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The World of Opera

Course Times & Enrolment

Fridays from 17th April 2020 (Code MU129-301) Add to Basket Fridays from
17th April 2020 2:10pm - 4:00pm • (10 classes)
Holyrood Campus • Tutor: Rolland Man BA MA MSc
£133.00 Concessions and discounts

Course Summary

Come and discover the joy of opera! This introduction will look at the development of opera from its origins to the present day, paying attention to the emergence of conventions, structures, terms and what they denote. The history of opera will be in the foreground, but each week’s examples will be drawn from a single opera from the core of the tradition.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No previous knowledge required.

Content of Course

1. Overture: The Origins and Rise of Opera; (RM)

2. Mozart – Don Giovanni; (RM)

3. Rossini – La Cenerentola; (RM)

4. Weber – Der Freischütz; (RM)

5. Verdi – La Traviata; (DW)

6. Offenbach – The Tales of Hoffmann; (DW)

7. Puccini – Tosca; (DW)

8. Dvořak – Rusalka; (RM)

9. Korngold – Die Tote Stadt; (DW)

10. Britten – Death in Venice. (DW)


Teaching method(s)

Lectures, guided listening and discussion.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • analyse critically the aims and objectives of opera composers of various schools;
  • explain the changing priorities of composers and audiences in the field of opera;
  • discuss the changing power relationships between opera impresarios, singers and composers;
  • distinguish the features of one period in the history of opera from another.


Core Readings


Jay, Donald & Weigel Williams, Hermine. 2003. A Short History Of Opera. New York, N.Y. Columbia University Press.

Further specific reading and listening will be recommended each week.

Class Handouts

Handouts will be provided.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.