Opera studies 3: operas in production
Time: 13:20 - 15:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: MD999
Duration: 10 sessions (over 12 weeks)
What is the course about?
We will be studying mainly well-known operas, based around what will be performed in and around London in 2020-21 either live or available online. Each opera will be put into its historical context, with a study of its composer’s typical style, the circumstances of its composition and reception, and its legacy in terms of popularity and/or innovation. The operas to be studied:
- Monteverdi L’Orfeo, 1607 Nantes, France (Les Arts Florissants), May,
- Rossini Il Turco in Italia Glyndebourne, May-June
- Verd i Macbeth Royal Opera House, 21/22 season
- Saint-Saëns Samson et Dalila Royal Opera House, 21/22 season
- Strauss Der Rosenkavalier Garsington, June-July
- Janácek Kát’a Kabanová Glyndebourne, May-June
- Britten Turn of the Screw OperaGlass Works/Marquee TV/Opera North streaming
Although we may not be able to attend these particular productions, they are either currently available on platforms such as Marquee TV, Medici TV, or on YouTube. They have been selected as a representative sample of works ranging from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- A brief historical overview of operatic style
- The composers and librettists of our chosen operas
- The plots and story-telling in our chosen operas
- Significant musical features
- The creation of musical effects which help the narrative
- The rôle of the orchestra in opera.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify typical operatic styles from various historical periods
- Identify well-known and lesser-known operas by various composers
- Understand the historical context of each opera
- Analyse significant moments in each opera, sung, or played by the orchestra
- Understand the place of each opera in terms of innovation, the reputation of its composer and librettist, and its success.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Some previous knowledge of opera is useful but not essential. 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:
- You will be taught using a range of techniques including short lectures, slide shows and discussions, practical demonstrations on the piano and guided listening sessions. Courses use a variety of materials including YouTube clips. Links to these are given on Google Classroom so that further exploration may take place between classes if you wish.
- Short preparation tasks, such as listening to a piece or reading a review, will be set
- Listening and reading outside class is encouraged and once enrolled, further online resources will be available via Google Classroom.
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?
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.