Through lecture, rehearsal, improvisational techniques, use of subtexts, body movement/awareness/alignment and other singer-actor performance techniques, MUSC 457/557 is designed to cover many aspects of opera theater. The course includes working with the similarities and differences of stage, opera and musical theater styles, concentrating on musicianship, learning basic stage deportment/ etiquette and musical/historical acting styles and acting techniques including character development and analysis, use of subtext, and costume requirements. Various technical aspects of opera theater from stage managing, directing and producing an opera are covered, as well as how to become both an informed performer and a discerning audience member.

In addition to presenting original operas for children, we also study complete operas from the standard repertoire. This involves listening to, viewing, analyzing recordings of historical performances, video tapes and televised live performances and attending live opera performances.

Students will be asked to perform frequently in class throughout the year to demonstrate the incorporation of their new skills and performance techniques. Individuals who are ready will work with arias and study audition techniques. By audition, class members will be cast in Opera Ensemble performance programs in the fall and spring.

All students participate in some aspect of our public performances each semester. All participate in the creating of costumes, sets and props, as well as performing. In addition to rehearsing during regular class times, additional time will be scheduled for coachings and rehearsals as needed.