10 Wednesday afternoons 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
at the St James Campus of
GEORGE BROWN COLLEGE
200 King Street East (between Jarvis and Sherbourne)
The George Brown College Seniors' Association
is one of the foremost "third age learning" organizations in Toronto.
please note that this course is restricted to MEMBERS of the GBCSA.
For more information - or to learn about how to become a member
please visit http://gbseniors.com/
4 1 6 4 1 5 5 0 0 0 , ext. 2418.
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Just as with most of Shakespeare’s works, operas are usually inspired by a pre-existing piece of literature – they are “adaptations”. The literary source of an opera may be a poem or a novel or a historical chronicle, but most often, it is a play. Indeed, in the 19th century, most Italian opera librettos were created as adaptations of recently-produced French plays.
In this course, we will see how librettists and composers sought inspiration in important works of literature – from the Bible, to the great classical epic poems, to contemporary writers – and how they adapted them to the demands of the lyric stage.
As usual, Iain will illustrate his comments with excerpts from a wide variety of operas on DVDs.
Wed 11th September, 2019
OPERA and THE BIBLE
How the Old Testament (particularly Genesis, Exodus and Judges)
has been the inspiration for a number of biblical operas.
Wed 18th September, 2019
OPERA and THE FOUNDATIONS OF WESTERN LITERATURE
How librettists have adapted the great ancient Greek epic poems of Homer and the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides.
Wed 25th September, 2019
OPERA and VIRGIL
How his Roman (latin) poems, the Georgics and especially the
Aeneid, inspired Monteverdi, Purcell and Berlioz.
Wed 2nd October, 2019
OPERA and OVID
Why no other single book - the transformations of the Metamorphoses - has produced so many operatic librettos.
[Wed 9th October 2019] [No class – Yom Kippur]
Wed 16th October, 2019
OPERA and THE GREAT MEDIEVAL WRITERS
We will explore operatic works based on the Italians, Dante, Boccaccio and Ariosto and the German writer, Wolfgang von Eschenbach.
Wed 23rd October, 2019
OPERA and WRITERS of the RENAISSANCE
How Cervantes in Spain and Shakespeare in England inspired some of the greatest characters in operatic literature.
[Wed 30th October, 2019] [No class – Iain will be in Ireland]
Wed 6th November, 2019
WRITERS of the 18th CENTURY and the FRENCH REVOLUTION
How the librettos of Metastasio and the plays of Beaumarchais
were the foundations for some of Opera’s greatest works.
Wed 13th November, 2019
THE POWER of WEIMAR CLASSICISM
How two greatest German writers of the early 19th century in Weimar – Friedrich Schiller and Wolfgang von Goethe – inspired operas.
Wed 30th November, 2019
THE EMERGENCE OF RUSSIAN LITERATURE in the 19th century
This comparatively late development produced great writers such as Gogol and Tolstoy – but the greatest of all was Alexander Pushkin.
Wed 27th November, 2019
OPERA and the GREAT 19th century ROMANTICS
Why Lord Byron in England, Sir Walter Scott north of the border and Hugo von Hofmannsthal in Vienna were ideal sources for operas.
Previous 10-week Courses taught by Iain
at the George Brown College Seniors' Association include ...
2018 Understanding Arias and Ensembles
2015 Opera and the History of Paris
2013 10 Great Opera Singers - and their Signature Roles
2011 All the 28 Operas of Giuseppe Verdi
2009 10 Great Scenes from Opera (in varying productions)
2008 What are the 10 Greatest Operas of all time?
2007 The Golden Century of Italian Opera