Don Quixote Home Page Cervantes' Spain The Story Making Connections to the Arts Lessons [side curve]

Discovering Opera


The Enduring Quest
Man of La Mancha


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Discovering Opera through Rigoletto

This unit is geared for later elementary and middle grades. It fuses language arts and music to explore one of Verdi's first masterpieces. It explores the opera from the standpoint of plot and character and then examines how Verdi uses operatic conventions and tonal shading to create dramatic tension and unforgettable musical characterizations.

To successfully complete this unit, a teacher should have a recording of the complete opera that includes a libretto with a good translation. The Black Dog Opera Library Series fulfills this requirement admirably. All references to the CD will be to this recording. In addition, after completing the units you may want to show your students a video of the entire film. The only currently available version is the Jean-Pierre Ponelle film starring Pavarotti. Preview this tape first, as there may be some material that you find objectionable in the second act.

In this unit, there are 8 lessons of varying length: