Rulers of Opera 12” Ruler

Price: $2.95 / $2.21 Members: $1.99


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Item: 10073589


Rulers of Opera 12” Ruler

From Renaissance great Claudio Monteverdi to recent Met Opera soprano Renée Fleming, this clever wooden ruler features a list of some of the history’s most gifted opera singers and composers. The ruler has inches and centimeters on one side and the list of opera “rulers” on the other.

Opera, from the Italian word for “work,” can be described as a total artwork, combining music, acting, poetry, costumes, set design, and sometimes dance or ballet. The first opera still to be regularly performed was L’Orfeo, written in 1607 by Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643).

The first seven entries on the ruler are all composers, writing in various styles. Rossini (1792-1868), Donizetti (1797-1848), and Bellini (1801-1835) exemplify what is known as the bel canto style (from the Italian for “beautiful singing”), with intricate sung lines requiring vocal agility and pitch control. Later operas began to include particularly dramatic storytelling, notably in the works of Wagner (1813-1883) and Verdi (1813-1901).

Operatic vocal technique developed in a way that allowed singers, in a time before electronic amplification, to produce enough volume to be heard over an orchestra. Many famous singers are listed here – especially sopranos, the highest female voice and usually the voice part of choice for the leading female role in the opera.

Each musician is listed in order of birth year, along with one of their operas, a nickname, or their voice part.

The “head” image is of no one particular person but is rather a drawing that represents a female lead in a Wagnerian role. If it looks a bit like anyone, it would have to be Birgit Nilsson (1918-2005) in the role of the warrior Brünnhilde.

  • American-grown basswood
  • 12” long
  • Made in the USA


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