A night at the opera was society’s entertainment long before radio, television, music players and streaming! Though the earliest recorded opera is Jacopo Peri’s Dafne, first performed in 1597, opera is still quite popular today. Consider why it has “staying power” (long-lasting) as you complete the asssignment below:
1. Listen to three (3) arias (Ctrl+Click and Open in New Window):
- Renee Fleming sings “Sempre libera” from Verdi’s La traviata (The Royal Opera with subtitles)
- Bryn Terfel sings Wagner’s “Magic Fire Music” from Die Walkure (2011) French Subtitles
The story: As the angry Wotan states that Brünnhilde must become mortal and marry the first man she sees, so does his word become law, unable to be retracted. His favorite daughter only asks that the man she is to marry be not a coward. Remembering why she is his favorite, Wotan then devises a way to grant her request. He puts her in a deep sleep, only able to be awakened by a man proving himself brave by stepping through the fire Wotan commands Loge to encircle her with.
Wotan: “Loge! Hear! Lend an ear!
a fiery glow as you then disappeared,
as a will-o-the wisp, just as I bound you.
I tame you today!
Arise you flickering flame, enfold the fell with fire!
Loge! Loge! Come here!
He who fears my spear-point
shall never pass through the fire!”
- ”Air de Figaro” from Rossin’s Le barbier de Seville with subtitles
2. Complete the Opera table below.
3. Use Microsoft Word and run a spell check/grammar check (under the “Review” menu in Word).
4. Correct grammar and spelling will be part of your grade.