Quoted TextRecommended Website: Opera For Everyone
Age Range: All (with parental guidance)
What a find! This website introduces everyone to opera by providing FREE
digital downloads of the "Opera for Everyone" series of CDs along with a
printable teaching manual! Your family can learn all about four classic
operas: Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Verdi's La Traviata, Bizet's
Carmen, and Puccini's Madama Butterfly.
The "Opera for Everyone" series of CDs is available for sale, but this
website allows educators free access to the music and manual. All you have
to do is register by providing the name, address, and email address of your
When you get to the site, you'll see a brief introduction followed by
step-by-step instructions on how to download the teachers manuals in pdf
files, and how to download the CDs for PC and Mac users. The two main
*Teaching Manual - This teaching tool consists of two documents containing
info about the operas and performers along with suggested books and videos
to use in conjunction with the CDs. It also provides the complete texts, in
English, of each opera in the series.
*Download the CDs - The MP3 files corresponding to the tracks on each "Opera
for Everyone" CD have been collected into files that can be downloaded. I
found that the instructions here may be slightly outdated, since the files
took far less time to download than predicted (maybe 3-4 minutes with a
highspeed connection). Once downloaded, you can "play" the MP3 files in a
media player such as the RealOne Player or Apple's iTunes. You can also
burn an audio CD from the MP3 files in the playlist you create for each
opera. The site gives educators permission to create audio CDs for use with
a CD player.
Then, you can use the manual to select tracks on the CDs to discuss the
various operatic elements including the vocal and orchestral music, the
visual aspects, and the libretto. Each track is written in English and the
language of the original opera. The manual also reviews "how the music
(melody, harmony, rhythm, tempo, tonality) tells the story of each opera --
how it expresses the emotions and drives the action forward." It also
explores these aspects of opera for greater understanding:
*Parts of the Opera - overtures, acts, finales.
*Voices of the Opera - soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, counter-tenor,
tenor, baritone, bass.
*Vocal Pieces - aria, duet, trio, quartet, tutti (entire company),
recitative, spoken dialogue.
*Roles of the Orchestra - to accompany the singers, participate as one of
the voices, and convey the fire and the feel of the music.
Whether you are a seasoned opera-goer or are brand new to opera, this series
of classic operas along with the accompanying study materials will enrich
your musical education.
Diane Flynn Keith
Copyright 2008, All Rights Reserved