Fall 2024

Seminar on Opera and Musical Theatre

Listed in: European Studies, as EUST-320  |  Music, as MUSI-420  |  Theater and Dance, as THDA-320


David E. Schneider (Section 01)


(Offered as MUSI 420, EUST 320 and THDA 320) This course examines the genre of lyric theater commonly known as opera with special attention to composers’ musical characterizations of the women and men who populate them. The first part of the class will focus on case studies of works by Mozart, Verdi, and Puccini, and may include some discussion of the classic American musical. Analyzing these works will help us develop an understanding of how composers work with conventions of vocal type and musical gesture to define character. The second part of the class will be devoted to developing independent research projects. Conditions permitting, some of the works studied will be chosen in coordination with performances we can attend in New York or Boston. This course can satisfy one of the major seminar requirements for the Music Department.

Professor Schneider.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: watching and listening to sections of operas and musicals, reading plays, historical documents, and secondary literature, short response papers, 1 group or independent project consisting of a research paper and presentation.

Course Materials


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2019, Spring 2022, Fall 2024