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Opera for Grades 5 and 6

by Adele Lowen
- Discuss Opera
- acting out the songs, a play told by singing (a dramatic work in one or
more acts, set to music for singers and instrumentalists)
- along with an orchestra playing, people sing in categories: Soprano, Alto,
Tenor, Bass with men usually singing the lower pitches in tenor and
bass and ladies usually singing the upper pitches in alto and soprano
- Operas are performed at a theater sometimes called an Opera House
which has seats on the main floor and then several stories of balcony
seats all of which can see the stage. Behind the stage are rooms for
the actors and musicians.
- show images of opera houses eg. Sydney's Opera House in Australia, the
Edmonton Opera performs in the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
*click on links below
- The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber - do not watch or explain
the entire opera, but give a summary of the story:
- there is a Phantom (a man with a deformed face who wears a mask) who
lives in an Opera House
- there is a young lady, Christine, who is trying to work as a singer at the
Opera House
- the Phantom falls in love with Christine and helps her learn to sing
- watch YouTube videos for:
- The Phantom of the Opera *click on the link below
- highlights the soprano and tenor singing
- the Phantom is taking Christine into the basement of the Opera
- Think of Me *click on link below
- demonstrating soprano singing
- Christine is trying out for a leading role which blends into her being
given the role and she is performing before an audience
- the video shows the opera house with a full audience
- explain the stage area with the elaborate costumes, set design,

orchestra pit, stage hands, and the ropes that open and close
the curtain
- discuss that clapping at the end of a performance means "thank you
for trying your best" but when a performer receives a standing
ovation, that means "your performance was amazing, will you
please do some more".
- Show the students the website for the Edmonton Opera (look at the operas
currently being performed and the price of a ticket) and pictures of the Northern
Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. *click on the link below
- Discuss how it takes years of training to be able to be a professional opera
- Some people have a natural gift and can sing without the training.
- Talk about Jackie Evancho, an 8 year old girl who entered the America's Got
Talent TV show and amazed everyone
- watch the YouTube video of Jackie singing Think Of Me from The Phantom
of the Opera
*click on the link below
- watch the final show of America's Got Talent with Jackie singing Ave Maria
*click on the link below
- watch Bugs Rules for a fun opera performance *click on the link below
- compare the musical genre of Opera to the Pop genre:
Wikipedia defines the elements of Opera as:
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work
combining text (libretto)and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. In
traditional opera, singers do two types of singing: recitative, a speech-inflected
style and arias, a more melodic style. Opera incorporates many of the elements of
spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes

Wikipedia defines the elements of Pop as:

Pop music (a term that derives from "popular") is a genre of popular music that
originated in its modern form in the Western world during the 1950s and 1960s,
deriving from rock and roll. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often
used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular
(and can include any style).
Pop music is eclectic, and often borrows elements from other styles such as
urban, dance, rock, Latin, and country; nonetheless, there are core elements that
define pop music. Identifying factors include generally short to medium-length
songs written in a basic format (often the verse-chorus structure) as well as the
common employment of repeated choruses, melodic tunes, and hooks.

- discuss Michael Jackson and how he started making music videos that
included acting out a story
- Thriller was to be like an old fashioned mini-movie that is played in
theatres before the main feature
- watch YouTube video - Thriller (preview it to make sure
it is appropriate for your class to watch)
*click on link below

Curricular Concepts:
Melody: 1, 2, 3
Listening: 5, 8, 25
Expression: 18