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Each year, as a part of Opera San José’s commitment to adult education, we offer a six-evening course that covers opera through all its periods.  It’s an inexpensive, enjoyable way to learn more about this dynamic art form in the company of other interested adults.  This popular opera history series covers 400 years of opera development, from Jacopo Perri’s Euridice in 1600 to Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking of October 2000. The course will focus on those composers whose work directed the history of opera, including Monteverdi, Lully, Handel, Gluck, Mozart, Rossinni, Donizetti, Verdi, Wagner, Strauss, Berg, Floyd, and Heggie, among others.

General Director Larry Hancock, course instructor, will present this overview of opera history on six consecutive Tuesday evenings, April 30, May 7, 14, 21, 28 and June 4, 2019, at Opera San José headquarters, 2149 Paragon Drive in San Jose.

Each two-hour class begins at 7 p.m.  The course proceeds period-by-period, and includes the development and changes in the choice of opera subjects, the use of poetry and dialogue in the libretto, styles of musical composition, evolution of the opera orchestra, and changes in performance practice.

Hancock is a well-received lecturer on opera on both coasts.  In addition to our annual opera history course, he moderates the commentary at our Introduction to Opera series – a 45-minute discussion before each Opera San José main-stage performance throughout the season – as well as the Preview offered on the Tuesday before each opening night.  For his informative and entertaining opera history course, he enlivens each quick-paced session with visuals from other art forms, including fashion, architecture, painting, and sculpture, bringing a more complete knowledge of the society that influenced its composers.

Total cost of this series is $60 which includes all six classes, and can be purchased online.  There will be no tests, nor is there any college credit offered for this course.  Classes are informal, and participants’ questions are encouraged.  For more information call our box office at (408) 437-4450.