Singspiel

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Singspiel:

see operaopera,
drama set to music. Characteristics

The libretto may be serious or comic, although neither form necessarily excludes elements of the other. Opera differs from operetta in its musical complexity and usually in its subject matter.
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Singspiel

 

a variety of comic opera with spoken dialogue, popular in 18th-century Germany and Austria.

In northern Germany the Singspiel was influenced by the English ballad opera, particularly The Beggars’ Opera. It is generally regarded as having its beginnings with The Devil to Pay (1752), the German adaptation of the ballad opera, with music by J. C. Standfuss. It contained a series of simple songs (in couplets) close to folk tradition. The Singspiele of the poet C. Weisse and the composer J. Hiller were enormously successful, including Lottchen am Hofe, 1767. Other composers include J. Benda, C. G. Neefe, and J. Reichardt; J. W. Goethe wrote librettos for the Singspiel.

In Austria the Singspiel was influenced by the Austrian folk comedy, the Italian opera buffa, and the French opéra comique. It contained longer arias and ensembles than the German Singspiel. I. Umlauff was the founder of the Austrian comic opera and his Singspiel The Miners was performed in 1778 at the opening of the imperial National Opera Theater in Vienna. K. von Dittersdorf, W. Mu’ller, and others composed Singspiele, but it was Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio (1782) and The Magic Flute (1791) that made the greatest contribution to the development of the Austrian Singspiel. The traditions of Singspiel led to the German romantic opera of the first half of the 19th century and to the Viennese operetta.

REFERENCES

Schletterer, H. M. Das deutsche Singspiel von seinen ersten Anfängen bis auf die neueste Zeit. Augsburg, 1863.
Calmus, G. Die ersten deutschen Singspiele von Standfuss und Hiller. Leipzig, 1908.

B. V. LEVIK

References in periodicals archive ?
I Masses and mass movements II Litanies III Smaller sacred works IV Oratorios, sacred cantatas, applausus, singspiele and school dramas V Sacred arias VI Secular songs VII Symphonies VII Divertimenti, partitas.
Gottfried Heinrich Stolzel (1690-1749; Kapellmeister from 1719) composed roughly a dozen annual cycles of cantatas and, with the permanent establishment of the Hoftheater in 1775, Georg Anton Benda (1722-95; Kapellmeister from 1750) began composition of Singspiele and melodrama--two of the latter, Medea and Ariadne auf Naxos, were famous across Europe.
Extensive extracts from lawsuits, minutes of business meetings, and contracts abound, as well as from the plays and Singspiele from the period.
Goethes Musiktheater: Singspiele, Opern, Festspiele, 'Faust'.
Johann Friedrich Reichardt, (1752-1814): zwischen Anpassung und Provokation; Goethes Lieder und Singspiele in Reichardts Vertonung; Bericht uber die wissenschaftlichenKonferenzen in Halle anlasslich des 250.
The analyses are grouped into chapters according to Goethe's literary genres and artistic phases; Sturm und Drang verse, Philhellenic poetry, first Weimar decade, classical years, volkstumliche Lieder, ballads, Mignon's lieder, the Harper's lieder, dramatic works, sonnets, West-ostlicher Divan, Singspiele, and choral works.