ITALIAN 461 - Italian Through Opera
Section: 001
Term: FA 2008
Subject: Italian (ITALIAN)
Department: LSA Romance Languages & Literatures
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Advisory Prerequisites:
ITALIAN 230, 232, 233 or equivalent.
May not be repeated for credit.
Rackham Information:
Rackham credit requires additional work.
Primary Instructor:

This course takes the libretto of an opera written in the Italian language as its principal textbook, integrated with a few other texts relevant to the opera or from the period (such as the Memoirs of Mozart librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte). Over the course of the semester students will learn by heart, to music, at least the major arias of the work. A recording of the opera is posted on CTools, which not only facilitates memorization of the text, but also suggests modes of interpretation. Since the language of opera is literary as well as "conversational", grammar review and strategies of comprehension will be prOVided as needed. Students' verbal recall of, eventually, the entire work increases facility with the Italian language even as it provides the basis of discussion of literary structure, characterization, themes, and historical context. Operas chosen will vary year to year and every effort will be made to select a work being performed locally that semester in order to integrate a trip to the opera into the course. No special singing skills required.

Intended audience: Italian concentrators; other undergraduates or graduate students with sufficient grounding in Italian interested in increasing oral and comprehension skills and/or in "Italophone" literature within and beyond Italy's borders.

Course Requirements: Evaluation will be on the basis of daily verification of memorization, and bi-weekly tests on recognition of passages out of context ("name that tune") and comprehension, from the micro-level of language to macro issues of the work's structure, engagement with literary tradition and cultural models, and the circumstances of its composition and performance. Tests and discussion will also be used to reinforce comprehension of complementary texts assigned for the course. The major accomplishment for the students is their internalization of a complex work of verbal art in the Italian language.

Class Format: 3 hours per week, recitation format.

ITALIAN 461 - Italian Through Opera
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
MWF 10:00AM - 11:00AM
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