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Analysis of Handels Admeto In the beginning of the 18th century opera seria developed into a vibrant art form and took a center stage in operatic performance of London As a genre opera seria takes its themes from classical myths and literature building on the musical standards developed throughout the Baroque period Opera seria is built on a rigid structure of three acts in which the recitative and aria are performed in alternation The dominant convention of this musical genre is the de capo aria which helps to show a single specific mood or affection through the use of repetition and melismatic singing while also serving as a reflection of the significance of the virtuoso singer New Harvard 564 The voices of soloists were central to the performance and the composers of opera serias used the instruments of the orchestra as an accompaniment In looking at Handels Admeto we can see a prominent example of an opera seria allowing us to see how these among other musical conventions created a sense of grandeur and order so prominent during a Baroque period Recitative playes a pivotal role in the development of the action of Admeto It serves a function of both developing the plot and explaining the relationships between characters The Act III scene 6 finds Alcestis back from the netherworld and looking to reunite with her husband Admeto In a dramatic dialogue Hercules tells her that her husband is in love with another This amount of information would be impossible to convey effectively in the form of an aria Instead of being accompanied by the basso continuo the recitative between Alcestis and Hercules is almost entirely spoken The only instrumental accompaniment is the harpsichord and its function is limited to underlining the ends of phrases Such recitative often called secco recitative allows the words come out unencumbered by the colorful turns of a musical composition Yet the music is not absent from Handels recitative
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