Richard Strauss - Opera Supremo Across the Centuries

Ref: C3744523

Richard Strauss was a talented and successful composer of orchestral music during the final decades of the 19th century before he embarked on composing operas, but he became totally committed to this art form once he had started. After two early operas which were not well-received he created two modernist operas – Salome and Elektra - which caused a sensation, making his reputation and bringing him financial success. He subsequently adopted a complete change of style, starting with Der Rosenkavalier, and continued to compose operas through the remaining thirty years of his career, on a range of subjects from Greek myths to works more contemplative and even autobiographical. This course follows the ups and downs of his opera career from the first works through his first successes and more obscure output to his final works and entanglements with the Nazi regime, all the time demonstrating his musical skills and love of the female voice.

Course aim

Richard Strauss was one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century and he was a committed composer of operas, of which only a few are regularly performed. This course aims to make his operatic output more well-known.

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 the most significant of Richard Strauss’ operas
  • Identify the motivations for his early attempts at opera
  • Describe the circumstances leading to his first operatic successes
  • Relate to his involvement with the Nazi regime
  • Describe his status relative to other opera composers of the 20th century

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 pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Feel free to bring your own knowledge and experience of Richard Strauss to contribute to the class.

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.

Download full course information sheet

Richard Strauss - Opera Supremo Across the Centuries

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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