MS 350 - History of Italian Opera

This course aims to introduce those students who already own a basic knowledge of music, to the history of the Italian operatic tradition from the beginnings to the present. Musical drama as a genre began in Italy. It was also mostly developed in Italy, and then during the XVII and XVII Centuries, was exported all throughout Europe, gradually inheriting features that were most proper and unique of each nation. While following the chronology of developments of the Opera composed on Italian lyrics, the course proceeds through a progressive focus on each fundamental element of the musical language and dramaturgy and a special attention to the acquisition and the critical awareness of a precise analytic method. Therefore, while keeping a constant overview of the most general phenomenon, some masterpieces will be deepened in a more analytic perspective.

The course requires constant attention and a critical reaction to all the music we hear, the text we read, the videos we watch and the performances we attend, therefore, attendance is required. The course-pack readings should be read throughout the semester in order to gain an historic perspective of all the topics covered. Students will have the opportunity to deepen one musical topic of their choice by filling a research paper. The instructor will inform students about the existing resources at local libraries, museums, and archives. Deadlines for submitting these personal works will be announced in class. Short quizzes may be given periodically: these are primarily designed for the instructor’s benefit, to ensure that students are being taught clearly and cogently, but they also give student an idea of what is required in examinations.

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Basic Musicianship

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