The Operas of Verdi

Ref: C3741124

Everyone has heard or seen at least some part of an opera by Verdi, e.g. La Traviata, Rigoletto or Aida. This course will present in some detail both the most popular and also the less well-known operas of Verdi to broaden and deepen knowledge of his operatic output. By putting each opera into its social and historical context this course will also give some insight into Verdi’s life from humble origins to Italy’s most feted composer of opera in the turbulent years of the 19th century.

Course aim

Verdi dominated the Italian opera stage for 50 years in the 19th century and became a figurehead of the Italian movement for independence and re-unification. This course will explore Verdi’s work, in the context of his life and times.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

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

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

  • list all of the operas by Verdi;
  • identify Verdi’s most popular operas;
  • identify Verdi’s key collaborators for these operas;
  • relate to the historical circumstances and context in which these operas were composed;
  • watch or listen to these operas with greater enjoyment.

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

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

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
  • No prior knowledge is assumed, but watching or listening to any of Verdi’s operas would be good groundwork and should help to stimulate good questions and discussion.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Information on relevant books, CD recordings and videos will be given out during the course, as well as information about forthcoming opera performances.

Download full Course information sheet

The Operas of Verdi

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This course has been cancelled.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • 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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