Courses for Spring 2024

The Underrepresented in Opera

The Underrepresented in Opera

Offered by Manhattan School of Music


This class covers the history of opera from the earliest works to the present, considering operas written or performed by underrepresented creators. The content for this course includes works by underrepresented composers/librettists and/or stories about BIPOC, LGBTQ, and woman characters, which would typically be performed by such performers. The chosen repertoire blends canonical works with lesser-known repertoire. Topics include biography of the creators, experiences in the creative process, choice of stories, context of stories, treatment of characters in the stories, casting of the roles, reception history, etc. In some cases, we will take a critical view of representation and in other cases not. Readings will include underrepresented authors, and all performances will include a high percentage of underrepresented artists.

Course Tutor: Dr. James Massol

Course Introduction Video


By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Develop a critical view of opera historiography.
  • Be able to identify selections from operas of underrepresented composers by listening.
  • Be able to discuss and write about important works by underrepresented creators as well as problems with opera‚Äôs traditional historiography.