MUSICOL 513 - Topics in the Early History of Opera
Section: 001 History of Opera to 1800
Term: FA 2013
Subject: Music History and Musicology (MUSICOL)
Department: Music School
Advisory Prerequisites:
Graduate standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Undergrad and Grad
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This course explores the history of opera in its first two centuries, from the earliest musico-theatrical productions of late sixteenth-century Florence to the operas of Mozart and Haydn in the late 1700s. We will study the genre critically by considering its stylistic trajectory during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, focusing on their music and musical dramaturgy, historical significance, economics, modes of production, and reception in performance. Although opera’s birth as a genre owes much to those that composed music, a special aim of this course is to discover how performers and audiences played a key role in shaping opera conventions, themes, and characters during the Baroque era. Students will be asked to consider questions of musical and dramatic convention, national styles, the performance of gender, and the role of the performer as a creator as well as an interpreter. We will study works by Peri, Caccini, Da Gagliano, Monteverdi, Cavalli, Lully, Purcell, Clayton, A. Scarlatti, Handel, Vivaldi, Hasse, Rameau, Gluck, Salieri, Piccinni, Mozart, and Haydn, and the course will include a special unit on music and theater in London.

Course Requirements:

Assignments for this course will include listening, score study, and readings posted on Ctools — including substantial primary source work. Grades will be based on written work, two exams, and class participation.

Intended Audience:

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Class Format:

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MUSICOL 513 - Topics in the Early History of Opera
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MWF 2:30PM - 3:30PM
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