became a ruling force around the universe. Many remakings of successful musicals were put into production. including Oklahoma in 1955. West Side Story in 1961. The Sound of Music in 1965. spliting the musical theater universe between people pleased that their work would make grander phases. but others frightened that their phase shows would no longer be able to vie with the national and international range of telecasting and film. Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim. along with manager Hal Prince reimagined the genre in the seventies with the debut of ‘concept musicals’ . These productions revolved around a specific thought or thoughts. instead than a conventional secret plan. Productions such as A Small Night Music in 1970. Company in 1972 and Folliess in 1973 succeeded. whereas rock musicals fleetly passed into the background. Concept musicals met their originative extremum with A Chorus Line in 1974. written and directed by Michael Bennett.

No. No. Nanette initiated an copiousness of popular resurgence musicals in 1973. but by the terminal of the decennary. the land was now being covered by either more serious new plants. frequently to a great extent commercialized. externally- funded British ’mega-musicals’ . such as Evita. pulling on much darker topics but retaining the amusing value. such as Sweeney Todd. The general public greatly preferred the impressive ‘mega-musicals’ . so the early 80s brought several long-running British productions to American Broadway: Apparition of the Opera. Les Miserables. Cats. Miss Saigon were light on much high-brow. rational content and peculiarly heavy on selling. particular effects and commercialisation. By the ninetiess. new mega-musicals were apparently no longer winning the populace. and costs were so high. even popular hits such as Sunset Boulevard in 1991 and Crazy for You in 1992 were unable to bring forth any net income on Broadway. Newer phase musicals all of a sudden required multi-million dollar companies to back up them in order them to win or even to be developed as a production. a tendency confirmed by Disney’s The Lion King. Even Titanic and Rent. both widely successful productions. were funded by smaller. Broadway-inspired corporations. As the twentieth century ended. the musical theater had an unsure hereafter. merely trusting on remakings and phase versions of old films. such as Footloose and Saturday Night Fever. every bit good as the still-running ‘mega-musicals’ of the old decennary.

But get downing in the twelvemonth 2000. a new revival of American musical comedies took Broadway by surprise. The Producers. Urinetown. Thoroughly Modern Millie. Hairspray — good story. melodic and inventively staged. these hit shows offered new hope for the genre. Other. less story-oriented productions such as Dancing in the Streets. based more by and large on the beginnings and fruition of Motown. and We Will Rock You. the Queen musical became far more popular as revisitations of older popular music. Other modern masters and remakings. nevertheless. such as Wicked and Legally Blonde: The Musical. began roll uping cult followerss of younger audiences. either due to their staying popularity from their on-screen signifier or their eruption as a new. exciting musical. an art signifier that many immature people had non witnessed first-hand. In decision. musical theater has come a long manner from the ancient Greek and Roman productions. doing its manner through more narrative-based musicals. all the manner to the modern musical. to the full integrated with stage dancing. original music and wordss and powerful public presentations from strong male and female leads. filled with common sense. Audiences and general populace basked in the glorification of the amazingly talented dramatists. managers. composers. lyrists. choreographers. vocalists. terpsichoreans. histrions and actresses. some of which were gifted adequate to take on multiple functions as composers and lyrists. managers and choreographers. every bit good as starring in their ain and others’ productions.

How to cite this page

Choose cite format:

The History of Musical Theatre Essay. (2017, Jul 24). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/performing-arts/theatre/history-musical-theatre-5029/

We will write a custom essay sample onThe History of Musical Theatre Essayspecifically for you

for only $16.38 $13.9/page
Order now