MUSICOL 130 - Opera!
Winter 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Music History and Musicology (MUSICOL)
Department: Music School
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This course is designed for students interested in learning about, listening to, thinking about, enjoying, and celebrating opera. This introductory level course in music and theater is open to everyone---opera fans as well as those for whom opera will be a completely new experience. Our goal is to enhance the experience of listening to opera, but the course does not require musical literacy or the ability to read music. Students will learn to listen actively in an informed way, and to look at a vocal score of an opera without fear, but no training in musical theory is presumed. They will hear live demonstrations in class and learn how opera singers sing.

Through a selection of eight or nine operas chosen from the across the genre’s past and present, we will listen to, watch, and study opera critically, as music, theater, spectacle, performance medium, and cultural expression. The primary focus is on techniques for active listening, rather than on matters of historical understanding, though selected short readings provide a varied set of approaches to operatic criticism.

Special features for W2022 include attention to the singer’s art and class visits from contemporary opera composers and performers. Most of our lectures and assignments will focus on whole operas, their musical dramaturgy, their impact in performance, and their critical reception.

Course Requirements:

The assignments in this course involve listening to and watching operas in video, to be supplemented by short readings and written assignments. Grades will be based on written work and class participation. A class outing to experience an opera onstage will be arranged if possible, and a two-page written review of the performance will be required.

Intended Audience:

The course does not require musical literacy or the ability to read music. No training in musical theory is presumed. This course may serve as a gateway course for those entering the SMTD BA/BS in Music (Major or Minor) and serves as a 300-level elective within the SMTD BA/BS in Music.


MUSICOL 130 - Opera!
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM

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