Musc 408

Opera Workshop

Term: Spring 2004

Instructor: Christopher Swanson

Coach/Accompanist: Celia Malfatti

Office: Wygal 226

Office Phone: (434) 395-2496

Office Hours: You may make an appointment to meet with me privately.  My schedule is posted outside my office door.


Class Meeting Time & Place:

Wednesday:    6:00-7:30pm

Friday:            2:00-3:30pm

            For locations, see page 3.


Course Catalogue Description: “Preparation and performance of scenes from operas, operettas, and musical theater, or complete works.  Emphasis is on musical preparation, movement, and diction.  Prerequiesite: Audition or consent of the instructor.  May be repeated for credit.  3 periods, 1 credit.


Textbook: There is no required text for this course.  You will be required to pay for assigned music, photocopies, and some coaching sessions, if necessary.


Course objectives: The topic of this course we be the interpretation and staging of the operatic literature – both in theory and in practice.  To this end, we will use several varying examples from the literature as dramatic and musical exercises.  There will be a performance of some or all of these excerpts at the end of the semester.


Course Content Outline: In each class we will do warm-ups, dramatic exercises, and rehearsals.  Class content will vary from day to day.


Course Requirements:

Š      You are required to attend every class unless otherwise instructed. 

Š      You are required to actively participate in each class period.

Š      You are required to complete and hand-in any assignments on-time. 

Assignments handed in after the due date will receive a grade of ‘F.’ 

Š      You are required to learn and memorize the music assigned to you, and to be prepared for exercises and rehearsals in every class period.








Grading Policy: At the end of each semester, you will receive a letter grade that will reflect upon your participation, achievement, ability, improvement, and final performance.


In class participation:             50%

Assignments:                          20%

Quizzes:                                  10%

Final Exam:                             20%


Once all factors are tallied, your grade will be based on a 100 point system:


A - 100-90      (A 100-93, A- 92-90)

B – 89-80        (B+ 89-88, B 86-83, B- 82-80)

C – 79-70        (same)

D – 69-60        (same)

F – 59-0


Attendance Policy:  You are expected to attend all classes.  Daily in-class assignments, quizzes, exercises, and rehearsals cannot be made up for unexcused absences and you will receive an F for such assignments.  Your grade will be lowered by one letter grade if you miss 10% of the scheduled classes.  If you miss a total (excused or unexcused) of 25% of the scheduled classes you will fail the course. 


“Students must assume full responsibility for any loss incurred because of absence, whether excused or unexcused…. Excused absences are those resulting from the student’s participation in a university sponsored activity, from recognizable emergencies, or from serious illness.”

                        (from the Faculty Manual: Policies and Procedures)


Honor Code Statement:

“We will not lie, cheat, steal, or plagiarize, nor will we tolerate those who do.”


“I, having a clear understanding of the basis and spirit of the Honor Code created and accepted by the students of Longwood, Farmville, Virginia, pledge myself to govern my life at Longwood according to its standards and to accept my responsibility for helping others to do so, and with sensitive regard for my institution, to live by the Honor Code at all times and to see that others do likewise.”