Exploring opera 3

Course Dates: 01/05/25 - 10/07/25
Time: 11:00 - 13:00
Location: Keeley Street
Join us to explore the history of opera over three enjoyable terms. In this third term we’ll explore Verdi, Wagner and the early 20th century. NB Brreak week: 29 May 2025.
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Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £174.00

Exploring opera 3
  • Course Code: MD999
  • Dates: 01/05/25 - 10/07/25
  • Time: 11:00 - 13:00
  • Taught: Thu, Daytime
  • Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Pauline Greene

Course Code: MD999

Thu, day, 01 May - 10 Jul '25

Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Any questions? music@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 4582 0412

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This course follows The Oxford Illustrated History of Opera by Roger Parker (OUP, 1994), which we encourage you to read alongside this course. This is the second of three modules of Exploring Opera, but each module can be taken as a stand-alone course.
In Exploring Opera 3 we focus on modern opera from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century.

What will we cover?

- Wagner’s idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk [total work of art]
- Italian opera of Verdi
- Opera and Nationalism: opera in Russia
- 20th-century disruptions: Strauss, Berg et al.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Discuss individual operas and their social and political context
- Understand the circumstances of each opera’s composition and first performance
- Discuss the place of these operas in the context of their composers’ lives and work.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is for those with some familiarity in listening to a particular composer or opera, having taken a previous beginners course, or a willingness to undertake short reading tasks between sessions. We may look at music scores and identify key features of music notation, but this will not be the main focus of the studies.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Tutor presentations and explanations, practical demonstrations on the piano, guided listening and watching, class discussion and debate. Occasional optional short preparation tasks, such as listening to an aria or reading about a composer, librettist or style, may be set from time to time.
Listening and reading outside class is encouraged, and resources and information will be available via Google Classroom.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please bring a notebook and pen to make your own notes. If you would like to read a textbook alongside this course we recommend The Oxford Illustrated History of Opera by Roger Parker (OUP, 1994), but this is not essential for your enjoyment of the course.
You may also wish to purchase some of the music books or recordings discussed in class; links to these materials will be available after each session. You may also wish to attend live performances.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

City Lit has a wide range of other Music history courses. For more information, visit our Guide to the Music history programme.
You may also be interested in other areas of the Music programme. Please contact the Music Department for further information and advice.

Pauline Greene

Pauline Greene studied composition at Nottingham University and then composed, performed and was Musical Director with various theatre companies. She taught flute and composition, performing her music across the UK at various venues, including the Southbank Centre and the Edinburgh Festival, with her group The Concert Party, which she managed and directed. She has taught at the Universities of Middlesex and Hertfordshire, and ran the Music Access course at Morley College. She taught at Birkbeck from 1984-2023, moving from Music to Arts Management, and currently lectures on the MA in Events and Experience Management at Goldsmiths. She has given talks at the Royal Opera House, Wigmore Hall and Glyndebourne. At City Lit Pauline teaches a wide range of music history courses, with specialisms in opera, music for dance, theatre and film, musical analysis, and music since 1900. She is still involved in the organisation of small-scale charity concerts and one-off musical events, and she sings and plays with several small groups.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.