Notes on the Spring semester's Tuesday class: Italian opera from The Barber of Seville to Turandot.
This course is intended to be complementary to "Verdi and Puccini", and in order to minimize any duplication of the current course, I have made several minor adjustments to the published description.
Mozart's Italian operas will be included, and the institutional history of Italian opera will be considered. There will be considerable attention paid to the bel canto masters. With regard to Verdi, some operas we have more or less skipped in this class will be considered in detail, with video, etc. Puccini's contemporaries will be considered, and time will be allotted to listening and comparing great singers in archival recordings. When it comes to Puccini, different scenes will be examined from what we used in this class. Also, instead of a broad survey of all operas by the relevant composers, fewer works will be examined, but in greater detail.
I highly recommend "A History of Opera" by Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker. It is not only deeply well informed, it is eminently readable and a lot of fun.
Principal operas considered:
Mozart: Cosi fan Tutte
Rossini: Barber of Seville and Semiramide
Bellini: Norma and I Puritani
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor and Elixir of Love
Verdi: Il Trovatore and La Forza del Destino.
From Puccini's contempories:
Catalani: La Wally
Ponchielli: La Gioconda
Giordano's: either Andrea Chenier or Fedora