Italian Opera from Monteverdi to Puccini

Ref: C2224266

How did Italian opera start. How has it changed from its early beginings to the works of Puccini. The course looks at Monteverdi, then Cavalli, then opera seria versus opera buffa. We move into the area commonly known as Bel canto (Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti). We look at Verdi and the Risorgiment and finally Verismo ('kitchen sink') opera.This course is ideal for anyone whio wants to know (more) abouit opera.

Course aim

The course gives a comprehensive overview of Italian Opera from Monteverdi to the death of Puccini.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Understand the development of italian Opera
  • Be able to recognise the different styles
  • Have a working knowledge of how operas were comissioned and the importance of the librettist.
  • Understand the growing importance of the music publisher versus the opera Impressario and the Theatre managment
  • The influence of Italian opera on the rest of Europe

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Depending on what is available via the cinema or live in the opera house arrange a visit to an opera performance.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Students may consider participating in one of my other courses, especially the course that centres on Verdi and Puccini

Download full Course information sheet

Italian Opera from Monteverdi to Puccini


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  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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