022) Experiencing Opera

This course is designed to be enjoyed by opera newcomers and those knowledgeable about opera. Extensive illustrative videos will accompany lectures and discussions. The first session will review basics, including voice categories, vocal techniques, opera vocabulary, and how the Metropolitan Opera House functions. The second session will use two American operas as the basis for examining what distinguishes an opera from a Broadway musical. In the third session we will explore the issue of how an opera should be staged, using comparisons of different productions of the same opera (ranging from traditional to avant-garde) and, in the last session, we will use the opera Moby Dick as a vehicle for investigating how an opera is created.