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date: 25 September 2020


The Oxford Companion to Music
Sarah HibberdSarah Hibberd

An important preparatory stage in the presentation of an opera or a concert. Practices have changed over time, reflecting the evolving roles of players, singers, conductors, composers, directors, and patrons. In the case of large-scale works, separate rehearsals are usually held for different sections of the orchestra, for the principal singers and for the chorus (both with piano accompaniment), and for other personnel such as lighting staff, in order to overcome any technical difficulties. (For the performers, these preliminary sessions take place most often in a hall or studio, and not where the actual performance will be given.) The elements are then gradually brought together, and details of balance, interpretation, unity, and dynamics are improved. It is common for a public audience to be invited to the final dress rehearsal of an opera.... ...

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