The Metropolitan Opera Guild

Opera Boot Camp 
After a successful fall Virtual Boot Camp, the Guild’s popular series will be returning online for the winter as live webinars on our online-learning platform, Thinkific. Opera Boot Camp is structured in four sessions, presented live and spread over two consecutive Saturdays. Registered participants will receive access to revisit each webinar for 72 hours after the live presentation.
Opera Boot Camp: Fairy Tales, Folklore, Magic, and Enchantment   
SATURDAY FEB 20 11AM–12:30PM and 1:30–3PM
SATURDAY FEB 27 11AM–12:30PM and 1:30–3PM
Dr. Naomi Barrettara 
The operatic repertoire is full of works based on fairy tales and supernatural narratives, and audiences love seeing stories from their childhood or cultural folk tradition brought to life on stage. In their operas about fairy-tale creatures, gods and goddesses, ghosts and spirits, or mortals held under a magical spell, composers have given us some of the most imaginative and captivating music by crafting a musical language for enchantment. In this four-part series, lecturer and podcast host Dr. Naomi Barrettara embarks on a fun-filled analysis of operas drawn from fantasy and fairy tale sources, discussing musical, dramatic, and cultural topics that are sure to enhance the operatic exploration of aficionados and newcomers alike. 
Part 1: The Musical Language of Magic and Enchantment Across Opera History  
Since the beginning of opera as an art form, composers have been inventing, imagining, and interpreting the musical expression of the supernatural on the opera stage. Whether the goal was to craft a sound world that was enchanting, mystical, evil, or macabre, composers have painted musical pictures of otherworldly characters and settings in a variety of different ways. This lecture will survey the musical language of magic and enchantment utilized in operas across history.
Part 2: Folklore and Fairy Tales   
Dvořák’s Rusalka has experienced a resurgence on the operatic stage over the past several decades, enchanting audiences with a story drawn from fairy-tale and folklore traditions. This lecture will highlight the imaginative musical and dramatic world created by Dvořák, examining the post-Wagnerian musical strategies used to bring the story to life and the rich cultural context of the opera’s creation and performance history. 
Part 3: Remixing Fairy Tales and Ancient Writings   
Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Die Frau ohne Schatten is an opera laden with a vast array of remixed source materials, from Goethe to the One Thousand and One Nights. This narrative tapestry is brought to life by one of the composer’s most colorful, inventive, haunting, and demanding scores. This lecture highlights the musical elements of Strauss’s opera alongside an examination of the source material, giving audiences an accessible and fascinating inside look at this complex masterpiece.  
Part 4: The Fusion of Fairy Tales and Otherworldly Realms   
Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte is a complex fusion of fairy tale and otherworldly realms with philosophical ideas and dramatic twists. The source material, symbolism, and creative genesis of this opera are all debated topics among scholars and critics, while the music remains a beloved part of the operatic canon. This lecture will focus on the musical elements, interpretive challenges, and dramatic source material of the work, providing an in-depth exploration of how the magical and mystical elements of the opera come to life on stage. 


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