Jan 19, 2014

Opera For Everyone - Free Downloads!

"No good opera plot can be sensible,
for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible."

W H Auden (the translator of Don Giovanni)

We are big opera fans. Admittedly, we don't know much about it, but we're slowly learning together (and isn't that best part - learning together).

Here's Mary (and baby Norina) at her first opera, Don Pasquale, when she was 2.

At the end of the month, Ars Nova will be putting on Carmen at the Von Braun Center (local folks can click here for more information).

“I consider it a masterpiece in the fullest sense of the 
word: one of those rare compositions which seems to 
reflect most strongly in itself the musical tendencies of 
a whole generation.”

Tchaikovsky on Carmen

We've got our tickets and are very excited! As show prep, we're learning about the composer and the story of Carmen. During my research, I ran across an absolutely fantastic resource:

Opera For Everyone!

Imagine having someone narrate an opera in everyday language and explain what the songs are about as you're listening to them. This is it, people! These are free downloads of CDs, and they are all just incredible! And there's even a teaching manual to go along with each opera! Here's what's available:

The Barber of Seville
La Traviata (and if you've seen Moulin Rouge, you've seen La Traviata)
Madama Butterfly

I'm telling you, friend, if you're looking to learn more about opera, or one of these operas in general, this is a great place to start!

Another good jumping off point to studying opera with children is a wonderful new book, Mariella Mouse in the Opera House by Dottie Withrow.

This is a fun storybook about Mariella and Mozart, mice who end up in an opera house. It's very educational, but not in a textbook way at all. Mary and I both love this book!

Opera Extras!

Looking for a brief history of opera? Click here.

Want to read 52 interesting facts about opera (these are neat!)? Click here.

Click here for a great printable study guide of Carmen.

Click here for a Classics For Kids podcast about opera (we download these podcasts and put them on our music player to listen to in the car)

And please click here to read an earlier post I did with many more book recommendations.

I hope these links will be helpful to you, and I'd love to hear how you like the free Opera For Everyone CDs! 

Happy listening and learning, friends!

This post is linked up with Sola Gratia Mom's Wonderful Wednesdays; go check it out!


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  1. Goodie Goodie! This is so fantastic, Melody! Thank you for sharing!

    1. You are so welcome, Brandy! Aren't they awesome!!

    2. Hi.I am thrilled you are sharing your love of opera. I wanted to download the free OPERA FOR EVERYONE but I wasn't successful. I think the site might be down. what to do??? thanks for your help

  2. Could I love this more? My parents sang opera (amateur) and I grew up visiting NY to see opera and going to more operas than I can count (in Italian, German, and the very occasional English). What a blessing you are giving your daughter. We do hymn study and composer study, but I had never thought of opera study. My second-born will LOVE this! Thank you, Thank you!


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