Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

MUSC 154R Introduction to Opera - Rome

Spring 2016

 

MUSC 154 – THTR 154   INTRODUCTION TO OPERA – SPRING 2016

 

DR. LEILA ZAMMAR

lzammar@hotmail.com or lzammar@luc.edu

 

 

CLASS DAY: MON

ROOM: 123

TIME: 6.30 – 9.00 PM

OFFICE ROOM: 114

OFFICE HOURS: Mon 5.20 – 6.20 PM or by appointment

 

 

SYLLABUS: COURSE CONTENT

 

This course, distributed in weekly sessions, offers the student an overview of the development of opera in Europe with a particular emphasis on some of the most representative Italian operas and authors from the 17th to the 20th century. Since the course considers opera as a cultural phenomenon, the historical, intellectual, political, social, religious and economic conditions that influenced the development of this art, will be also examined during the semester. The course includes some opera projections. Each of them is preceded by an introduction to the period in which they were first performed to provide the students with a historical, social and cultural background. Each projection is followed by class discussion. In addition to the operas seen in class, the students are asked to watch other operas: assigned out-of-class videos will be suggested during the semester.

The teacher also organizes one (mandatory) or more opera evenings according to the season of the Opera House. Moreover, as this course considers opera as an art form that combines music and drama, libretto structure, music forms, different types of arias and other aspects will be analyzed.

 

 

 

OBJECTIVES

 

The aim of this course is to acquire the basic knowledge to understand the cultural phenomenon of opera. Difference in style between early operas and later operas will become easy to grasp. The student will become familiar with musical terms like da-capo aria, cavatina-cabaletta, recitativo secco, recitativo accompagnato, chorus, ensemble etc. The distinction between an opera seria, a comic opera, an opéra comique and other genres will be clear by the end of the semester. Moreover, the student will learn how to individuate musical themes, how to recognize descriptive symphonies and different types of arias.

 

 

REQUIRED TEXT

 

The text, which includes basic notes for the course and synopsis of the operas that will be seen in class or assigned during the semester, is available at school or on Sakai. Other handouts will be distributed during the semester or put on the resource section of Saka

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

Students are warmly suggested to attend Delia Surratt’s class “Voice for Beginners”.

COURSE GRADE                                        

MID TERM               20%                           

                                                                       

FINAL EXAM           30%                           

            

FOUR QUIZZES        40%                           

            

Class discussion/

Participation               10%                           

 

GRADING SCALE

 

A     100-93      4.00           excellent

A-    92-89        3.67

B+   88-86        3.33

B     85-81        3.00              good

B-   80-78         2.67

C+  77-75         2.33

C    74.5-71      2.00          satisfactory

C-  70.5-68    1.67 min. for pass/fail option

D+  67.5-63      1.33

D    62.5-60       1.00           poor

D-  59.5-57

F below 57        0.00         failure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLASS REQUIREMENTS

 

1.      Attendance: Students are expected to attend class regularly and to participate to the opera nights organized during the semester (evidence strongly indicates a correlation between the completion of these requirements and satisfactory performance on examinations). Unexcused absences are never allowed and travel related justifications are never accepted.
 
2.      Class participation: Participation in oral and written class activities is required. Engaging in intelligent discourse and collaborating with other members of the class in the on-going exploration of the world of operaremain essential for achieving the objectives of the course. This assumes attentive and respectful consideration of others’ contribution as well as the thoughtful presentation of one’s own. Students should prepare reflections, insights and questions in anticipation of class discussion.
 
3.      Video screenings: Assigned out-of-class videos will be announced or posted on SAKAI.
 
4.      Examinations: Students will sit for two examinations during the semester. The examinations will include multiple-choice questions, short answer questions and three longer watching questions.
 
5.      Quizzes: Quizzes will be given the next class after each projection of a new opera. Missed quizzes may not make up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCHEDULE OF CLASSES

BECAUSE OF THE LENGTH OF SOME OPERAS CLASSES MAY EXTEND BEYOND THE ALLOTTED TIME.

           

JANUARY

 

18        Introduction, technical terms, singers voices with examples. Forerunners of opera.

The seventeenth century: the beginnings, the Florentine camerata, the Roman opera,

the Venetian opera, Claudio Monteverdi. Introduction to L’Orfeo.

 

25        Claudio Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo.

FEBRUARY

 

1          Discussion of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo.

I QUIZ.           The second half of the seventeenth century: Lully. The eighteenth century opera: Scarlatti, Handel, Rameau, Bach. The opera seria and the comic opera. The operas of Mozart. Introduction to Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito.

           

8          Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito.

 

15        Discussion of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito.

II QUIZ.          The nineteenth century: introduction, Cherubini, Spontini, Grand Opera, Rossini. Introduction to Rossini’s  The Barber of Seville.

 

22        Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.

 

29        Review and discussion of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.

MID -TERM EXAM

MARCH

4-13     SPRING BREAK

 

14        The nineteenth century: Opera Comique, Operetta, Lyric Opera, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Bizet. Introduction to Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore and Verdi’s La Traviata.

 

18        Verdi’s La Traviata. (before next class the students are asked to watch Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore.)

 

21        Discussion of Verdi’s La Traviata and Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore.

III QUIZ.        Introduction to Verismo operas, the Romantic opera and Wagner, Puccini and his operas. Introduction to Puccini’s Tosca. (before watching the opera The students are asked to visit the places of Tosca: Church of Sant’Andrea della Valle, Palazzo Farnese and Castel Sant’Angelo)

 

25-28 March              EASTER RECESS

APRIL

4          Puccini’s Tosca.

11        Discussion Puccini’s Tosca.

            IV QUIZ.

18        Review and conclusions.

 

25        FINAL EXAM time 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.