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.
This course has now started
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 2022-23 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 will be one per session as follows:
1. Don Pasquale 1843 Donizetti
2. The Wreckers 1906 (UK 1909) Smythe
3. Venus & Adonis c 1683 Blow /(+ Dido 1685ish Purcell)
4. La Bohème 1896 Puccini
5. Alcina 1735 Handel
6. Cavalleria Rusticana 1890 Mascagni
7. Makropulos Case 1925 Janacek
8. Otello 1887 Verdi
9. High Society Porter 1956 film OR HMS Pinafore 1878 G&S [tbc]
10. Magic Flute 1791 Mozart.
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?
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 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.
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 has taught at Birkbeck since 1984, moving from Music to Arts Management, and also lectures 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.