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18th-Century Opera

In this breathtaking course, you'll get to know the music of two beautiful operas — both in their spellbindingartistry and colorful histories.

First, you'll travel to London in 1724, where George Frideric Handel premiered his most famous opera, Giulio Cesare. Meet the performers and experience what it was like to attend the first production, all while gaining an appreciation for the typical characteristics of Italian opera represented in this popular Baroque opera seria.

Then fast-forward 63 years to the Estates Theatre in Prague for the premiere of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s enduring classic, Don Giovanni. Learn about the challenges Mozart faced during the rehearsal process and the revolutionary relationship he created between music and drama in this opera.

What you'll learn

  • How singers and the orchestra interact
  • How performances of these works have changed since their premieres
  • The basic structures of Baroque opera
  • Essential characteristics of Classical music
  • Mozart’s techniques for representing characters through music
  • How to compare the social and cultural contexts of the two premieres

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Rating 5.0 based on 3 ratings
Length 5 weeks
Effort 3 - 4 hours per week
Starts On Demand (Start anytime)
Cost $139
From HarvardX, Harvard University via edX
Instructor Thomas Forrest Kelly
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Humanities Art & Design
Tags Art & Culture History Music

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What people are saying

anecdotal than academic fashion

No musical knowledge is needed; although some details of music construction are covered, this is a light course of music appreciation, relayed in more of an anecdotal than academic fashion.

my recommendations go for

My recommendations go for his book First Nights at the Opera as well - an amazing read.

ll probably come away

If you don’t understand opera, you’ll probably come away with some idea of what’s going on; if you are a long-time music fan, chances are you’ll still hear something new.

supporting materials on yt

That, of course, included a number of performances (some of the 4 hrs long) I watched outside of the course as a supporting materials on YT.

well - an amazing

24 hours or

I have spent about 24 hours or a little more and absorbed this material like a greedy hamster.

no musical knowledge

able to pull

Using the two sample operas of Handel and of Mozart professor Kelly was able to pull me into a 3 day binge of joy and learning.

always inspired when

I'm always inspired when I hear professor Kelly talk.

artistic pathos itself

), and, most important, about the story and artistic pathos itself.

incomparably increased understanding

I am now left with incomparably increased understanding of both composers' operatic style and insatiable appetite for more learning from courses like this, but I don't find them.

another charming

Another charming, informative and engaging entry in Prof. Kelly’s First Night series.

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Rating 5.0 based on 3 ratings
Length 5 weeks
Effort 3 - 4 hours per week
Starts On Demand (Start anytime)
Cost $139
From HarvardX, Harvard University via edX
Instructor Thomas Forrest Kelly
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Humanities Art & Design
Tags Art & Culture History Music

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