Love, Death, Intrigue: Opera in San Francisco

Alexandra Amati-Camperi

MUS 195 01
Core F


Course Description:

Opera is a singular genre, one involving all arts (literature, acting, music, costumes, ballet, stage design). We will follow its history and development, and will learn about its style and evolution through reading, listening, and "the real thing." We will pay particular attention to how staging and directing can dramatically affect the reception of each work by comparing different versions of a single opera, and by attending live performances at the San Francisco Opera House. We will also read about what people of the different eras thought of their contemporary opera, and will discuss issues of performance and staging from a historical point of view. By studying opera with an enthusiastic instructor and a small group of peers you will also learn the basics of college life and expectations. No previous knowledge of music is required; the only requirements are intellectual curiosity and propensity to enjoy learning something new.

Faculty Bio:

Alexandra Amati-Camperi, originally from Italy, where she earned a degree in Slavic Studies and Linguistics, received her M.A. (1991) and Ph.D. (1994) in Musicology from Harvard University. She has taught at Harvard, U.C. Davis, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She developed the Minor in Music at USF six years ago. Her dissertation was on Renaissance music in Italy, but she is now working in the field of Italian Opera. Her interests also include Baroque German music and piano music. She is active in the community through her service to several musical organizations and to her profession. She is a professional annotator and pre-concert lecturer for local organizations, including the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera. She enjoys singing, playing the piano, skiing , and her three children.