Opera to Go! presents. Music by Gaetano Donizetti Libretto by Kristine McIntyre STUDY GUIDE

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1 Opera to Go! presents Music by Gaetano Donizetti Libretto by Kristine McIntyre STUDY GUIDE

2 WHAT IS HGOco? HGOco connects Houston Grand Opera s creative resources with our diverse and vibrant community. The co in HGOco stands for company, community, and collaboration. HGOco s innovative and engaging programs take place throughout the Houston area in schools, parks, community landmarks, alternative performance spaces, and at the Wortham Theater Center, providing a range of opportunities for Houstonians of all ages to seek, engage, and learn through the inspiring art of opera. Our education programming includes Opera to Go!, Storybook Opera, student performances of main-stage productions, the Bauer Family High School Voice Studio, professional development workshops, opera camps, and residency programs. WHY ARTS INTEGRATION? Integrating the arts into your curriculum not only has the undisputed benefit of increasing student engagement and motivation, but plays an important role in supporting student achievement. Students who participate in arts-integrated activities can increase both oral and written language skills as well as ESL abilities. Curriculum rich in arts-integrated activities has been linked to the development of important 21st century skill building and increases in retention. Using information in new and different ways facilitates creativity and problem-solving, fosters active learning, and supports higher-level learning and abstract reasoning, while allowing students to make personal connections to the content. The arts also build a strong sense of community and help children develop critical social and collaborative skills. Whether for purely artistic and esthetic reasons or to build specific skills, integrating arts into the important work you already do with your students will provide a rich foundation for continued exploration and growth. ABOUT OUR STUDY GUIDE This study guide is designed to be used within the classroom to prepare your students for the Opera to Go! performance. It is divided into four sections: the basics of opera; information on The Elixir of Love, the opera; reference terms and fun activity pages; and curriculum-related lesson plans for your students. Although The Elixir of Love is enjoyable for all audiences, a prepared student will better appreciate the performance. As always, we love to hear feedback. We want to know how we can best serve you! For more information please visit our website, HGO.org/HGOco 2

3 TABLE OF CONTENTS THE BASICS OF OPERA What is an opera? 4 Why should we see opera? 5 THE ELIXIR OF LOVE, THE OPERA Synopsis (our story) 6 Tristan & Isolde 6 Characters 7 Musical Example 8 9 REFERENCE/ACTIVITY PAGES Vocabulary Guide Biographies - Composer & Librettist 12 History of Flight 13 Color the Biplane and Pilot 14 Paper Airplane Template 15 Elixirs Everywhere 16 What s Your Recipe? 17 LESSON PLANS Sing-a-Story 18 Character Analysis 19 Your Type of Archetype 20 3

4 WHAT IS AN OPERA? Teachers: Ask your students for their ideas about opera. Write OPERA on the board, then list students answers or make a word cloud. Ask again after the performance to see if their opinions have changed. WHAT IS AN OPERA? At Houston Grand Opera (HGO) we like to say Opera is simply storytelling, using words and music. Traditionally, all of the words are sung. However, some forms in the mid-late 19th century employed extended dialogue with comedy or satire and were called operettas. In the 21st century, exciting operas are written in many forms and styles drawing on current social trends and an increasing diverse global society. 4 HOW DOES IT WORK? You will immediately notice that opera singers, unlike their peers in popular music, do not use microphones. Rather, an opera singer develops their own body as a source of natural amplification. HOW IS THIS DONE? Through years of careful study and practice, they learn to project sound and control the expelling of breath. The process is simple by expanding the lower abdominal muscles while taking in air, the lungs fill. These low muscles then assist the singer in regulating the amount of air used in singing. This frees the neck and throat (where the vocal cords are) so the singer can produce a relaxed, full sound. As the sound passes through the mouth it resonates in the sinus cavities of the face and head, which act as small echo chambers that help amplify the sound. The resulting sound is not only audible, but can be clearly perceived in the back rows of the orchestra and the top of the balcony. LANGUAGE, IL LINGUAGGIO, LA LANGUE, DIE SPRACHE Operas are written in many languages. In the United States, many new operas are written in English and several are incorporating more than one language to reflect our growing diversity. A professional opera singer may be required to sing in Italian, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Czech, and English. There are also operas in Hungarian, Finnish, Mandarin Chinese...and the list goes on! Not all opera singers can learn all of these languages, though many become fluent in at least one language other than their native tongue. How do they sing in all these different languages? Singers prepare by taking diction classes that help them pronounce the words correctly, and with intensive study that includes a wordby-word translation of the text they are singing. But it doesn t end there not only do they have to understand what they re saying, but they have to know what everyone else on stage is saying to make their interaction on stage authentic.

5 WHY SHOULD WE SEE OPERA? operas, operas that celebrate specific cultures, and operettas among others. It may take time to find what you love the most. Remember: opera is telling stories through music. You could even create an opera right in your classroom! WHY DOES HGO PERFORM OPERAS? We love opera, and therefore want to share it with you! Opera is the ultimate collaborative art form that tells fun and relevant stories in new and exciting ways. It is a great way to learn about other people and their cultures. We think you will love it too! DOES THE MUSIC REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHEN TELLING A STORY? When you watch television or a movie, you might notice music heightens the drama. If something scary is about to happen, what do you hear? What if something surprising happens? People have used music to enhance drama ever since drama was created to entertain and enlighten us. If you re not convinced, turn on the subtitles next time you watch a movie and mute the sound. You ll notice that having music accompany the words makes a big difference. Here s a fun online article all about this: (a scene from The Barber of Seville by Rossini) WHAT S SO SPECIAL ABOUT OPERA? In its simplest form, opera combines music and drama to tell a story. In its grandest form, opera combines solo and choral singing, full or chamber orchestras, acting, movement and dance, scenic, costume and lighting design and other visual elements, and production/ technical skills to make an exciting and unique art form. I LIKE MUSIC, BUT OPERA IS NOT FOR ME... Opera can be overwhelming at first, but you too can learn to love it! What you may not know is that many of the traditional operas are still popular because the music is so powerful and stories they tell can still relate to us today. Just like in sports where there are many different kinds - baseball, soccer, swimming, running and basketball, there are many different styles of opera - intense dramatic works, humorous stylized (a scene from La Traviata by Verdi) 5

6 SYNOPSIS (OUR STORY) N emorino, a farmhand, is in love with Adina, the smartest in town. But he is too shy and tongue-tied to tell her. Adina describes a silly movie she just saw about the romance of Tristan and Isolde. She and Nemorino wonder what it would be like to drink a magical love potion. Just then, Lieutenant Belcore makes an emergency plane landing on the farm and Nemorino s world is turned upside down. Belcore sets his sights on Adina and she agrees to marry him! Desperate to win her love, Nemorino buys an elixir of love from Dr. Dulcamara, a traveling salesman. Of course, the elixir is a fraud, but the placebo effect boosts Nemorino s confidence. When Adina sees Nemorino surrounded by other girls, she is full of jealousy. Belcore enlists Nemorino in the air force because Nemornino needs money for more elixir. Fearing for his life, Adina finally admits that she loves Nemorino and can t imagine life on the farm without him. Dr. Dulcamra embarks for the next town with more elixirs to sell! TRISTAN AND ISOLDE Featured in The Elixir of Love is the story of Tristan and Isolde a romance retold in literature, music, and films since the 12th century. It is a tragedy about the adulterous love between the Cornish knight Tristan and the Irish princess Isolde. The narrative predates and most likely influenced the Arthurian romance of Lancelot and Guinevere, and substantially impacted Western art and literature. While the details of the story differ from one author to another, the overall plot structure remains much the same, including the love potion. Besides Donizetti s inclusion in Elixir, Richard Wagner composed a full opera on the story in Wagner s Tristan und Isolde is now considered one of the most influential pieces of music of all time. In his work, Tristan is portrayed as a doomed romantic figure, while Isolde is a more redeeming figure. Here is a clip of the title characters drinking the potion: Painting by John Duncan, 1912 There is even a song called The Maiden and the Minstrel Knight from 2002 by Blind Guardian, a power metal band from Germany. Students can research the other versions of the story from around the world. Teachers pose the question: What are some other stories centered around magic potions? 6

7 CHARACTERS Teachers: Note the questions about each character to ask students following the performance. SINGERS CHARACTER DESCRIPTION Adina - a strong and independent woman who is used to getting what she wants. She has a confident and cool exterior and may think she knows it all, but not when it comes to true love COSTUMES -ina is a suffix often attached to Italian character s names to indicate ingénue status (meaning youthful and innocent). Kaitlyn Stavinoha, soprano Did anything surprise you about Adina s decisions in the opera? Nemorino - a simple farmhand who is deeply in love with Adina, but too shy to tell her. He would do anything to make Adina fall in love with him, but he s not sure such a miracle could ever happen. Nemornio means little nobody in Italian. What kind of transformation did you see in Nemorino in the opera? Stephen Ash, tenor Belcore - an air force lieutenant who believes himself suave and irresistible. His charm may come off abrasive and lacking tact, but underneath the rough and tough exterior there lies a genuine heart. Belcore means beautiful heart in Italian. Scott Clark, baritone Did Belcore learn anything from his experience with Adina and Nemorino? Dulcamara - a fly-by-night salesman, pedaling his latest product the Elixir of Love! His quick wit, and sharp tongue assure a speedy sale, and an even swifter escape before they realize the elixir is a fraud. Dulcamara means Sweet/bitter in Italian. Geoffrey Peterson, bass Have you seen a character like this in any other book/movie/ performance? Costume design sketches by Nara Lesser For more information about voice types, look at Vocabulary on pages

8 MUSICAL EXAMPLE Excerpt from The Elixir of Love Music by Gaetano Donizetti, Words by Kristine McIntyre You can find this musical exerpt on YouTube from the Wiener Staatsoper: 8

9 MUSICAL EXAMPLE What to look for in this musical example: The original Italian words and the English version below. How certain parts have been deleted for the reduced version, including a whole chorus part. This is a fun catchy melody that can be taught to students. that that 9

10 VOCABULARY ACCOMPANIMENT ARIA BARITONE BASS CHORUS COLORATURA COMPOSER CONDUCTOR COSTUMES DUET ENSEMBLE FINALE LIBRETTIST LIBRETTO MEZZO-SOPRANO OPERA OVERTURE/PRELUDE PROPS The musical background provided for a principal part. A musical piece for solo voice focusing on emotional expression. The middle range male voice. The lowest male voice. A group of singers who sing and act in a group. Elaborate ornamentation of a vocal line; or a voice having the ability and agility to sing many notes quickly, usually in an extended range. The person who writes the music. The person who leads the singers and orchestra. The clothes the performers wear to help tell the story. A musical piece for two performers. Two or more singers singing and expressing their emotions at the same time. The last musical number of an act or show. It usually involves most of the cast and often repeats musical themes from the show. The person who writes the words of an opera. Literally little book, this is the text or words of an opera. The middle female voice, usually darker and fuller than a soprano. Storytelling using words and music. The synthesis of all art forms. Introductory orchestral music in an opera. In later opera, it set the theme or mood for the coming drama or comedy, containing musical material to be heard later in the work. In the early operas, it was simply used to quiet the audience. Objects placed on the stage and used by the actors; an abbreviation of the word properties. 10

11 VOCABULARY RECITATIVE A type of text setting where the music matches more directly spoken rhythms and inflections, usually accompanied by a keyboard instrument SCORE The printed page upon which all the vocal and instrumental music of an opera is written SET The scenery used on the stage to show location. SOPRANO The highest female voice. STAGE DIRECTOR The person who decides how the singers will move on stage and how they will act while they are singing their parts. TENOR The highest male voice. Set model by Austin Abernathy Costume sketches by Nara Lesser 11

12 BIOGRAPHIES Gaetano Donizetti, Composer (29 November April 1848) A leading Italian composer of the bel canto opera style, Donizetti was prolific in output and dominated the opera scene in Italy between the death of Bellini and the rise of Verdi. He composed about 75 operas, 16 symphonies, 19 string quartets, 193 songs, 45 duets, 3 oratorios, 28 cantatas, instrumental concertos, sonatas, and other chamber pieces. Personally, he had a very sad life. His wife died after only ten years of marriage and his three children all died very young in epidemics, tragedies from which they say he never recovered. Professionally, he was an incredibly fast worker he could produce a three act opera (music and words) in ten days. He did not come from a musical background but studied music at an early age. At 19, he wrote his first one-act opera. His most successful operas include The Elixir of Love (1832), Lucia di Lammermoor (1835), The Daughter of the Regiment (1840), and Don Pasquale (1843). His operas spanned comedy and tragedy in both Italian and French. He was a kind, hardworking man who gave support and encouragement to fellow artists and composers. Kristine McIntyre, Librettist Kristine McIntyre has directed more than 75 operas across the U.S. with a focus on new, contemporary, and American works. Productions include Jake Heggie s Dead Man Walking, Jonathan Dove s Flight, Carlisle Floyd s Of Mice and Men, new productions of Street Scene, The Tender Land (Michigan Opera Theater) and Lee Hoiby s Bon Appétit. Upcoming projects include a new production of David T. Little s Soldier Songs, a staged concert of Vanessa (Toledo Opera), a revival of her film-noir Don Giovanni (Utah Opera), a new production of Billy Budd, and the exciting new production of Jake Heggie s Moby Dick designed by Erhard Rom and Jessica Jahn to premier in January Kristine began her career at the San Francisco Opera and then spent eight years on the directing staff of the Metropolitan Opera where she directed revivals of La traviata, Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Luisa Miller. Kristine has trained opera singers in the studio programs at the Santa Fe Opera, San Francisco Opera, Portland Opera, and Pittsburgh Opera and has written and directed operatic adaptations for Portland Opera To Go, a touring educational arts program that has reached over one hundred thousand people in Oregon, Washington and Northern California. Her recent bilingual adaptation of The Barber of Seville was produced to great acclaim by both Portland Opera and Fort Worth Opera. Kristine has a Bachelor s degree in English Literature from Georgetown University and Master s in Theatre from the University of Hull in England. 12

13 HISTORY OF FLIGHT The dream of flying is as old as humanity itself. However, the concept of the airplane has only been around for two centuries. Before that time, men and women tried to navigate the air by imitating the birds. They built wings to strap onto their arms or machines with flapping wings called ornithopters. On the surface, it seemed like a good plan. After all, there are plenty of birds in the air. The trouble is, it works better at bird-scale than it does at the much larger scale needed to lift both a man and a machine off the ground. Beginning in 1783, a few aeronauts made daring, uncontrolled flights in lighter-than-air balloons, filled with either hot air or hydrogen gas. But there was no way to get from here to there unless the wind was blowing in the desired direction. It wasn t until the turn of the nineteenth century that Sir George Cayley built the first true airplane a kite mounted on a stick with a movable tail. It was crude, but it proved his idea worked, and from that first humble glider evolved the amazing machines that have taken us to the edge of space at speeds faster than sound Leonardo DaVinci s plan for a man-carrying ornithopter with flapping wings. Teachers: Encourage your students to explore the advancements in airplane innovation Sir George Cayley s plan for a fixed wing aircraft The Wright Flyer III was the first practical aircraft, capable of sustained flight and navigation Harriet Quimby became the first licensed woman pilot in the United States The Concorde, a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airline had a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound The Boeing jumbo jet took to the sky. The first wide-body airplane produced, a total of s were built. 13

14 COLOR THE BIPLANE & PILOT Add in a unique background to show where this pilot is flying! 14

15 PAPER AIRPLANE TEMPLATE Visit for more ideas! 15

16 ELIXIRS EVERYWHERE In Shakespeare s A Midsummer Night s Dream, the fairy king Oberon instructs Puck to place pansies on Titania s eyes to make her fall madly in love with him. The juice of it on sleeping eyelids laid/ will make man or woman madly dote/ upon the next live creature that it sees, Shakespeare wrote, but many love-struck hopefuls around the world have used heaps of other inventive elixirs to try and woo. Here are just a few: When mixed with herbs, the eggs of Uganda s gray crowned crane a bird that mates for life are said to increase affection and monogamy. (pictured right) Rum, honey, and red wine are mixed with tree bark and herbs to create mama juana, an drink for men and women of the Dominican Republic. In Africa, the bark of the yohimbe tree is said to have certain aphrodisiac qualities when steeped in hot water and consumed as tea. (pictured left) The people of Madura Island in East Java are known for their jamu ramuan, a concoction of herbs that, when ingested, restores youth allegedly. The Lappish Love Potion in Finland is a brew made from blueberries. On Dragobete day, the Romanian day of love, snow is collected and its water used as a magic potion by young girls. The water is said to ward off illness for the rest of the year. (pictured right) Carrots were consumed by both men and women in ancient Greece to make them more desirable. Chocolate used by the Aztecs has high levels of serotonin and Phenylethylamine, mood-lifting agents found in the human brain that increase energy and produce certain euphoric effects. Source: Worldwide Love Potions by Jeanette Kimmel For some more volatile combinations of ingredients, watch this BuzzFeedVideo video, 5 Science Explosions That ll Blow Your Mind - Teachers ask your students: What is an elixir? What would be the recipe for your elixir? Would it work? What other stories/music/films involve magical potions? (examples: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince /Love Potion #9 / Shrek 2) Where are these countries and cultures located on the map? 16

17 WHAT S YOUR RECIPE? Teachers: Print out this page and cut out the recipe cards for students to create their own elixirs. 17

18 Lesson Title: Sing-a-Conversation Grade levels: Elementary School Subject: Language Arts Integrated Subjects: Fine Arts Objective: Students will learn and understand how words can be put to music to communicate with others conduct a dialogue between two people and tell a story. Lesson: Model: Invite a student to sit with you and have a conversation with you on any topic. Keep it simple and uncomplicated (talk about a pet, what they did over the weekend, etc ). Invite two students to come up and have a conversation on another simple topic. This time, record their conversation by writing it down. You can use alternating colors to indicate who is speaking and to create a visual for your other students who are observing or type it on a computer/smart board as if you are writing a script. Allow the conversation to last for about 6-10 sentences. These sentences are now your libretto. Have students then discuss a song or tune that can be used as an accompaniment for the conversation. You can do this as a whole group or put the students in pairs or small groups and have them work together to develop the music for the conversation. Try using simple tunes that they may be familiar with such as Twinkle, Twinkle. If you would like to allow for more creativity, have students create their own songs and music for their libretto. Invite students to perform for one another. Compare and contrast performances by observing which tunes were selected and why. Did the words fit into music or did they need to adjust the music to fit the words? Is it easier to understand what is happening when speaking or singing? How can singers be best understood when performing? Assessment: Were students able to transfer their verbalizations into written form following proper writing conventions? Were students able to establish a musical tune for their written dialogue? Differentiation/Extensions: Select a specific topic for students to write and sing about. You may also select a section or part from a book and use an already established dialogue between characters for students to sing. TEKS Elementary School English Language Arts K b.1.A, b.1.C, b.1.E, b.2.A, b.13, b.14, b.16, b.17, b.22 1st b.1.A, b.1.D, b.1.E, b.5, b.17, b.18.A, b.21, b.22, b.28 2nd b.4, b.8, b.17, b.18.A, b.21, b.22, b.23.B, b.28.A, b.29 3rd b.3, b.7, b.8.C, b.13.C, b.17, b.19, b.22, b.23, b.24.B, b.29.A, b.30 4th b.1, b.5, b.6.C, b.17, b.21, b.22, b.27.A, b.28 5th b.1, b.5, b.16.A.iii, b.21, b.22.A, b.27.A, b.28

19 Lesson Title: Character Analysis Grade levels: Elementary School, Middle School Subject: Language Arts Integrated Subjects: Fine Arts Objective: Students will be able to analyze a character in a story and use that analysis to draw conclusions about the story and think more critically about the plot. Lesson: After your students have seen the performance, have each of them select a character to write about. Select from below (based on grade level) what aspects of the character you want your students to examine. 1. Character appearance Hair color, height, clothing, etc 2. Voice and Words low, high, regular phrases spoken, unusual sounds 3. Physical Actions physical movements such as style of walking or physical quirks 4. Choices decisions made by the character and the consequences, were there unexpected choices 5. Relationship to others in the story how the character connected to others and how he/she know them, did relationships change based on choices made 6. Personal History past experiences, origin, is where the character at now a result of things in the past 7. Emotions What feelings the character experienced through the story, what caused the feelings to change as the story progressed You may ask students to carry out this analysis using a graphic organizer of your choice or have them simply address the seven items above and then write their analysis using writing strategies taught in class. Compare writings to see if students came up with similar or different observations on the same characters. Assessment: Did students make correct and accurate observations and judgments about the characters? Where they able to make logical inferences about characters? Assess proper writing and grammar conventions. Differentiation/Extensions: Have students write a story or rewrite the literature studied from the perspective of one of the characters TEKS Elementary School English Language Arts K b.4.B, b.6, b.8.B, b.13.D, b.16.A, b.16.C, b.17, b.18, b.20 1st b.9.B, b.11, b.14.B, b.19.C, b.20, b.21, b.22 2nd b.8, b.9.B, b.11, b.14.C, b.21, b.22, b.23 3rd b.2.B, b.7, b.8.B, b.10, b.22, b.23, b.24 4th b.3.B, b.6.B, b.8, b, b.20, b.21, b.22 5th b.5, b.6.B, b.8, b.20, b.21, b.22 Middle School English Language Arts 6th b.5, b.8, b.19, b.20, b.21 7th b.5, b.8, b.19, b.20, b.21 8th b.5, b.6.B, b.8, b.19, b.20, b.21

20 Lesson Title: Your Type of Archetype Grades: Elementary School, Middle School Subject: Language Arts Integrated subjects: Theater Objective: Students will become familiar with common characters used in the theater and learn how to make logical connections between varying characters through writing and dialogue. Needed Materials: writing materials Lesson: Operas are full of fascinating characters. Opera characters are typically based on various archetypes. An archetype is a style of character or person that is a model for all others. Below is a list of archetypes: Princess Cowboy Hippie Drama Queen Superhero Nagging Mother Wise Old Man Business Tycoon Fool Trickster Child Athlete Nerd Spoiled Teenager Witch Innocent Maiden Airhead Villain Rebel Politician Lesson: Have students brainstorm archetypes. Use bubble maps or circle maps to write descriptions and characteristics of the various archetypes so students have a better understanding of them. After students have an understanding of what an archetype is and the many that exist, compile a list and then write all the archetypes on a piece of paper and cut them out into strips. Place all the strips into a can or jar and have students draw out two. Have them compose a story using the two archetypes they pull out of the can. Have them use a story map to determine the setting, character details, the plot and resolution. Follow the steps of the writing process as the write, edit, and revise. Lesson: After students watch the opera, ask them what archetypes they saw in the performance. What did the performer do to convey the characteristics of that archetype? Assessment: Were students able to accurately depict characteristics associated with different archetypes? Did they use appropriate descriptive terms to write, discuss, and interpret similarities and differences between characters? Did students apply proper writing and grammar conventions to their written products? Differentiations and Extensions: Have students play charades with the list of archetypes. Have students write a story where a character starts off as portraying a particular archetype and then changes to another archetype by the end of the story. TEKS Elementary School English Language Arts K b.8.B, b.13, b.14.A, b.16, b.17 1st b.9.B, b.17, b.18.A, b.20, b.21, b.22 2nd b.9.B, b b.17, b.18, b.21, b.22, b.23 3rd b.8.B, b.17, b.18, b.22, b.23, b.24 4th b.3.B, b.6.B, b.15, b.16.A, b.20, b.21, b.22 5th b.6.B, b.15.A, b.16, b.20, b.21, b.22 Middle School English Language Arts 6th b.14, b.15.A, b.19, b.20, b.21 7th b.14, b.15.A, b.19, b.20, 110, 19.b.21

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