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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.
Jacopo Peri and rival composer Giulio Caccini each wrote a version of the Orpheus legend, 'Euridice', writing music to the text by the court poet. When Peri’s version was performed in 1600, Caccini insisted in writing the lines his own pupils were singing.
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