Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of the course students will know the historical lines of musical drama and its forms (knowledge and understanding); they will be able to identify the lyric numbers contained in a libretto written between the Seventeenth and Nineteenth century and distinguish the sections in which they were conventionally divided (Applying knowledge and understanding). They will also examine the critical texts, to identify the hierarchy of the topics discussed and identify further questions relevant to the advancement of knowledge (making judgements). They will also be able to express the content of the discipline with specific language and technical competence, at least with regard to poetic, narrative, linguistic and formal structures (communication skills). Even without requiring analytical skills and techniques in the field of music, however, it is necessary to acquire at least the main terms to describe the music that has been listened (see "Le parole del teatro musicale", ed. by Fabrizio Della Seta, Roma, Carocci, 2010). The students will also be able to query the sources of opera, even not presented in class, in order to identify the specific traits and the most useful for forthcoming studies (learning skills).
Knowledge of the essentials of the history of Italian literature and the basis of Italian metrics and poetic.
Course contents summary
The course introduces students to the historical profile of Italian opera from XVII to XIX century; also it provides also the keys and technical skills necessary to understand the poetics of the main composers and the role of music in the theater in different times and genres.
In the first part the course proposes the study of the strategies available to the theater music. We will examine the poetic structures of the libretto, musical forms that set it, the techniques that adapt pre-existing texts to musical theater, the forms of expression of dramatized human passion.
On the basis of the theoretical elements studied in the first part of the course, the second part will focus on the grands opèras by Meyerbeer which will be presented and commented to highlight the creation of operatic industry with an international prestige whose you can find the echo in the first season of cinema.
In the beginnig of the lessons it is necessary read
Gloria Staffieri, "Un teatro tutto cantato. Introduzione all’opera italiana", Roma, Carocci, 2013
Lorenzo Bianconi , "Il teatro d’opera in Italia", Bologna, Il Mulino, 1993
Gilles De Van, "Teatralità francese e senso scenico italiano nell’opera dell’Ottocento", in "La realizzazione scenica dello spettacolo verdiano. Atti del congresso internazionale di studi (Parma, 28-30 settembre 1994)", a cura di P. Petrobelli e F. Della Seta, Parma, Istituto di Studi Verdiani, 1996, pp. 167-186
The complete bibliography for the examination will be published in www.paolorusso.eu during the first lessons in october.
The course will be organized with lectures and classroom discussions of the operas showed in the class. The verification will focus on the knowledge of the texts listed in the bibliography, and of the operas discussed in the lessons. It will be required depth knowledge at least of the libretto, its organization and the structure of each lyrical number. During the lessons you will learn the terminology for a brief analytical description of the listening experiences.
Assessment methods and criteria
The test will consist of an oral interview at the end of the course according to the official calendar appointed by the Department. I require depth study of the texts of bibliography, that wiil be indicated during the course and announced in the website, and at least three grands opéras which will be also indicated during the course.
The interview will test the understanding of the approach and content of each text listed in the bibliography; will test on the libretto of operas the ability of the student to orient themselves in the dramatic structures of at least one act of the operas indicated: it will be therefore necessary that students listen to them several times while they read the libretto. The lack of knowledge of the works indicated is cause for failure of the verification.
The ability to develop further knowledge and to ask the teacher pertinent questions, even during the test, will enable excellent results. Likewise, the ability of integrated readings and cross-connections between the texts listed in the bibliography will enable excellent results.
Audio and video media and computer on-line will be available.