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Previous Course

An Introduction to Opera

14 January – 11 February 2016

Monteverdi, Gluck, Mozart, Beethoven, Weber, Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, 19th century French opera, Verdi, Wagner

This course will look at the development of the operatic art-form from its first origins to its culmination in the works of Wagner and Verdi in the 19th century. Its aim will be not only to introduce opera, but also to put the operatic works in historical context. In each lecture a particular era or movement will be examined and combined with an historical overview, a detailed look at the work of selected composers and a focus on three particular operas. The course provides a taster of the operatic genre both helping the newcomer to start exploring one of the world’s great art-forms, whilst offering new historical insights for the more established opera lover. To encourage listeners to explore further, lectures will conclude with a short recorded operatic extract, and suggested listening lists will be provided for those who wish to explore further at home.

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