Since the late eighteenth century, the operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart have formed a core part of the opera repertory. This project will examine some of the composer’s mature operas, focusing in particular on Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni. In order to understand these works more fully, we will investigate the genres of opera buffa and Singspiel and will pay close attention to the theatrical environment in which Mozart worked. We will also examine in detail extracts from the operas, looking in particular at how Mozart constructed effective act finales. Taking into account the reception and production histories of the works, we will consider how the operas have survived and will investigate how they continue to serve as vehicles for creativity, commerce and controversy.
An essay of approximately 5000 words, on a topic of the student’s choosing, to be agreed in advance with the project tutor.
Listening and viewing:
Any of the Mozart operas, but particularly those mentioned in the ‘Aims and Content’ section. Ideally you will listen to a CD recording while following the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe edition of the score (the collected critical edition available in the library). You may also view any of the recordings of Mozart opera available on DVD in the library or on the Opera in Video database available via the Library’s electronic resources.
Reading (a full reading list will be made available at the start of the project):
By the end of the taught part of the module all students should:
First years: On completion of the module, in their independent work, students should demonstrate Learning Outcomes A1-A6
Second years: On completion of the module, in their independent work, students should demonstrate Learning Outcomes B1-B6
Third years: On completion of the module, in their independent work, students should demonstrate Learning Outcomes C1-C6