Celebrate the Opera this September! KQED will air four performances by the San Francisco Opera, beginning with Puccini's La Bohème on September 1 at 8pm. Visit our program page for more details and air dates.
19th Century opera composer Richard Wagner described opera as "Gesamtkunstwerk," or "total artwork," in which music is combined with theater and visual arts to produce a complete multi-sensory experience. But few people realize that even a great master like Wagner required assistance from stage directors, conductors, costume and set designers, choreographers, technicians, singers, musicians, dancers and actors to create his “Gesamtkunstwerk.” In short, artists and artisans from several different disciplines must effectively collaborate in order to create a great operatic work.
Studying opera, both contemporary and historical, Eastern and Western, will give your students a better understanding of how collaboration is integral to the creation of this rich form of performing arts. The SF Opera's YouTube channel provides countless options for media introductions to the organizations, including previews of Tosca and La Bohème, and interviews with opera staff including directors and the wig and make-up shop masters.
The San Francisco Opera offers resources for educators including professional development, curriculum guides, and DVDs for your classroom such as a video production of the student-friendly opera, The Magic Flute, which is a highly accessible performance for younger students. If you are a Bay Area educator, please contact the San Francisco Opera at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a free copy of the Magic Flute DVD.