Opera Workshop

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Pearl Yeadon Emy
OFFICE: Ellis 218
SMSU: 836-5881
Cell: (417) 496-6460
Email: pmy595f@smsu.edu

COURSE DESCRIPTION
Opera Workshop (MUS 193, 293, 393, 493) is designed as a training medium for young singers. The fundamentals of stage technique, movement, directing, and acting for the singer are emphasized, as well as basic technical training in set design, costumes, makeup and props. Opera solos, ensembles, scenes, one-acts and full length productions are prepared and performed on campus. The SMSU student is introduced to varying historical periods of opera, as well as different styles from verismo to modern atonal music. All students, whether intending to be a vocal soloist, a teacher, or one who simply loves the musical theatre, are encouraged to participate. Primary performance languages are English, Italian, French and German. However, should a student possess other language skills, or wish to perform scenes or ensembles or an opera from their own cultural background, an effort will be made to find the appropriate music.

All students enrolled in Opera Workshop rehearse together, although they are enrolled in one of five possible courses, each carrying one credit. First year students enroll in WS 193, second year in WS 293, third year in 393, and fourth year in 493. Graduate students enroll in MUS 593. The first year (MUS 193) and to some extent the second year (MUS 293) students are considered apprentices in opera. For example, only third and fourth year students are allowed directorial responsibilities in the workshop. Student responsibilities are gradually increased as they gain the necessary training and experience.

Each semester, all students in Opera Workshop, in addition to presenting performances on campus, will participate in the School Outreach Program, which performs as “Opera Viva”. In this program, the students present from four to six performances of the semester’s production on tour in Missouri schools. A forty five minute selection is prepared and performed with the appropriate costumes, props and set. Cast positions include vocalists, pianists, a stage director, and a stage manager. The SMSU students benefit not only from these performance opportunities but learn to share their love of music and creation with the community. In addition, special lesson plans are prepared for the school children and given to the teachers in advance of the presentation so the children are prepared for what they will see.

REQUIRED MATERIALS
Fall 2002, Novellis Novellis, by J. La Montaine.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
1. Attend all classes on time, as scheduled. If the student has a prior commitment or class conflicts, please inform the instructor before assignment to a role. Once the student has signed the contract accepting a role, this commitment takes precedence before any subsequent plans

2. Practice/Study music a minimum of one hour daily for each hour of credit.

3. Languages: Any student working on a song or role in a foreign language must hand in as a written assignment the words written out as a poem with a word by word translation. This translation will then be written in the music in pencil.

4. If the student is cast in the production, which will be the basis for the school outreach program, the student is encouraged to perform for at least two school visits.

5. Each student will prepare and hand in a character study of his/her assigned role.

6. The opera workshop performance on campus is considered the final exam and/or the performances for the school outreach program.

7. Even when a student is assigned a role in a production, there is no guarantee of actual performances. The casts for any performance will be assigned two weeks prior. Criteria will include an evaluation of how well the role is prepared, class participation, attitude, and work ethic.

GRADING / EXAM POLICY
Grades will be determined on the following percentages: 50% class participation, 40% Final Performance(s), and 10% written assignment(s).

INTEGRATED SERVICE LEARNING IN MUSIC
All students will be required to participate in the School Outreach Program as their integrated Service-Learning (ISL) project. They will first participate in a study to assess the musical literacy of the participating schools, and will be responsible for preparing the lesson plans and accompanying materials appropriate for each school and grade level. They also will be responsible for conducting a question-and answer session and brief workshop for the children following the presentation. In addition, the service learning students will complete a written critique of each school performance. The student’s critiques will be used to facilitate a class discussion, after the visits, of the impact of the school performances on the audiences as well as the SMSU students.

Service learning students:

1. Will be graded primarily on the written work they produce including the lesson plans, written critiques, and leading the class discussions of the critiques.

2. Will be required to provide a minimum of 40 hours of service over the course of the semester in the School Outreach Program. (This can include the preparation work, including designing the lesson plans and questionnaires.) The 40 hour requirement is an absolute requirement.

3. Each semester, students in Opera Workshop, will participate in the School Outreach Program, which performs as “Opera Viva.” In this program, the students present from four to six performances of the semester’s production on tour in Missouri schools such as Springfield Public Schools, Ozark, or Nixa. A forty five minute selection is prepared and performed with appropriate costumes, props and set. In addition, special lesson plans are prepared for the school children and given to the teachers in advance of the presentation so the children are prepared for what they will see. A question and answer session follows each performance with the intent of increasing general musical awareness within the community and an appreciation of opera as a cooperative and communicative medium. Performances will be designed to match the needs of the individual schools and the age of the audience.

4. A journal or notebook will be the basis for a reflective exercise in which you will jot down your impressions, ideas, suggestions, and accomplishments during the course of the class. The journal can be purchased at the SMSU Bookstore information Desk, or you may bring your own notebook.