Our first destination is Sicily for Mascagni’s popular opera Cavalleria Rusticana. The unbridled passions of love, betrayal, infidelity and murder are set before us with the emotional intensity that only music can provide. Popular pieces from this opera include the aria, “Voi lo sapete, o mamma”, the “Easter Hymn” chorus and the orchestral intermezzo. The Boston Lyric Opera will perform this opera live on stage in early October. Next we travel to Russia and spend two weeks preparing for the Metropolitan Opera’s planned HD presentation of Russia’s national opera – Boris Godunov. Composed by Modest Mussorgsky, this opera is a landmark in musical drama. The composer concentrates on tightly connecting the Russian language to the musical line. He also includes the use of folk tunes. We will also discuss the issue of whether Boris Godunov or the Russian people are the major focus of the opera. We will take note of the vicissitudes of the opera’s premier as well as comparing famous singers in the role of Boris. Lastly we depart for Germany and part one of our year long survey of Wagner’s operas. This fall we will concentrate on Wagner’s three early romantic operas: Der fliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman); Tannhauser and Lohengrin. In these operas, Wagner – building on previous operatic structure – brings romantic opera to its climax with Lohengrin. Join us as we explore these landmark operas from Italy, Russia and Germany. In all classes we will use audio and video selections as well as compare different singers where appropriate. Class will meet on September 21, October 5, October 19, November 2 and November 16.
Dave Collins has been lecturing on opera in the greater Boston area for over 25 years. He had been Opera Boston’s resident lecturer for 8 years. He has given opera courses at MIT, Regis College, The Boston Center for Adult Education and The Cambridge Center for Adult Education as well as lecturing at Northeastern University. Dave is currently a trustee of The Boston Wagner Association. Dave received his Bachelor degree from Boston University’s School of Music, his Master’s from Lesley University and did post grad work at the New England Conservatory and the University of Connecticut – Hart School of Music.