MUTH 232/3.0 Opera
An introduction to opera through the study of selected works from the Baroque era to the 20th century. Equal attention will be paid to literary, musical and visual aspects.
We will examine the intriguing world of opera from multiple perspectives, including cultural, historical and analytical. We will explore production aspects such as staging, costumes and lighting; and musical aspects with a special emphasis on singers.
General overviews of Early opera and 20th century opera, both set within their respective cultural contexts, will frame detailed thematic examinations of specific operas by Mozart, Bizet, Verdi, Puccini and Strauss.
Over the course of the term students should:
- develop an appreciation of this rich performance art form by learning how to identify and distinguish various genres and staging approaches
- be able to summarize opera’s function in changing cultural contexts since the late 16th century and appraise its current cultural role
- be able to apply a vocabulary of operatic terms and various analytic approaches in the study of individual scenes or entire works
- undertake primary research for a presentation that will require engaging with material in an evaluative, comparative and analytic manner
Experiential Learning Opportunities
Experiential Learning Opportunities are an integral and unique component of the BISC educational experience. We will prepare for each off-site ELO through discussion and preparatory assignments. Missing the ELO preparation in the class immediately prior to the trip will impair your ability to perform on the assessment. If you have a documented absence for either of those classes you will need to make an appointment with me so I can provide you with the preparatory information. You will also be expected to do background research on specific elements of the opera house tour and the live performance in advance of each ELO. Because of the integration of ELOs into the course, participation is required at both of these events. Assessments for the ELOs are worth a total 30% of the final mark and can only be done if students attend the Field Study.
Previous examples of ELOs for this course include a backstage tour at The Royal Opera House, London and a lecture-recital by special guest lecturer Dr Elaine Keillor in the Castle Ballroom.