Classical Works XSeries

What you will learn:
- Gain an appreciation and understanding for the typical characteristics of Italian opera, classical music, and performance art—including instruments used and types of singing.
- Understand the revolutionary relationships created between music, drama, and storytelling in opera.
- Build on your learning and explore how performances have changed over time.
- Compare the social and cultural influences of each work.
- Learn the technologies and innovations behind opera performances, choir, instruments, and stage structure.
- Follow the composition, legacy, and significance through time and the relevance today.

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First Nights - Beethoven's 9th Symphony and the 19th Century Orchestra (edX)

Learn about Beethoven’s monumental 9th Symphony and forms of orchestral music. Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony premiered in Vienna in 1824, and continues to be one of the most popular symphonies in the repertoire. The monumental symphony’s size and complexity stretches traditional instrumental forms to the breaking point, and [...]

First Nights - Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring: Modernism, Ballet, and Riots (edX)

Learn the fascinating history of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, one of the most challenging and rewarding ballets ever written. Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring premiered in Paris in 1913, sparking a riot and screaming so loud that the dancers could not hear the orchestra, and the [...]

First Nights: Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and Program Music in the 19th Century (edX)

Learn about Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, an iconic Romantic symphony that ushered in an era of narrative “program music.” Six years after the premiere of Beethoven’s monumental Ninth Symphony, composer Hector Berlioz sought to make use of the symphonic genre, but on his own terms. Indeed, he wrote not [...]

First Nights: Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and the Birth of Opera (edX)

Learn about Claudio Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, one of the first operas ever written. Claudio Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo premiered in Mantua in 1607, and continues to be regarded as one of the most important examples of early opera. With L’Orfeo, Monteverdi helped to establish the techniques and traditions that continue to inform [...]

First Nights: Handel’s Messiah and Baroque Oratorio (edX)

Discover Handel’s Messiah in this installment of First Nights, which will explore five masterpieces of western music. While Italian opera set the standard in the Baroque era, German composer George Frederic Handel quickly gained popularity for his oratorios, which put operatic techniques to work in the service of sacred [...]