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Opera for Educators – Language Magazine

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LA Opera has experts in languages, music, and history, ready to work with educators to integrate opera into classrooms. The program which runs from September through May takes place over seven Saturday sessions, when participants listen to gorgeous music and discuss the latest in arts scholarship with experts in the field over Zoom.

Classes do not include admission to mainstage opera productions, but LAUSD salary points and UCLA extension credits are available.

From April 6 through 27, LA Opera will present Giuseppe Verdi’s beloved romantic tragedy, La Traviata, starring acclaimed American soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen. The multilingual cast includes Armenian tenor Liparit Avetisyan will make his LA Opera debut as Violetta’s lover Alfredo and South Korean baritone Kihun Yoon, a former member of the company’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, who returns as Alfredo’s father Giorgio Germont.

“For 120 years, La Traviata has reigned as a supreme expression of the heightened emotions that can only be fully experienced in the opera house,” said Christopher Koelsch, LA Opera’s president and CEO. “This season’s gorgeous production, with James Conlon in the pit and Rachel Willis-Sørensen in the leading role, provides opera newcomers and seasoned aficionados alike with the perfect opportunity to see why Verdi’s masterpiece has held its place as one of the most beloved of all operas.”

La Traviata (“The Fallen Woman”) is based on the life of a real woman, Marie Duplessis (1824-1847), who rose from poverty to become one of 19th-century Paris’s most celebrated courtesans before dying at the age of 23 from tuberculosis. Writer Alexandre Dumas fils (one of her many lovers) based his romantic novel La Dame aux Camélias on their all-too-brief fling. He subsequently adapted it into a hugely successful play, upon which Verdi based his opera.

Marie’s tragically short life has also inspired filmmakers from the silent era to modern times. Notable screen adaptations of the story include the 1936 Greta Garbo classic Camille, the 1990 romantic comedy Pretty Woman, which made Julia Roberts a superstar, and the 2001 musical Moulin Rouge! with Nicole Kidman. The latter was adapted into a smash hit stage musical of the same name, opening on Broadway in 2019 and drawing capacity crowds to this day.

LA Opera has developed its own La Traviata Primary Lesson Plan (https://www.laopera.org/discover/connects/lesson-plans-and-resources/la-traviata-primary-lesson-plan/), in which students will learn about the spread of Tuberculosis in the 19th century, solve word problems involving distances and practice adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals to the hundredth.

Visit https://www.laopera.org/community/classroom-integration/ to see the range of educational programs offered by LA Opera.

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