Free Opera Music & Lessons for All!

August 18th, 2012 by ClickSchooling Leave a reply »

Hi!  It’s Saturday, August 18, 2012 and time for Music at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Opera For Everyone

Age Range:  All (with parental supervision)

What a find! This website introduces everyone to opera by providing FREE digital downloads of the “Opera for Everyone” series of CDs along with a printable teaching manual! Your family can learn all about four classic operas: Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Verdi’s La Traviata, Bizet’s Carmen, and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.

The “Opera for Everyone” series of CDs is available for sale, but this website allows educators free access to the music and manual – and that includes homeschoolers!

When you get to the site, you’ll see a brief introduction followed by step-by-step instructions on how to download the teachers manuals in pdf files, and how to download the CDs (audio files) for PC and Mac users. The two main components include:

*Teaching Manual – This teaching tool consists of two documents containing info about the operas and performers along with suggested books and videos to use in conjunction with the CDs. It also provides the complete texts, in English, of each opera in the series.

*Download the CDs – The MP3 files corresponding to the tracks on each “Opera for Everyone” CD have been collected into files that can be downloaded. I found that the instructions here may be slightly outdated, since the files took far less time to download than predicted (maybe 3-4 minutes with a highspeed connection). Once downloaded, you can “play” the MP3 files in a media player such as the RealOne Player or Apple’s iTunes. You can also burn an audio CD from the MP3 files in the playlist you create for each opera. The site gives educators permission to create audio CDs for use with a CD player.

Then, you can use the manual to select tracks on the CDs to discuss the various operatic elements including the vocal and orchestral music, the visual aspects, and the libretto. Each track is written in English and the language of the original opera.

The manual also reviews “how the music (melody, harmony, rhythm, tempo, tonality) tells the story of each opera – how it expresses the emotions and drives the action forward.” It also explores these aspects of opera for greater understanding:

  • Parts of the Opera – overtures, acts, finales and:
  • Voices of the Opera – soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, counter-tenor, tenor, baritone, bass.
  • Vocal Pieces – aria, duet, trio, quartet, tutti (entire company), recitative, spoken dialogue.
  • Roles of the Orchestra – to accompany the singers, participate as one of the voices, and convey the fire and the feel of the music.

Whether you are a seasoned opera-goer or are brand new to opera, this series of classic operas along with the accompanying study materials will enrich your musical education.

 

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