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The Metropolitan Opera Guild’s “Opera Boot Camp”

For more than 70 years, the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s educational programs have enriched the lives of children and adults throughout the country by making opera accessible to people of all ages and experience levels. One of the Guild’s most popular series for adults, Opera Boot Camp is a casual yet comprehensive introduction to the art form that appeals to all levels of operatic knowledge and experience, from newcomer to connoisseur. Due to the success of this program, which has offered two courses during the 2009-10 season, the Guild is adding a third Opera Boot Camp course. On Sunday, February 28, the Metropolitan Opera Guild will present the first of four lectures in its Opera Boot Camp series. Titled “Vocal Verbiage and Vocabulary,” it will explore the common words and phrases that describe the basic elements of opera and that allow singers and musicians to work together in spite of the multi-lingual world of the opera house.  Subsequent lectures will focus on behind-the-scenes activities that go into staging an opera (March 7) and on the history of opera from the 1600s to the early 1800s (March 14) and from the 1800s to today (March 21).

Laura Day, Adult and Community Programs Manager at the Metropolitan Opera Guild and a Boot Camp presenter herself, explains: “Opera is an open art form that anyone can learn to love, but you have to know what you’re getting into. Opera Boot Camp is designed to provide the building blocks of opera literacy and listening skills, giving not only a history of the art form but also a look into opera production and administration. We have really tapped into a need among opera and classical music audiences for just this kind of 360-degree view, and we’re excited to bring Opera Boot Camp back for a third time this season thanks to popular demand.”

During the Opera Boot Camp series, the Guild’s resident experts reveal secrets of listening that maximize enjoyment and minimize boredom; they recount the history of the art form, from its Renaissance roots to its place in contemporary culture; and they examine operatic mysteries and myths.

Spring 2010 Opera Boot Camp

Sunday, February 28, 2010 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM
Metropolitan Opera Guild

Vocal Verbiage and Vocabulary
presented by Laura Day

Don’t know the difference between a soprano and a tenor, or an aria and a recitative? Think a sforzando is a military command or a sushi order? Learn the language of music and the sounds of the singers in this fun-filled session.

Sunday, March 07, 2010 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM
Metropolitan Opera Guild

The Opera, Seen from Behind the Scenes
presented by Laura Day

Not everyone involved in staging an opera gets to take a curtain call; more than 1,500 individuals are responsible for each opera performance at the Met. We’ll talk shop and get to know the many off-stage roles that give direction and take a production from page to stage.

Sunday, March 14, 2010 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM
Metropolitan Opera Guild

Opera Evolution: 1600-1800
presented by Dottie Allen

What is opera and where did it come from? Who were Monteverdi, Handel, and Mozart, and why are they important to this splendid synergy of art forms? Find out as we tour opera’s first 200 years.

Sunday, March 21, 2010 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM
Metropolitan Opera Guild

Opera Revolution: 1800 to Today
presented by Dottie Allen

Who were Wagner, Verdi, and Puccini, and how did their revolutionary ideas propel opera into super-stardom? Learn how opera has continually transformed itself since the 19th century, and what tricks and turns keep the art form so vital and relevant today.

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© 21C Media Group, February 2010

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