B. Opera Through History
Drew Edward Davies,
Associate Professor, Musicology
Myth, history, reality, fantasy, literature, song, dance, and a vital suspension of disbelief all come together in a single magical performance genre: opera. First introduced in Italy at the beginning of the seventeenth century, opera tells many different types of stories and has followed a variety of forms. Instead of telling the history of opera in ten parts, this class will invert that idea and look at how opera tells history. As such, we will look at how specific operas in different periods have told the stories of monarchs, despots, saints, dynasties, and more, often within a contentious political context. Concurrently, the class will still include many of the most important composers such as Mozart, Monteverdi, Verdi, Donizetti, Puccini, Handel, Britten, and Adams, but not in chronological order.