What is the course about?
Verdi’s long career as an opera composer encompassed over 50 years of giving the opera-going public what they loved; although not every opera was a hit, a remarkable number is still in every opera house’s repertoire. How did he appeal to so many, then and now? We look at three operas spread over his lifetime: Nabucco (1842), which became linked to the Risorgimento; Rigoletto (1851), from his middle period, and Falstaff (1893), which was the product of his own resurgence with a new librettist. Through these three very different operas we will examine his working method, relationship with librettists, theatres and the public, his changing style, and the context of his work spanning the second half of the 19th century.
This is a live online course. For more information please see our guide to online learning.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- The personal and professional backgrounds of Verdi and selected librettists
- The study of all three operas, including source material, libretto and music
- Verdi in the context of the operatic style of the times.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand the development of Verdi’s musical style through these three operas
- Understand the basic structure of these three operas and their component parts
- Consider the operas in the context of their times.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Some previous knowledge of opera is useful but not essential but you should have an interest in music and be keen to find out more. You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English, engage in class discussions and take notes in English.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This is an online course:
Sessions will be held via video-conference (google meets) and comprise combinations of lecture, discussion, quizzes, guided listening, video and score study. Course materials (handouts, scores, links to online videos) will be shared via google classroom.
You will be encouraged to do extra reading outside class.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need a good internet connection and a computer with microphone & webcam. If using a tablet it will need a screen large enough for you to comfortably view the class handouts.
You may also wish to purchase some of the music books or recordings discussed in class, links to these materials will be available online after each session.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
We recommend: MD997 Opera studies 2: baritones and mezzos
To find out more about music history classes Music history courses in London and online which lists our full programme of classes ordered by term, and by day of the week. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.