I'll also print out this LaBoheme Teacher'sGuide and Resource Book from the San Francisco Opera Guild.
All of the books I've read by Monica E. Lapenta of Babetta's World have just been so lovely. The operas have adult content, but are retold for children in a tasteful way. I plan to post a more detailed book review and an interview with Mrs. Lapenta soon!
For a little more background information, I may print out San Francisco Opera Guild's Teacher'sGuide for Madama Butterfly.
So, there you have it. These are my plans for our April Composer of the Month. It's a very relaxed thing at our house with lots of reading and listening. My goal is to get Mary to simply enjoy the music. I want her to develop an appetite for beautiful music that she can internalize and carry with her as she grows - music that she'll learn to appreciate in various ways in different stages of her life.
If this seems boring or crazy to you, I used to be in the same boat, friend. I don't remember being exposed to opera or classical music growing up; I just listened to whatever was on the radio. It's been hard for me to enjoy this kind of music, but I have learned how because I believe it's important. And how do I do it?
Repetition, repetition, repetition.
It's as easy as that (although it's much harder than it sounds, right. I've given up listening to talk radio in the car so my kids can get their opera and classical music in for the day. That was VERY hard, I must admit.). For me, to enjoy a piece of music, I usually have to become familiar with it. So, if you'd like to give this crazy Composer of the Month idea a try, just start playing the music. Start with the most well-known arias from the most well-known operas (if it's an opera composer, as is the case for Puccini), and play them over and over.
For Puccini, listen to Che Gelida Manina (video above) and Si. Mi Chiamano Mimi (both from La Boheme) and Un Bel Di Vedremo (video above), the love duet from Act 1, and the Humming Chorus (all from Madama Butterfly). And of course, no good study of Puccini would be complete without listening to O mio babbino caro, which you've probably already heard but may not have know it's Puccini. So, now go download those songs, make a Puccini play list, and start listening. You can do this! :)
So, now that you know what I'm planning to do next month, I'd love for you to join me! You still have a couple weeks left to get everything ready to go and download your music. What do you say?
Are you in?!
Oh, and by the way, I know opera isn't a flashy or attention-grabbing topic (although it totally used to be back in the day!), so thank you for taking the time to read this entire post. You are awesome, and I appreciate your time and friendship.