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Opera history 
Opera (in Italian means building, business, labour, employment) is one the most difficult kind of art of theatre.
The home of opera is Italy. It appeared as part of mysteries-religious performances. Thus, the musical part of the mysteries was called as opera. For the first time, in religious comedy Saint Paul\'s return of Beyeri (1480) an important place was given to music – opera and during the performance events were accompanied with music from the beginning till the end.
The attempt to include in musical performances one-voice performances (monodia) in the middle of the sixteenth century gave an impetus to rapid development of opera. The authors of the above-mentioned efforts called their musical-dramatic works as drama in musica or drama per musica. The name of “opera’ has been used since mid of the XVII century. Although later some of the opera composers (Richard Wagner) returned to the name of musical drama. 
For the mass audience, the first opera house opened in Venice in 1637. Till then the opera is considered to be the only entertainment of the palace. “Laurel” of Jakopo Peri’s written in 1597 was considered to be the first great opera work. After the Italy genre of opera began to spread in other European countries, too. Germany Heinrich Syuts (Laurel, 1627), KAMBER in France (La pastorale 1647), Pyorsell in England are pioneers of opera.
In opera theatrical dram makes unity with orchestral music and vocal. This type of art combines the various artistic media: solo and choir performances, different ensembles, symphony orchestras, fine art elements (suits, scenery, etc.), ballet.
Operas, in which ballet scenes occupy important place, are called as opera-ballet. This type of opera was widely spread in XVII-XVIII centuries in France (work of Ramo Tender India) sometimes to be found in subsequent periods (for example, Rimsky-Korsakov’s work Mlada).
Opera includes soloists, choir, orchestra, military orchestra and organ. Voices in opera are divided into two: of man and of woman. In its turn, they have the various types. Soprano, mezzosoprano, contralto are women\'s voices, countertenor, tenor, baritone and bass are voices of the men.
Opera consists of acts, pictures, scenes and speeches. Acts begin with prologue and end with epilogue.
Recitative, arioso, songs, arias, duets, trios, quartets, ensembles are parts of opera works, overture, introduction, entr\'acte, pantomimes, melodrama, marches, ballet music are its symphonic forms.


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Opera in Azerbaijan
Formation of opera started in Azerbaijan at the beginning of the last century.
The basis of the opera art was laid in 12th of January 1908 (25) with work of U.Hajibeyov “Leyli and Majnun” which was staged at theatre of H.Z.Tagiyev and being considered the first opera in the Muslim and east world,
The building of the theatre was built by the famous builder-engineer Bayev in 1910. On October 18, 1918, the government of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic made the decision on purchase of this building to the official state theatre, and the history of the State Opera Theatre starts with it.
For a long time, until the Soviet government established, our national opera was developed thanks to the works of U.Hajibeyov - Sheikh Sanan (1909, opera), Husband-Wife (1909, musical comedy), Rustam and Sohrab (1910, opera ), If not it but that (1911, musical comedy), Farhad and Shirin (1911, opera), etc. In subsequent years, Zulfugar Hajibeyov (Ashiq Garib 1916), Muslim Magomayev (Shah Ismail, 1919), Afrasiyab Badalbeyli (Nizami, 1948), Fikrat Amirov (Sevil in 1955) and other well-known composers had contributed to the art of the national opera. The works of above-mentioned authors, in particular of U.Hajibeyov’s  are at present in the repertoire of the National Opera and Ballet Theatre.
During different periods many world famous artists - Fyodr Shalyapin, Leonid Sobinov, Valeri Barsov, Irina Arkhipova, Elena Obraztsova, Maria Biesu, Maya Plisetskaya, Vyacheslav Gordeyev, Zurab Sotkilava, Vladislav Pyavko, Montserrat Cabalier, Anastasia Volochkova, Svetlana Zakharova and others performed at stage of Opera and Ballet Theatre and continues to perform today.
Since 1959 it had got a status of Academic Theatre.

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