Creating an Original Opera
Whats opera? Most people, including children, think opera is about
actors in strange costumes singing in foreign languages about stories
we dont understand. But opera is much more
the stories express
many of the same desires, angers, and hopes experienced in our own lives.
In this lesson, students will use the GREAT PERFORMANCES and other Web
sites to learn about operas dramatic and musical elements, and discover
the similarities and differences between opera stories and students' own
lives. All the exploration will culminate in the creation and performance
of an original one-act opera, written, scored, and performed by students.
9-10 class periods over approximately 4 weeks
- Language Arts
- Technology/Computer Literacy
Students will be able to:
- Research the lyrical and dramatic structure of opera through Internet
sources and audio examples.
- Cooperatively discuss similar and different elements of opera stories
vs. their own lives.
- Create a one-act opera based on their own life experiences that has
both singing and spoken (recitative) parts, and simple original
accompaniment using classroom percussion instruments.
MCREL Standard 1 from Level 2
Uses a variety of strategies to plan research (e.g., identifies possible topic by brainstorming, listing questions, using idea webs; organizes prior knowledge about a topic; develops a course of action; determines how to locate necessary information)
MCREL Standard 4 from Level 2
Gathers and uses information for research purposes (from a variety of
sources including several forms of electronic media like the Internet
MCREL Standard 3 from Level 2
Improvises short songs and instrumental pieces using a variety of sound sources, including traditional sounds (e.g., voices, instruments), nontraditional sounds (e.g., paper tearing, pencil tapping), body sounds (e.g., hands clapping, fingers snapping), and sounds produced by electronic means (e.g., personal computers and basic MIDI devices such as keyboards, sequencers, synthesizers, and drum machines)
MCREL Standard 4 from Level 3
Knows criteria that affect the quality (e.g., use of elements to create unity, variety, tension/release, balance) and effectiveness (e.g., expressive impact) of music performances and compositions
This lesson was developed by Jaana Narsipur.