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Graduate Voice, Choral and Opera

 

MU502 and MU602, Major Ensemble: Vocal. 

The Boston Conservatory Chorale and the Women’s Chorus each perform two to three concerts every year, featuring premieres of new works, rarely-performed works (such as the Leonard Bernstein Mass) and large works of the standard repertory with orchestra. Recent performances include the Haydn Lord Nelson; the Mozart Requiem; Britten’s Cantata Misericordium; the Fauré Requiem; and the Vivaldi Gloria. Both ensembles perform annually with The Boston Conservatory Orchestra, as well as with outside orchestras or in special performances with one of the Boston Conservatory's other large ensembles. Graduate Voice Performance students may use Major Ensemble: Vocal to fulfill large ensemble credit requirements. Placement into each ensemble is by audition only.

3 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU507, Performance Seminar: Vocal 1 and 2. 

Introduction to the basic principles of live performance in concert and opera with an introduction to basic audition techniques and fundamental staging for arias and short scenes. Studies in concentration, focus, text projection, and the preparation of songs, arias, and short operatic scenes. Students are encouraged to pursue performance opportunities and course instructors may, at their discretion, assign external performance work in the community to individual students as needed to reinforce the course curriculum.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU533, Song Repertoire: Italian. 

A survey of the Italian Song Repertoire through lecture, discussion, and performance with a concentration on salient composers in the Italian language.

Offered fall semester only.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU534, Song Repertoire: German. 

A survey of the German Song Repertoire through lecture, discussion, and performance with a concentration on the important poets and composers in the German language. Offered spring semester only.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU535, Diction: Italian. 

Development of proper Italian enunciation for singing, an intensified application of the International Phonetic Alphabet, and a more sophisticated understanding of the Italian language through the study and performance of the repertoire. Offered fall semester only.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU536, Diction: German.

Development of proper German enunciation for singing, an intensified application of the International Phonetic Alphabet and a more sophisticated understanding of the German language through the study and performance of the repertoire. Offered spring semester only.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU537 and MU538, Performance Seminar: Vocal (Linklater/Body Work). 

In-depth practice of the body, voice, and text work defined by theater visionary and practitioner Kristen Linklater in her book Freeing the Natural Voice. 

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU539, Topics in Vocal Performance. 

Special courses on topics related to vocal performance are offered in rotation. Previous courses have included Recitative Class, Early Music Repertoire, and Song Analysis through Text.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU541 and MU542, Opera Studio 1 and 2.

Techniques of characterization, dramatic analysis, and ensemble and solo singing in all major operatic languages. Performance of scenes, staged arias, and children’s operas. Opera chorus in major productions, as appropriate. Open to students enrolled in the MM Opera degree program. Others may participate in the work of Opera Studio by audition through enrollment in MU547 and MU548, Opera Studio for Vocal Performance Majors.

6-10 hours weekly; 3 credits

MU543, Characterization. 

Exploration of the development of character within an operatic role: how to research a period, understand a character, and create your own performance of that role, both on the stage and in the audition room. Offered fall semester only.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU544, Aria Class. 

A performing and coaching class to which singers bring arias for performance as well as coaching on diction, style, character, and vocal presentation. 

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU547 and MU548, Opera Studio for Vocal Performance Majors. 

Participation in the work of Opera Studio, available by audition only to vocal performance majors. Techniques of characterization, dramatic analysis, and ensemble and solo singing in all major operatic languages. Performances of scenes, staged arias, and children’s operas. May be repeated to a total of 6 credits.

6 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU555, Choral Repertoire I: Antiquity to 1600. 

This course serves as both repertoire survey and discussion of performance practice topics from antiquity through the high Renaissance. Performance practice discussions will include notation, music ficta, editions, and vocal considerations. Genres discussed include chant, motet, psalm-setting, anthem, and mass. Offered in alternate years, in fall only. Required of choral conducting majors.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU556, Choral Repertoire II: 1600 through the Baroque. 

This course serves as both repertoire survey and discussion of performance practice topics through the Baroque period. Cantata, motet, mass, and oratorio will be addressed as will Bach and Händle with specific emphasis. Editorial concerns and useful performance editions will be a significant topic in this semester.Offered in alternate years, in spring only. Required of choral conducting majors.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU568, Vocal/Piano Duos. 

Introduction to the art of piano/vocal collaboration. The basic skills of ensemble, balance, and interpretation are discussed in a performance-based context featuring artsong of various periods and languages. Required of piano majors.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU590, History of Vocal Pedagogy. 

In depth study of past and present theories of breathing, registration, phonation, resonance and instruction practices.  Topics include; comparative analysis, objective reviewing pre/post development of technology, and study of vocal practices throughout history.  Course covers both Musical Theater, and Classical Pedagogies.

2 hours weekly; 2 credits

MU591, Structure and Function of the Singing Mechanism. 

In depth study of the anatomy in relation to breath, phonation, resonance, and articulators. This course would include visits to MGH for clinical observations to enhance the anatomical understanding. An introduction to vocal health, voice disorders, pathologies, and critical listening. Actual class meeting time is two hours per week with an additional 2 hours per week meeting as assigned.

4 hours weekly; 2 credits

MU595, Advanced Vocal Pedagogy. 

The study of principles and practices of music teaching focused on the teaching of singing. The discussion of methods and materials is followed by guided laboratory work with both class and private students. Designed as a year-long course, this class is intended for students with no previous pedagogy training. Course instructors may, at their discretion, assign external teaching work in the community to individual students as needed to reinforce the course curriculum/course objectives.

1 hour weekly; 1 credit

MU607, Opera Workshop. 

Designed to be a continuation of the first-year Vocal Performance Seminar for second-year graduate Vocal Performance majors. Focus on preparing for the operatic stage; topics covered include acting, improvisation, characterization within arias, staging notation, and audition technique.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU633, Song Repertoire: French. 

A survey of the French Song Repertoire through lecture, discussion, and performance with a concentration on the important poets and composers in the French language. Offered fall semester only.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU634, Song Repertoire: English and American. 

A survey of the English and American Song Repertoire through lecture, discussion, and performance with a concentration on the salient poets and composers of England and America. Offered spring semester only.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU635, Diction: French. 

Development of proper French enunciation for singing, an intensified application of the International Phonetic Alphabet, and a more sophisticated understanding of the French language through the study and performance of the repertoire. Offered fall semester only.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU636, Diction: English and American. 

Development of proper enunciation for singing in English, through the study of the language and the repertoire, a more intensified application of the International Phonetic Alphabet, and training in the correction of regional speech. Offered spring semester only.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU637, Oratorio Repertoire. 

A survey of the history, performance practice, and repertoire of oratorio studied through lecture, performance, and coaching of arias and ensembles from selected oratorios from throughout the history of the genre. Offered spring semester only.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU638, Vocal Coaching. 

Individual instruction in the interpretation, phrasing, diction, and style in all genres of the vocal repertoire. In collaboration with the applied teacher, the vocal coach will assist in the choice and preparation of repertoire to be presented in required recitals. Vocal Performance majors enroll in this course as part of recital preparation in the final year. This course may be repeated for a maximum of 2 credits before incurring additional fees.

1/2 Hour coaching weekly; 1 credit

MU641 and MU642, Opera Studio 3 and 4. 

Advanced work in characterization, dramatic analysis, and ensemble singing in all major operatic languages. Performance of scenes, staged arias, and children’s operas. Opera chorus and/or roles in major productions. Open to students in the M.M. Opera degree. Others may participate in the work of opera studio by audition through enrollment in MU547 and 548, Opera Studio for Vocal Performance Majors.

6-10 hours weekly; 3 credits

MU646, The Drama of the Score. 

An introduction to the musical language of opera. Exploration of the musical and physical drama inherent in the orchestral score. Analysis of the operatic score as a

tool for making dramatic and physical choices in the performance of arias from all historical periods and styles. Offered spring semester only.

2 hours weekly;1 credit

MU655, Choral Repertoire III: 1750-1910. 

This course serves as both repertoire survey and discussion of performance practice topics during both the Classical and Romantic periods. The major works of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and others will be addressed in this semester. Of particular emphasis will be choral-orchestral repertoire.Offered in alternate years, in fall only. Required of choral conducting majors.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU656, Choral Repertoire IV: 1910 to the Present. 

This course serves as both repertoire survey and discussion of performance practice topics from the 20th century to present. Topics will include activities in various geographical regions and will address the Second Viennese School, England’s return to the choral scene, American music, Minimalism, etc. New attention will be paid to previously unconsidered regions of the world: Northern Europe, Southeast Asia, Latin America, etc. Offered in alternate years, in spring only. Required of choral conducting majors.

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

MU657, Repertoire for the Teaching Studio. 

Introduction to classical and musical theater repertoire as an instructional tool for the applied voice studio. Students will learn repertoire and learn to objectively study new repertoire to enhance the technical teaching process. Students must attend 5 studio voice recitals each semester outside of their own studio.

2 hours weekly; 2 credits

MU695, Voice Instruction Practicum. 

Students will teach 2 students of opposite gender for 10 weeks. Class time will be spent discussing practicum experiences, specific technical issues/developments, and development of the voice studio with instructor(s) feedback. 

1 hour weekly; 1 credit

MU696, Comparative Pedagogy. 

Students will observe voice instruction in the applied studio.  Students will also demonstrate teaching skills in front of the classroom for feedback from students and instructor(s). Students will either work with new students or continue with students from previous semester. Actual class meeting time is one hour per week with an additional 1 hour per week meeting as assigned.

1 hour weekly; 1 credit

TH515 and TH516, Acting for Singers 1 and 2. 

Basic principles of truthful acting. The course moves from foundation exercises to experience with monologues and scene work. Required of undergraduate Vocal Performance majors and graduate Opera majors.

4 hours weekly; 1.5 credits 

DA673 and DA674, Movement for Singers 1 and 2. 

Designed to give the singing performer greater knowledge of and ability with their physical instrument. Introduction to basic dance steps, period movement, styles and dances often required in operatic productions, some basic ballet. Movement exercises from various well known techniques in expressive body work (i.e. Chekhov, Bogart, Wesley Balk, Grotowski) as well as stage combat and some relaxation and massage techniques. 

2 hours weekly; 1 credit

 

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