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Portal:Theatre

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The Theatre Portal

Ancient Greece theatre in Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music, and dance. Elements of art, such as painted scenery and stagecraft such as lighting are used to enhance the physicality, presence and immediacy of the experience. The specific place of the performance is also named by the word "theatre" as derived from the Ancient Greek θέατρον (théatron, "a place for viewing"), itself from θεάομαι (theáomai, "to see", "to watch", "to observe").

Modern theatre includes performances of plays and musical theatre. The art forms of ballet and opera are also theatre and use many conventions such as acting, costumes and staging. They were influential to the development of musical theatre; see those articles for more information. (Full article...)

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Jacques Offenbach
Orpheus in the Underworld (Orphée aux enfers, 1858) is a comic opera with music by Jacques Offenbach (pictured) and words by Hector Crémieux and Ludovic Halévy. It was extensively revised and expanded in 1874 for a run that broke box-office records at the Théâtre de la Gaîté, Paris. In the opera, a lampoon of the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, Orpheus is a rustic violin teacher who is glad to be rid of his wife when she is abducted by the god of the underworld. The reprehensible conduct of the gods of Olympus was widely seen as a veiled satire of the court and government of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French. Some critics expressed outrage at the librettists' disrespect for classic mythology and the composer's parody of Gluck's opera Orfeo ed Euridice; others praised the piece highly. It was Offenbach's first full-length opera and remains the one that is most often performed. Can-can cabaret acts still use its "Galop infernal", adopted later in the 19th century by the Moulin Rouge and Folies Bergère.

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Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Shostakovich was a Russian composer of the Soviet period. He is best known for his satirical opera The Nose (based on the story by Gogol) and his cycles of symphonies and string quartets, 15 of each. Since his death in 1975, reports about his true personal opinions about life in the USSR have been controversial. While he outwardly conformed with the state and was a public face for state-crafted propaganda, it is now widely known that he deeply disliked the Soviet regime —a view confirmed by his family, by private letters to Isaak Glikman, and the satirical cantata "Anti-formalist Rayok", which ridiculed the "anti-formalism" campaign in Soviet arts and was known only to his closest friends until after his death.

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Oscar Wilde
As far as my work is concerned [the ideal dramatic criticism is] unqualified appreciation.
Oscar Wilde, St James's Gazette interview, 1895

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