Briefly review the synopsis of the opera and the dialogue that
the students developed in Lesson
5. Discuss plays or musicals that the students may have seen.
What kinds of things were presented on the stage (solos, monologues,
Discuss the differences between a play and an opera.
How are they similar? How do opera singers' voices differ from
that of other types of singers? Bearing in mind that opera is
sung without a microphone, why do the students think that opera
singers sing in their manner?
terms ARIA, DUET, TRIO, QUARTET, and CHORUS. These are conventional
forms in opera.
Play selections from Rigoletto
and identify them by operatic convention. (CD1, Tr3, Aria; CD1,
Tr12, Duet; CD1, Tr13, Trio; CD2, Tr14, Quartet; CD1, Tr18, Chorus)
What are the characteristics of each convention (arias reveal
a character's feeling, duets are dialogues, trios and quartets
allow us to see several perspectives of the scene at once, and
the chorus creates commentary and crowd action)?
Discuss the difference between song-like sections of the opera
and RECITATIVE, music, which is similar to sung dialogue. Which
moves faster, song material or recitative? When would a composer
want to use a recitative? When would they want to create more
Have students return to their dialogues from Lesson 5. Ask them
to identify places in their dialogue where the characters are
expressing feelings. Where are the characters moving the plot
Have the students write an answer to the question, "How do the
conventions of opera help the composer and the librettist tell