Wolfgang Amadè Mozart was a master of both the Italian operatic style and of German opera, or singspiel. A singspiel, performed in German and interspersed with spoken dialogue rather than sung recitatives, was intended for lower and middle class audiences and predominantly featured comic plots. This seminar will focus on The Abduction from the Seraglio (1782), with its scandalous Turkish harem, and The Magic Flute (1791), a fairy tale allegory of good and evil. These operas reflect some of the political and social issues of the time, including the Viennese obsession with things Turkish and the rise of the Masonic movement among Vienna’s artistic community. Mozart’s early efforts at singspiel also will be looked at, including his first, Bastien and Bastienne, written when he was just eleven years old.
Mozart's German Operas (In-Person)
Group Leader: BRAD CONNER & BEN SEARS
Venue: The Engineering Center
Meets on: Tuesdays 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Class Size: 24
Teaching Style: Lecture and discussion
Weekly Preparation: None
Group Leader Biography:
Bradford Conner and Benjamin Sears have been performing together since 1989 and lecture regularly on the music they perform. Conner and Sears are leading scholars of Irving Berlin, with six recordings of his songs and print publications. Also opera and history lovers, both have taught at Beacon Hill Seminars and are recipients of the Jack Curtin Award. Sears, a graduate of Ithaca College and editor of The Irving Berlin Reader, wrote a chapter in Adapting the Wizard of Oz: Musical Versions from Baum to MGM and Beyond, and is in the early stages of developing The Fred Astaire Reader. Conner is a graduate of West Virginia University, having also studied at the University of Salzburg (Austria) and the American College of Salzburg. A renaissance individual with degrees in business, musicology, and foreign language, he has lectured and written on his interests in music and world history.