FigaroStudyGuide[1] - Manitoba Opera The Marriage of Figaro...

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Manitoba OperaThe Marriage of FigaroComposed by: Wolfgang Amadeus MozartLibretto by: Lorenzo da PonteBased on the playLe Mariage de Figaroby Pierre-Augustin Caron de BeaumarchaisStudy GuideApril 2006Written & Compiled by:Jane Stewart
IT’S BEEN 250 YEARS SINCE MOZART’S BIRTH(January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791)Welcome to Manitoba OperaThis Study Guide has been created to assist you in preparing your students for their visit to theopera.It is our hope that you will be able to add this to your existing curriculum in order toexpand your students’ understanding of opera, literature, history, and the fine arts.Materials inthe Study Guide may be copied and distributed to students.Some students may wish to go overthe information at home if there is insufficient time to discuss in class.Make the opera experiencemore meaningful and enjoyable by sharing with them knowledge and background on opera andThe Marriage of Figarobefore they attend.Please Note: The Dress Rehearsal is the last opportunity the singers will have on stage to work with theorchestra before Opening Night.Since vocal demands are so great on opera singers, some singers choose not tosing in full voice during the Dress Rehearsal in order to preserve their vocal chords and avoid unnecessarystrain.Table of ContentsA Short Introduction to Opera...............................................................................................................2Audience Etiquette..................................................................................................................................3Cast List....................................................................................................................................................4Pronunciation Guide................................................................................................................................5The Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart............................................................................................6The Librettist: Lorenzo da Ponte..............................................................................................................8Historical Notes........................................................................................................................................8Synopsis....................................................................................................................................................9What to Listen for..................................................................................................................................10Recordings ofThe Marriage of Figaro.......................................................................................................11Suggested Books.....................................................................................................................................12The Operatic Voice................................................................................................................................13Glossary...................................................................................................................................................15Workshop #1- Stage Business.................................................................................................................20Workshop #2-The Marriage of Figaro....................................................................................................22Workshop #3- Writing a Review ofThe Marriage of Figaro.....................................................................31Other Activities.......................................................................................................................................36OperaComprehension Test...................................................................................................................37Teacher’s Evaluation Sheet...................................................................................................................39
A Short Introduction to OperaAnopera, like a play, is a dramatic form of theatre that includes scenery,props, and costumes.In opera,however, the actors are trained singers who sing their lines instead of speaking them.Anorchestraaccompanies the singers.Aconductorcoordinates both the singers on stage and the musicians in theorchestra pit.Opera consists of many dimensions: the human voice, orchestral music, the visual arts (scenery, costumesand special effects), drama (tragedy or comedy), and occasionally dance.The melding of these elements canmake you cry tears of joy or sadness, produce laughter or anger, but most importantly transport you to amagical land of music and song.Opera has its roots in Greek drama and originated in Florence, Italy, in the late 1500’s, with a small groupof men who were members of a Camerata (Italian for society).The intellectuals, poets and musicians of theCamerata decided they wanted words to be a featured aspect of music.They used ancient Greek drama astheir inspiration, including the use of achorusto comment on the action. The Camerata laid down threeprinciples for their new art form:

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Style, Performing Arts, Adverbs, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Figaro

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