What is the course about?
You will work with item(s) from your existing repertoire and new number(s) chosen in consultation with the tutors, to develop your interpretation, understanding and performance of operatic repertoire suitable to your Fach.
Each student will work on solos (arias, recitatives) as well as duos trios etc. with other members of the class, and everyone will participate in some chorus work. You will work towards an informal presentation at the end of the course.
NB course dates 15 Mar - 12 April, 10 May - 28 June. For audition please prepare:
- 2 arias (preferable but not essential: one in English / English translation, one including recitative)
- a short spoken text (poem, prose, monologue from a play or opera)
You will also be asked to read in Italian, French and German to assess your current skills in the main singing languages.
What will we cover?
• Singing in English / English translation and Italian, in a variety of musical styles
• Dialogue and recitative
• Language skills for singing
• Focus on line, tone quality, expression, and style in solo and duet singing
• Part-singing to develop ensemble musicianship
• Simple stagecraft / presentation skills: gesture, interaction with others, use of a prop
• How to research your own character(s), role in plot, analysis and understanding of text, historical context of opera.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Better understand which operatic repertoire is suitable to your voice
• Demonstrate understanding of style in varied repertoire
• Perform co-operatively with others in ensemble
• Show independent capacity to make interpretative decisions by placing the excerpts in a stylistic context
There will be an informal performance at the end of the course.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Ideally, you will have taken City Lit opera studio module 1, or you will have equivalent experience of performing operatice repertoire.
You must have had at least five years of vocal training as a classical singer, and be able to read music fluently and/or have the ability to learn repertoire quickly. You will need an established routine of regular singing practice.
You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English, follow scores, engage in class discussions, undertake independent research into your repertoire, and take your own notes.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Practical instruction: group work, pair work, individual performance
Coaching on musical and interpretative issues, stagecraft, and guidance on how to research your own roles.
Peer feedback and critique.
You will be expected to prepare and learn music independently (daily practice is essential) and research your own music and roles.
You will need to have all music from memory by Week 6 so that you can work on detail and nuance, and incorporate some stagecraft. You will have copies of all music to follow during masterclass-style musical coaching, which will involve peer critique.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need to acquire copies of music to be studied during the term. The tutors will assist in finding appropriate editions. Music may be purchased new or second-hand and/or available from libraries:
Westminster Library (Victoria) [external website]
Barbican Music Library [external website]
Petrucci Music library (IMSLP) [external website].
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may also be interested in Language classes: Italian, French, or German, or in Musicianship or Instrumental classes (such as piano) to support your studies.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details