This course examines the history and aesthetics of opera from its origins in 17th-century Italy to the present day. The principal goals of the course will be to 1) trace the development of musical style through listening and analysis; and 2) provide an introduction to a variety of approaches to the study of the genre (including recent scholarship on the voice, theories of multimedia, issues of performance practice, and controversies over contemporary production). The course will not be structured as a comprehensive survey but rather as a series of detailed, contextually grounded case studies. After a general overview of musical vocabulary and operatic conventions, we will focus on close readings of works by Handel, Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, and Puccini, among others - in conjunction with live performance wherever possible.
Completion of Music Humanities or consent of instructor
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