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Continuing Education

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Continuing Education

History of Opera in Eight Weeks with Michael Newnham

History of Opera in Eight Weeks with Michael Newnham

Tuesdays, April 10 to June 5 (no class on May 15), 2018

Location: Traill College, Scott House 105, 300 London Street, Peterborough.

Cost: $20.00 per workshop (+HST).

Register in person with cash or cheque at Scott House Room 102.4, 300 London Street, Traill College.

Register online at https://www.regonline.com/historyofopera or in person with cash or cheque at Scott House Room 102.4, 300 London Street, Traill College.

Opera is where all of the arts meet: music, drama, design and dance. For more than four hundred years, it has thrilled, moved, fascinated and even sometimes angered us. On eight Tuesday evenings, we will take a journey from its beginnings, visiting some of its greatest masterpieces.

Tuesday 10 April - BAROQUE OPERA - Monteverdi through Handel

It all started over 400 years ago in Florence, Italy. We explore the melting pot of art forms, opera, starting in the place of its origin, and follow it on its journey throughout the next 150 years.

Tuesday 17 April - MOZART

Mozart, throughout his short life, wrote over 20 operas, some of which are the cornerstones of today’s repertoire. Today, he is perceived as being one of the greatest geniuses of opera. His “Da Ponte” trilogy: “The Marriage of Figaro”, “Cosi fan tutte” and “Don Giovanni” as well as the “Magic Flute” are featured.

Tuesday 24 April - ITALIAN BEL CANTO: Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti

“Beautiful singing” - the Italian tradition of the voice comes from these three composers. We look at “The Barber of Seville”, “Norma” and “Lucia di Lammermoor”

Tuesday 1 May - LA BELLE EPOQUE: Bizet, Gounod, Offenbach and opera in Paris

The City of Lights was the home of great opera. We look at “Carmen”, “Faust” and “Tales of Hoffmann”.

Tuesday 8 May - WAGNER

One name says it all. He changed the history of opera and the performing arts in general. No single figure in music is more polarizing. We touch on what set Wagner apart, by exploring the Ring tetralogy, “Die Meistersinger” and “Tristan und Isolde”.

Tuesday 22 May - SLAVIC OPERA: Tchaikovsky, Mussorgski, Smetana

The originality of “Boris Godunov”, the innate Russianness of “Eugene Onegin”, the folksy good humour of “The Bartered Bride” all contribute to a mosaic of great opera from Eastern Europe.

Tuesday 29 May - VERDI

To many, the name “Verdi” is synonymous with opera. We look at red-blooded Italian operas such as “La Traviata”, “Rigoletto”, “Don Carlo” and “Otello”.


We finish our survey with one of the best-loved composers of opera: Puccini. We will look at “La Bohème”, “Tosca”, and “Madama Butterfly”, but also peek at other works, including Mascagni’s “Cavalleria rusticana”.

About the instructor:

Michael Newnham is the Music Director and Conductor of the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra and Symphony New Brunswick, as well as the Founding Music Director of the Kawartha Youth Orchestra. He is a graduate of the Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Poland and of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, USA. His engaging, passionate and humorous style of sharing the world of music has made his ‘Meet the Maestro’ talks with the PSO an audience favourite in Peterborough for the past fifteen years. Visit his site for more information.

Online registration is provided through RegOnline, a third-party registration service. An additional charge will be applied by RegOnline in addition to the course fee.

Avoid online fees by registering in person at the College Office during business hours with cash or a cheque. Traill College Office is in Scott House and is open Monday to Friday, 9 am - 3:30 pm.