Collaborative Opera (MPF4207.01)

Kamala Sankaram

What do you think of when you think of “opera”? A star diva? A solitary “genius” composer? People often think of opera as being the product of singular artists performed on a giant stage. But opera began as an experiment in making exciting music theater, and has had different sizes and shapes throughout its history. Like other forms of theater, opera is collaborative and requires the talents of many people for its creation and production. In this class, we will lean further into the community aspect of opera by making a new operatic piece through a community-driven process. Using group exercises including deep listening, improvisation, and guided writing, the class will develop the libretto and music for a new opera. We will build the piece around the talents of the people that take the class, whether creating electronic soundscapes, making theater from found objects, or anything in between. The class will culminate in a workshop performance of what we have created together. Along the way, we will discuss the history of opera and how it has changed in the current day, including a look at collaborative works by Bang on a Can and Experiments in Opera.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Discuss the history and development of the operatic form, including terminology around different voice types;
2. Demonstrate a repertoire of improvisation techniques involving the voice;
3. Develop the structure for a long-form work of music drama.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Please email a paragraph of interest to by May 9.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
F 2:10PM - 5:50PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Performance
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