Romeo and Juliet: The Play, the Opera, the Musical and the Ballet
Level 1 (CQFW Level 4), 10 Credits.
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This course will examine ways in which Shakespeare’s seminal play has been adapted to different musical-theatrical genres, including Gounod’s 1867 opera Roméo et Juliette, Prokofiev’s eponymous ballet (1935) and Bernstein’s famous musical adaptation of the play in West Side Story (1957). These works will also provide an insight into the historical, ideological and aesthetic context of late-nineteenth century French opera, Russian ballet of the early twentieth century, and American musicals of the 1950s.
The syllabus content will include:
- Introduction to Shakespeare’s play – main story, main characters, key scenes.
- Introduction to the historical, ideological and aesthetic context of late nineteenth-century French opera, Russian ballet of the early twentieth century, and American musicals of the 1950s.
- An investigation of the main musical features of each case study work – Gounod’s 1867 opera Roméo et Juliette, Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet (1935), and Bernstein’s musical West Side Story (1957).
- An exploration of the social and historical – and in Prokofiev’s case, political – contexts of the composers and music studied.
Who is this course for?
Anyone who is interested in music and who would like to know more about Venetian art and culture across the Dalmatian coast.
Learning and Teaching
This course is taught in 10, two-hour sessions, delivered on a weekly basis. Teaching and learning is centred on small group teaching techniques. Key information is provided orally and illustrated through the study of PowerPoint, audio and audio-visual music examples, as well as relevant historical documents, visual images, and, if appropriate, scores. One of the main aims of the module is to develop a general understanding of the topic, but also to encourage and stimulate further discussion and critical debate. Students are also expected to spend additional time in private reading and listening.
Coursework and Assessment
To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.
It goes without saying that students’ understanding of the music studied in a course is usually considerably enhanced if they read and write about it. You will not have a formal examination but you will be asked to produce some written work. This need not be an essay: it can take the form of a course journal, portfolio, presentation, performance, or a class test. Our assessments are flexible to suit the course and the student.
The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.
Huebner, Steven: The Operas of Charles Gounod (Clarendon Press, 1992)
Nice, David: Prokofiev: From Russia to the West, 1891-1935 (Yale University Press, 2003)Simeone, Nigel: Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story(Ashgate, 2009)
What else is on offer?
If this course interests you then you should be aware that the Centre for Lifelong Learning offers a number of varied and exciting music courses. Please see our Choices Catalogue for further details, or visit our website, http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn/ and click on ‘Music’.
Library and Computing Facilities
As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on
(029) 2087 0000.
Accessibility of Courses
Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.
A range of further information can be found on our web site www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn or in Choices. This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.