Opera can be defined as drama told through music, and at the height of its popularity conventions arose in which certain voice types came to share common character features. With love triangles it is the baritone who takes the role of the villain; basses are either comically pompous or wise and noble priests or kings; and both voices can be cast as operatic devils and demons. From the jack-of-all-trades, Figaro, to the impotent jester Rigoletto, and from the heroic William Tell to the mischievous Méphistophélès, these larger-than-life characters all represent the grandeur of great music combined with powerful stories.
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