Course description

In this course we examine operas from 1600 to today and discuss not only how musical and dramatic elements convey a story and characters' emotions, but also (and perhaps more importantly) elements such as the social and political questions raised by the works, including racial and gender issues; the environment they were created in and for; and the status of musicians, impresarios, and theater managers. We pay particular attention to how these works were perceived and what messages, overt or covert, they conveyed to the original intended audience. We then unpack what they might have to offer today's American audience and whether they ought to be still performed on our stages and, if so, in what form.


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