Seventeenth-century Venice was the ideal center for the development of opera because of certain special conditions: regular demand from a broad and depend able audience of citizens and travelers alike, dependable financial backing from the many competing patrician families who constructed and operated theaters, a flourishing publishing industry that provided publicity, and a tradition in which the arts were designed specifically to enhance the self-image of the republic. These conditions combined to sustain a genre that appealed to its audience on multiple levels. The increasing demand for new works precipitated the development of new modes of production and communication, and the various musical and dramatic conventions that originated during this era have persisted to the present day.

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