The Story of Opera: An Aural and Visual Feast

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Course Notes

This series of five tutorials, covering the fascinating story of opera from its early beginnings in Ancient Greece to the modern works of today, is richly illustrated with a wealth of popular favourites as well as hidden gems, features some of the most celebrated voices both past and present.

1. Early beginnings in Ancient Greece and the Middle Ages; Renaissance and Baroque opera

In the first tutorial we explore the roots of opera in Ancient Greece and the Middle Ages, experiments in Renaissance Florence, and the emergence of modern opera during the Baroque Era at the magnificent court of Louis XIV at Versailles.

2. Mozart, and early 19th century Romantic opera in France and Germany

The second tutorial features Mozart's oeuvre: the German Singspieland Italian opera buffa - his significant contributions, and his influence on the succeeding generation of post-Revolution French (Gounod and Bizet) and German (Weber and Beethoven) opera.

3. The Italians: from Rossini to Puccini

In the third tutorial we explore developments in Italy, from the early Romantics - Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini - to the towering figures of Verdi and Puccini. Included are their significant contributions to operatic stage craft and production, and the consequent elevation of composers from obedient servants to assertive directors.

4. The Two Richards: Wagner and Strauss

The Late German Romantics, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss, feature in the fourth tutorial,

5. The Russians, key 20th century works, and Andrew Lloyd-Webber

In the last tutorial we focus on significant Russian and 20th century works - from Boris Godunov to Wozzeck - and several operas of our own era. We end on a lighter note, with the rock operas of Andrew Lloyd-Webber.

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All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 8 Jul - 12 Jul

WK 2 15 Jul - 19 Jul

WK 3 22 Jul - 26 Jul

WK 4 29 Jul - 2 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM