Opera Teacher Resources
Find Opera educational ideas and activities
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Introduce your young learners to opera by dressing up as Mozart and recounting some of the fascinating details of his life and music. After exploring the Metropolitan Opera's site for kids, the class listens to a reading of Kyra Teis's The Magic Flute, selections from Mozart's Magical Fantasy, and watch portions of the opera The Magic Flute on DVD. Finally, groups script, costume, and dramatize the Papageno/Papagena scene from Mozart's opera.
Young scholars explore the ways in which the worlds of popular music and opera can work together to complement the other. They work in small groups to analyze plot, characters, setting and themes of a popular opera using a summary of that opera as a guide.
This may be a lot to ask of a high schooler, but then again, who knows? Pupils work in groups to explore, write, and then perform an original opera. They view versions of The Magic Flute and La Traviata, then compose a plot, characters, script, and music which will become their original opera. Now this is what I call creative problem solving!
Sixth graders examine the basic elements of an opera in a three part lesson. Part one includes listening to opera excerpts and analyzing the excerpts in writing; part 2 includes recognizing the elements of a quatrain, identifying and creating rhyme schemes, and writing their own quatrains based on Greek or Roman myths. The unit is culminated in part three where students compose and perform an opera based on a Greek or Roman literary source.
Students listen to and watch the opera, Don Pasquale, by Donizetti. They discuss the importance of sets and costumes in an opera and then, with a partner, design a period costume for each of the main characters in the opera.
Fifth graders are introduced to opera, its vocabulary, definitions and are given an opportunity to listen to an opera sung by children. They identify phrases and events in the story, "The Emperor's New Clothes." Each student creates a movement to go along with a phrase or event from the story.
Sixth graders research musical styles and forms throughout history. In this musical styles and forms lesson, 6th graders research the history of music by examining the similarities and differences in the form of opera and American musical theatre. Students then create their own opera or musical theatre production for their class.
Students read many pages about The Opera by Charles Garnier. In this opera lesson plan, students read 8 pages on the background, artwork, music, dancing, and technicalities of this opera.
Seventh graders, with this opera exchange, increase their knowledge of the opera process. They use opera as a vehicle to better comprehend the relationship music has with all arts and other disciplines across the curriculum.
In this The Phantom of the Opera activity and progress test worksheet, students respond to a total of 23 short answer, true/false, multiple choice, matching, and fill in the blank questions pertaining to The Phantom of the Opera.
Students study Chinese opera by sketching pictures of Chinese opera characters and musical instruments. They watch the film A Night at the Peking Opera, noting the elaborate costuming, the sparse staging, and the highly developed use of mime. In addition, they listen to a brief segment of spoken dialogue and an aria from Peking opera, particularly noticing the tense, nasalized vocal quality.
Students listen to and examine a recording of the opera Don Pasquale and study the various musical instruments in an orchestra. They discuss the difference between a symphony orchestra and an opera orchestra. Finally they play the music of the opera using either their own instruments or those that are handmade using household objects.
In this history of opera worksheet, students explore and research what an opera is and then answer four questions regarding the history of opera in complete sentences.
Young scholars discuss the recent success of the "Phantom of the Opera". They practice using new vocabulary associated with the musical. In groups, they work together to match the word with its definition.
In this opera worksheet, 8th graders read about the history and evolution of opera as a type of theatre. They answer 4 questions based on the reading using complete sentences.
In this opera worksheet, 10th graders read a synopsis of the story of the opera, "Carmen." They answer 7 questions bases on their comprehension of the story.
Fifth graders explore similarities and differences in opera and American musical theater. They explore the characteristics of both genres and create original dramatic presentations of either opera or American musical theater to share with the entire class.
Students research the lyrical and dramatic structure of opera through Internet sources and audio examples, cooperatively discuss elements of opera stories vs. their own lives and create one-act opera based on their own life experiences.
For this Opera worksheet, students explore the history of opera and identify examples of a recitative. After reading a short conversation between two people, students create their own recitative. They write their own introduction to a recitative and set it to music. This one page worksheet contains two tasks.
In this opera learning exercise, students read the description of what opera is including the use of recitative, sing at conversation speed. They read a conversation and put it into recitative form. They write an introduction to a popular song using a recitative.