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MUSC8047 - Opera Studies

Title:Opera Studies
Long Title:Opera Studies
Module Code:MUSC8047
Duration:1 Semester
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:Advanced
Field of Study: Music & Performing Arts
Valid From: Semester 1 - 2016/17 ( September 2016 )
Module Delivered in 2 programme(s)
Module Coordinator: MARIA JUDGE
Module Author: ROISIN MAHER
Module Description: This module explores opera in its socio-historical and cultural contexts from c. 1600 to the present day. The course considers opera as a vehicle for ideas and social change and examines issues relating to stage design, performance practice and gender on the operatic stage.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
LO1 Contextualise significant developments in opera from c. 1600 to the present day
LO2 Interpret key figures, operatic works and developments in opera of selected periods
LO3 Analyse interpretations of selected operatic works
LO4 Evaluate the significance of a selected opera composer, performer or development in opera
LO5 Research and present an approved specialised topic in opera
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is strongly recommended before enrolment in this module. You may enrol in this module if you have not acquired the recommended learning but you will have considerable difficulty in passing (i.e. achieving the learning outcomes of) the module. While the prior learning is expressed as named MTU module(s) it also allows for learning (in another module or modules) which is equivalent to the learning specified in the named module(s).

Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module. You may not earn additional credit for the same learning and therefore you may not enrol in this module if you have successfully completed any modules in the incompatible list.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed. You may not enrol on this module if you have not acquired the learning specified in this section.

No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Mozart and opera
Mozart's stylistic development in opera; choice of musical forms; treatment of the voice; focus on works complementary to those covered in other modules including Mozart and the Singspiel/opera seria
French opera in the nineteenth century
The origins and development of grand opéra; scenic effects and stage design in French opera; Mayerbeer and Gounod; the influence of grand opéra on Wagner and Verdi
Gender and opera
Gender representation on the operatic stage; the social and historical phenomenon of the castrato; depiction of women in nineteenth-century opera; opera and the embodied voice
Opera and mythology
Early opera and mythology; the Orpheus myth through the centuries: from Monteverdi to Birtwistle; mythology in French opera: Rameau; Wagner and Strauss; mythology and contemporary opera
Specialised topic
Medium length (4,500-5,000 word) essay OR lecture/recital with programme notes on an approved topic related to the course
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work100.00%
Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Project Project in criticism 1,3,5 25.0 Every Second Week
Short Answer Questions Terminology, chronology, definition of key concepts 1,2,3 25.0 Week 7
Other Essay or Lecture/Recital 2,4,5 50.0 Sem End
No End of Module Formal Examination
Reassessment Requirement
Coursework Only
This module is reassessed solely on the basis of re-submitted coursework. There is no repeat written examination.

The institute reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Opera history from 1600 to present 2.0 Every Week 2.00
Tutorial Engaging with opera 1.0 Every Week 1.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) Reading, listening, research, study 4.0 Every Week 4.00
Total Hours 7.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 7.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 3.00
This module has no Part Time workload.

Module Resources

Recommended Book Resources
  • Abbate, Carolyn & Parker, Roger 2015, A History of Opera: The Last 400 Years, Norton London [ISBN: 978-039334895]
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Abbate, Carolyn 2001, In Search of Opera, Princeton University Press Princeton [ISBN: 0691117314]
  • Abbate, Carolyn and Roger Parker (eds.) 1989, Analyzing Opera: Verdi and Wagner, University of California Press Berkeley [ISBN: 0520061578]
  • Charlton, David (ed.) 2003, The Cambridge Companion to Grand Opera, Cambridge University Press Cambridge [ISBN: 978-052164683]
  • Donnington, Robert 1990, Opera and its Symbols: The Unity of Words, Music and Staging, Yale University Press Yale [ISBN: 0300056613]
  • Everett, Yayoi Uno (ed.) 2015, Reconfiguring Myth and Narrative in Contemporary Opera, Indiana University Press Indiana [ISBN: 978-025301799]
  • Henson, Karen 2015, Opera Acts: Singers and Performance in the Late Nineteenth Century, Cambridge University Press Cambridge [ISBN: 978-110700426]
  • Grout, Donald and Hermine Weigel Williams 2003, A Short History of Opera, 4th Ed., Columbia University Press New York [ISBN: 0231119585]
  • Kerman, Joseph 2005, Opera as Drama, 3rd Ed., University of California Press Berkeley & Los Angeles [ISBN: 0520246926]
  • Lee, Hyunseon & Segal, Naomi (eds.) 2014, Opera, Exoticism and Visual Culture, Peter Lang AG Bern [ISBN: 978-303431782]
  • Noske, Frits 1977, The Signifier and the Signified: Studies in the Operas of Mozart and Verdi, Springer The Hague [ISBN: 902471995X]
  • Parker, Roger and Arthur Groos (eds.) 1988, Reading Opera, Princeton University Press Princeton [ISBN: 0691027099]
  • Robinson, Paul A. 1986, Opera and Ideas: from Mozart to Strauss, Cornell University Press New York [ISBN: 0801494281]
  • Till, Nicholas (ed.) 2012, The Cambridge Companion to Opera Studies, Cambridge University Press Cambridge [ISBN: 9780521671699]
  • Weiss, Piero (ed.) 2002, Opera: A history in documents, Oxford University Press Oxford & New York [ISBN: 0195116380]
This module does not have any article/paper resources
This module does not have any other resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CR_GMUSC_8 Bachelor of Music (Honours) 6 Elective
CR_GMUSC_8 Bachelor of Music (Honours) 8 Elective

Cork Institute of Technology
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Email: help@cit.edu.ie