By the 19th century, accompagnato had gained the upper hand, the orchestra played a much bigger role, and Wagner revolutionized opera by abolishing almost all distinction between aria and recitative in his quest for what Wagner termed "endless melody".
Subsequent composers have tended to follow Wagner's example, though some, such as Stravinsky in his The Rake's Progress have bucked the trend.
Beginning in 2006, a number of major opera houses began to present live high-definition video transmissions of their performances in cinemas all over the world.
Since 2009, complete performances can be downloaded and are live streamed.
Vocal duets, trios and other ensembles often occur, and choruses are used to comment on the action.
In 1637, the idea of a "season" (Carnival) of publicly attended operas supported by ticket sales emerged in Venice.and arias, a more melodic style, in which notes are sung in a sustained fashion.Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance.During the 19th century, parallel operatic traditions emerged in central and eastern Europe, particularly in Russia and Bohemia.The 20th century saw many experiments with modern styles, such as atonality and serialism (Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg), Neoclassicism (Igor Stravinsky), and Minimalism (Philip Glass and John Adams).It started in Italy at the end of the 16th century (with Jacopo Peri's mostly lost Dafne, produced in Florence in 1598) and soon spread through the rest of Europe: Heinrich Schütz in Germany, Jean-Baptiste Lully in France, and Henry Purcell in England all helped to establish their national traditions in the 17th century.In the 18th century, Italian opera continued to dominate most of Europe (except France), attracting foreign composers such as George Frideric Handel.Opera seria was the most prestigious form of Italian opera, until Christoph Willibald Gluck reacted against its artificiality with his "reform" operas in the 1760s.The most renowned figure of late 18th-century opera is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who began with opera seria but is most famous for his Italian comic operas, especially The Marriage of Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte, as well as The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte), a landmark in the German tradition.The mid-to-late 19th century was a "golden age" of opera, led and dominated by Giuseppe Verdi in Italy and Richard Wagner in Germany.The popularity of opera continued through the verismo era in Italy and contemporary French opera through to Giacomo Puccini and Richard Strauss in the early 20th century.