Introducing Word Wednesday:
Learn new opera terms for your next Scrabble game!
Opera - the art form - draws from many different languages for its music and its terminology, making the language of opera rich with high scoring words. Because some are Italian, others French or German, they may not appear in a standard dictionary or scoring tool. But, if you can agree they're legit in your game, you can wrack up some serious points.
As we count down to LA Opera's upcoming season, we're rolling out a word a week. with its definition. We'll collect them here. If you've got a good one you'd like to share , show it to us and tell us how you scored.
Get ready to impress your friends!
ARIA( 4 Scrabble points) - Italian- An aria is an operatic solo, accompanied by music. Similar to a monologue in a play or a solo in a musical, an aria is the truest expression of a characters desires and soul; it's an outpouring of emotion often occurring when a character is most vulnerable. Watch Plácido Domingo sing Canio's aria "Vesti La Guibba" from Ruggero Lenocavallo's Pagliacci Speaking of ARIA, have you heard of our ARIA Program for Young Professionals? Open to those ages 21 – 35, this package gives you access to four operas and exclusive after parties where you can do just that: express yourself!
BUFFO or BUFFA (9 Scrabble points) – Italian – Have you ever had a good laugh at the opera and wondered how to describe it? Look no further than the word “buffo” or “buffa,” which translates to “funny.” It’s used in opera a few different ways. The term “opera buffa” refers to a whole genre of Italian operatic comedies, such as “The Barber of Seville.” A “basso buffo” is a low-voiced male singer specializing in humorous roles like Benoit and Alcindoro, the two nemeses who provide much-needed comic relief in “La Boheme.”
DIVA (8 Scrabble points) - Italian- while its popularly used to describe someone's attitude, in opera, diva refers to a woman of outsanding talent in the world of opera. It's a compliment, not a dig.
QUINTET (16 Scrabble points) - Italian- It simply means a group of five people. In music, you can have many kinds of quintets: a string quintet, an orchestra quintet, and yes, even an opera quintet. Here’s a sample of a quintet from LA Opera’s production of The Magic Flute, presented in co-production with Minnesota Opera.
TESSITURA (9 Scrabble points) – Latin – Where is your voice most comfortable? Do you find yourself singing high notes easier than low notes or are low notes your bread and butter? The answer to these questions is what’s called tessitura in the music world. This refers to the best-sounding and most comfortable range for a singer, or where the general range of notes in a vocal role tend to lie. Coincidentally, this week teams from several arts, cultural, and entertainment organizations have converged on Florida for The Tessitura Network conference. If you’re there…let us know.
VOX (13 Scrabble points) – Latin – Vox is the Latin word for “voice.” It may only be three letters, but don’t be deceived by its small size. Your opponent has no chance of advancing you, when you get these 13 scrabble points. Also, we would like to dedicate this word to the talented group VOX, who sang on last night’s episode of America’s Got Talent with LA Opera singers David Castillo and Arnold Geis. This is only the beginning; the journey continues…
ZARZUELA (16 Scrabble points) – Spanish – This saucy term refers to a Spanish comedic opera, where characters can jump from spoken to sung scenes. While we know there aren’t two Z’s in Scrabble, feel free to pull out that blank tile. Zarzuela is the perfect word to steal the game.