Increasing Drama on the Stage
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Increasing Drama on the Stage book
In the centuries following the birth of opera, an increasingly clear division between serious and comic musical stage works had developed. Operas—particularly the verismo productions of Italy and the music dramas of Germany—had grown very serious. Rose-Marie and The Vagabond King contained many elements that reflected their heightened interest in dramatic power. "Operetta" is probably the most accurate designation for Rose-Marie, since the vocal demands of the score are more sizable than typical musical comedy songs. One of the composers of Rose-Marie was Rudolf Friml, whose Broadway career had begun with The Firefly, the operetta written for Emma Trentini after Victor Herbert had refused to write a sequel to Naughty Marietta. The impetus for Rose-Marie came from Arthur Hammerstein, uncle of Oscar Hammerstein II. Arthur had heard of a Canadian winter festival that featured ice sculptures and a huge melting palace as its climax. He sent two lyricists, his nephew and Otto Harbach, to Canada to research the ice show.