10411 Opera 1

Credits: 6 intermediate credits in Music

Prerequisites: none

Authors: Ido Abravaya, Benjamin Perl, Ron Weidberg

The course aims to introduce students to one of the major phenomena of western culture: the combination of theater and music known as opera. It follows the development of opera from the 17th to the 20th centuries through a detailed examination of ten representative operas. The course discusses all aspects of each opera, including historical background, structure of the plot, the combination of music and text, the position of the opera within the works of the composer, and musical styles.

Student are introduced to all the basic concepts related to the world of opera, such as recitative and aria, ensemble, overture, vocal types and their relation to different roles, the role of the director and the conductor. The materials include selected recordings from the works discussed in the course, as well as librettos in the original and in Hebrew translation.

Topics: Mascagni, Cavalleria Rusticana; The birth of opera (Monteverdi, Orfeo and The Return of Ulysses); Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro; Verdi, Rigoletto; The operatic ensemble (ensemble selections from The Marriage of Figaro, Rigoletto and Puccini’s La Boheme); Rossini, Il Barbiere di Siviglia; Mozart, Don Giovanni;1 Wagner, Die Walküre; Richard Strauss, Salome; Ravel, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges.

1This topic is currently being taught in the framework of the course The Classical Style (10626).