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335 - SEX, DEATH, AND DAMNATION: INTRODUCTION TO ITALIAN OPERA

Course Description:

After an introduction to Western music from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, the course will present six masterpieces of Italian opera in the three centuries from Monteverdi to Puccini, using CDs and DVDs. Assignments include two short papers (3-5 pp.), a midterm, and a final exam.

Instructor’s goals:

The purpose of this course is to teach students about opera as one of the mainstays of Italian culture. Students will learn about the particular musical forms and literary themes that characterize Italian opera. Special emphasis will be given to opera’s social and financial context and to its diffusion throughout Europe and eventually the entire world.

Learning Outcome Goals:

By the end of the course students will be able to analyze formal and literary elements of texts and music and to engage critically with the issues and the theoretical concepts tackled in the course in relation to their historical, social, and cultural background.

Italian Department Goals: Cultural Proficiency. Goal II

A Reader will be made available by the instructor and posted on SAKAI.
Opera videos available at RU Libraries, Databases, under Alexander Street Press

Course Requirements and Grade Distribution:

The abilities defined in the learning goals will be assessed through oral and written activities.
Active class participation (10%); Students are expected to actively participate in class discussions.
Two 4-page papers (25%); Students are required to analyse a literary or visual text, discussing at least two sources linked to their topic. They are expected to demonstrate the ability to address and communicate complex ideas in standard written English.
Midterm exam (25%); The exam comprises two essay questions on the topics discussed in the first part of the course. It assesses each student’s ability to engage critically with the issues tackled in the course in relation to their historical, social, and cultural background as well as with the theoretical concepts expounded in the course.
Final exam (40%); The exam comprises two essay questions on the topics discussed after the Midterm. It assesses each student’s progress in the ability to engage critically with the issues tackled in the course in relation to their historical, social, and cultural background as well as with the theoretical concepts expounded in the course. Link to the schedule of final exams: http://finalexams.rutgers.edu/

Attendance, Participation, and Disabilities Policies.
Students are expected to attend all classes; if you expect to miss one or two classes, please use the University absence reporting website https://sims.rutgers.edu/ssra/ to indicate the date and reason for your absence. An email is automatically sent to me. No more than three absences are allowed; use them wisely, for health and other serious issues. Having more than three absences, arriving to class late, and engaging in behaviour that is distracting to the rest of the class are grounds for a significantly lower mark in class participation.
Please note: no late assignments and make-up exams.
In case students with disabilities should require any special type of assistance and would like to request accommodations, they must follow the procedures outlined at:
http://disabilityservices.rutgers.edu/request.html

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
In order to avoid plagiarism (the representation of the words or ideas of others as one’s own), every quotation must be identified by quotation marks or appropriate indentation and must be properly cited in the text or in a footnote. Always acknowledge your sources clearly and completely when you paraphrase or summarize material from another source (in print, electronic, or other medium) on whole or in part. If you are in doubt, please consult the policy on plagiarism and academic integrity at Rutgers and do not hesitate to ask for clarifications, if needed. Please check: http://academicintegrity.rutgers.edu/integrity.shtml


Online Resources

Rutgers Library Homepage : Find: Databases & Indexes: Alexander Street Press : Connect :

Music/Perf Arts : Music Online : Opera in Video


Libretto website: www.librettidopera.it

Contact Us

Department of Italian
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
15 Seminary Place, #5105
New Brunswick, NJ 08901


Voice (848) 932-7031
Fax (732) 932-1686

Sheri La Macchia, Administrator

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