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The first ever operas were written around 1600 by Baroque composers including Monteverdi and Cavalieri, and the genre quickly took off. Early operas used dramatic text and music to express their stories, which were often based on Classical Greek and Roman mythology.
By 1714, light-hearted pieces were being called ‘opéras comiques’ in France. These were so successful that the Comédie-Française had them banned in Paris, for fear of competition. These comic operas like paved the way for the often amusing ‘opera buffa’ style of the mid 1700s. The Opéra-Comique in Paris still hosts performances to this day, after being set up in 1793.
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