noviembre 2019
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Film Words with Definitions: ⇒[01] ⇔ [02] ⇔ [03] ⇔ [quiz 01] ⇔ [quiz 02]



•  Movie QUIZZES . . .  ⇒[01] ⇔ [02]  ⇔ [03] ⇔ [04] ⇔ [05] ⇔ [dominoes]⇐

English with Jo …   ⇑   Intermediate   /   Advanced  ⇓


◊  4 idioms ⇓  by Jo

«waste of time» / «frame of mind» / «create an uproar» / «all-time favourite»


What do people do in their free time? Although all of us have got different tastes, most of us like films, theatre and music. Here are some words you will need to talk about entertainment.

¤ The cinema

The cinema or cinemas are venues where films are shown. In major cities you will find multi-screen theatres that show a number of films at the same time. These theatres are called multiplex cinemas.

Films fall under different categories. U-certified films are appropriate for viewers of all ages, while A-certified films are only suitable for adults.

Films are of very many kinds. For example, there are action films that show a lot of fights, car chases etc. Horror films are films that would frighten the audience. They will usually have a storyline built around ghosts or other supernatural phenomena. Most people would enjoy comedy films which are full of humorous situations and usually have a happy ending. Films with song and dance are often called musicals. The black and white films of yesteryears are often called classics.

¤ The theatretheatre

A theatre is a building designed for the performance of plays to an audience. Theatres will usually have shows in the afternoon or in the evening. Afternoon shows are often called matinee.

Generally, the more you pay, the better seat you get. The stalls are the seats at ground level in front of the stage, and these have the best views. Then there are the seats in the Dress Circle (or Royal Circle), which are in the first balcony. They also have good views of the stage. Then there are the seats in the Upper Circle, which are in the second balcony. Above this are cheaper seats in the Balcony or the Gallery, which are so high up that it’s often difficult to see the actors. There are also seats in the Boxes, which are private rooms built into the side walls of the theatre.

¤ Live music

Large cities offer you a huge range of musical performances, from opera to classical concerts to jazz, folk, rock and pop gigs (= concerts). In summer there are often music festivals, with Glastonbury Festival being one of the most popular.

¤ Family entertainment

Bank holidays and weekends are favourite times to go out with your family. Some things, such as circuses, zoos and water parks can be quite expensive. But other events, such as fun-daysparades and carnivals are much cheaper. Children often like to go by themselves to funfairs, where they can go on the rides and eat candyfloss.

¤ A cheap night out

There are also plenty of cheap activities available in British towns and cities. Bingo is popular, and in London, people still go to the dogs, to see and bet on dog racing. You can often find a leisure centre in towns, which offer sport facilities. Many English people go to their local (= pub) where they can play darts or pool (= a type of snooker), as well as have a drink with friends.

At the weekend, younger people often go pubcrawling or clubbing (= night clubs) or to a disco with their friends.


⇑  Setting up Vancouver Island Music Festival    [2012]

Take a look at these music words and phrases and then take the Lingo Challenge!


 •→A glossary of styles

Φ   Musical instruments …  ⇓

. . .  ⇒[01] ⇔ [02]⇐ [pictionaries]

¤  Opera

An opera is a musical stage drama in which the actors sing most or all of their parts. Opera combines music and drama into an art form which includes many dimensions: the human voice, orchestral music, the visual arts (scenery, costumes and special effects), drama (tragedy or comedy), and occasionally dance.

Operas are divided into scenes and acts that contain a variety of vocal pieces for one or many singers. An aria is a vocal solo that focuses on a character’s emotions rather than actions. A recitative is sung dialogue or speech that occurs between arias and ensembles. Composers write the score or the music for the opera. The story of the opera is written as a libretto, a text that is easily set to music.

[Pacific Opera Victoria]
•  The Six Basic Vocal Categories

Soprano: The highest female voice, similar to a flute in range and tone colour. Usually plays the heroine in the opera since a high, bright sound can easily suggest youth and innocence.

Mezzo-Soprano: The middle-range female voice, similar to an oboe in range and tone colour. Called an alto in choral arrangements, can play a wide variety of characters including gypsies, mothers, and even the part of a young man (trouser role).

Contralto: The lowest female voice, similar to an English horn in range and tone colour. Usually plays unique roles including fortune-tellers, witches and older women. Not very common.

Tenor: The highest male voice, similar to a trumpet in range, tone colour and acoustical “ring.” Usually plays the hero or the romantic lead in the opera.

Baritone: The middle-range male voice, similar to a French horn in tone colour. Often plays the leader of mischief in comic opera or the villain in tragic opera, sometimes even the hero.

Bass: The lowest male voice, similar to a trombone or bassoon in tone colour. Usually portrays old, wise men, or foolish, comic men.

•  The following terms can be used to describe special characteristics in a vocal range:

Coloratura: a light, bright voice that has the ability to sing many notes quickly, usually with an extended upper range.

Lyric: A light to medium weight voice, often singing beautiful sweeping melodies; for example, Fiordiligi in COSI FAN TUTTE is a role for a lyric soprano.

Dramatic: A dark, heavy and powerful voice, capable of sustained and forceful singing.

•  Glossary of Opera Terms

Act– a section of the opera that is then divided into scenes.

Aria– “air” in Italian. This is a piece of music written for one singer (soloist), usually with instrumental accompaniment.

Aside– a secret comment by an actor directly to the audience that other characters can’t hear.

Baton– short stick that the conductor uses to lead the orchestra.

Bel Canto– Italian phrase meaning “beautiful singing.” A traditional Italian style of singing emphasizing tone, phrasing, coloratura passages, and technique. Also refers to the operas written in this style.

Blocking– directions given to the performers for movement on stage.

Bravo (Italian) – a form of appreciation shouted by audience members at the end of a particularly pleasing performance.

Cadenza– a passage of singing, often at the end of an aria, which shows off vocal ability.

Castrato (Italian) – a castrated male prized for his high singing voice.

Chamber Opera– An opera intended for a smaller, more intimate setting than many operas. Usually, a chamber opera is scored for small orchestra (a chamber orchestra), has a small cast, and can be performed in a smaller venue than a large-scale opera.

Choreographer– the person who designs the steps of a dance.

Chorus– a group of singers of all vocal ranges, singing together to support the vocal leads.

Classical– the period in music which comes after the Baroque and before the Romantic, roughly from the birth of Mozart to shortly after the death of Beethoven. It represents the greatest standardization in orchestral form and tonality.

Composer– the individual who writes all the music for both voice and instrument.

Conductor– the person responsible for the musical interpretation and coordination of the performance. The conductor controls the tempo, the dynamic level and the balance between singers and orchestra.

Countertenor– a male singer with the highest male voice range, generally singing within the female contralto or mezzo soprano range.

Crescendo– a build in the volume or dynamic of the music

Cue– a signal to enter or exit from the stage, to move or to change lighting or scenery; or a signal given by the conductor to the musicians.

Curtain Call– the moment at the end of the performance when all the cast members and the conductor take bows. This can occur in front of the curtain or on the open stage.

Designer– a production can have two or three designers: a lighting designer, a costume designer, a set designer, or someone who is both costume and set designer. The designers work closely with the stage director to give the production a distinctive look.

Diva– literally, “goddess” in Italian. A female opera star.

Dress Rehearsal– the final rehearsal before opening night includes costumes, lights, makeup, etc. Sometimes it is necessary to stop for adjustments, but an attempt is made to make it as much like a regular performance as possible.

Duet– music that is written for two people to sing together.

Encore– a piece that is performed after the last scheduled piece of a concert. An encore is performed when the audience wants to hear more music even though the concert is over.

Ensemble– a part of the opera written for a group of two or more singers. This may or may not include the chorus.

Falsetto– the upper part of a voice in which the vocal cords do not vibrate completely. Usually used by males to imitate a female voice.

Finale– the last musical number of an opera or an act.

Grand Opera– spectacular French opera of the Romantic period, lavishly staged, with a historically-based plot, a huge cast, an unusually large orchestra, and ballet.

Helden– German prefix meaning “heroic”. Can also apply to other voices, but usually used in “heldentenor.”

House– the auditorium and front of the theatre excluding the stage and backstage areas.

Interlude– a short piece of instrumental music played between scenes and acts.

Intermission– a break between acts of an opera. The lights come up and the audience is free to move around.

Librettist– the writer of the opera’s text.

Libretto– Italian for “little book.” It is the text or story of the opera.

Lyric– used to describe a light to medium weight voice with an innocent quality, capable of both sustained, forceful singing and delicate effects.

Maestro– means “master” in Italian. Used as a courtesy title for the conductor.

Mark- to sing, but not at full voice. A full-length opera is very hard on a singer’s voice so most performers mark during rehearsals. During the Dress Rehearsal, singers try to sing at full voice for part if not all of the rehearsal.

Motif or Leitmotif– a recurring musical theme that identifies an emotion, person, place or object.

Opera– a dramatic presentation which is set to music. Almost all of it is sung, and the orchestra is an equal partner with the singers. Like a play, an opera is acted on stage with costumes, scenery, makeup, etc. Opera is the plural form of the Latin word opus, which means “work.”

Opera buffa (Italian) – an opera about ordinary people, usually, but not always comic. First developed in the eighteenth century.

Opera seria (Italian) – a serious opera. The usual characters are gods and goddesses, or ancient heroes.

Opera-comique (French) or Singspiel (German) – a form of opera which contains spoken dialogue.

Operetta– lighthearted opera with spoken dialogue, such as a musical.

Orchestra– an ensemble comprising string, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments, and led by a conductor.

Orchestra pit– sunken area in front of the stage where the orchestra sits.

Overture– an orchestral introduction to the opera played before the curtain rises. Usually longer than a
prelude; can be played as a separate piece.

Pitch– how high or low a note sounds.

Prelude– a short introduction that leads into an act without pause.

Prima Donna– literally, “first lady” in Italian. The leading woman in an opera. Because of the way some of
them behaved in the past, the term often refers to someone who is acting in a superior and demanding fashion.

Principal– a major singing role or the singer who performs such a role.

Production– the combination of sets, costumes, props, and lights etc.

Props– objects carried or used on stage by the performers.

Proscenium– the front opening of the stage, which frames the action.

Quartet– four singers or the music that is written for four singers. Also quintet, sextet, etc.

Recitative– lines of dialogue that are sung, usually with no recognizable melody. A recitiative is used to
advance the plot.

Rehearsal– a working session in which the singers prepare for public performance.

Score– the written music of an opera or other musical work.

Serenade– a piece of music honouring someone or something, an extension of the traditional performance
of a lover beneath the window of his mistress.

Soubrette (French) – pert young female character with a light soprano voice.

Spinto (Italian) – a lyric voice that has the power and incisiveness for dramatic climaxes.

Stage Director– the person in charge of the action on stage. He or she shows the singers, chorus and cast
where and when to move and helps them create their characters. The stage director develops a concept for
how the entire performance should look and feel. He or she works closely with the stage managers, lighting
designer, set designers, costume designer and wig and make-up artists to make his or her vision into reality.

Stage Manager– the person who coordinates and manages elements of the performance.

Tableau– a moment at the end of a scene or act, when all singers on stage freeze in position and remain that way until the curtain closes. It’s as if that moment has been captured in a photograph.

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