Welcome to Lyric's Teacher Resources!

This is your all-access pass to the world of opera and your insider’s guide to Lyric’s incredible performances. Scroll down to access the following resources to help you prepare your students for your trip to Lyric. 

It is our sincere hope you enjoy the performance, and we look forward to seeing you and your students at the Lyric Opera House!

Teacher Guide
Overview
Musical Highlights
Historical and Cultural Timeline
Composer and Librettist
Behind the Scenes


Overview

This GoogleSlides presentation covers essential information your students need to know about the opera. 

Musical Highlights

Sinfonia

Performed by the Orchestra
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Things to listen for

  • The Sinfonia (or overture) begins with only strings. They are playing a rising pattern of notes. These early moments hint at the rising tensions to come later in the opera

  • The strings are joined by the winds, or more accurately, the strings are interrupted by the winds around 40 seconds into the piece. This fortissimo entrance is Verdi’s way of keeping the audience at the edge of their seats even before the curtain rises.

“Ah fu giusto il mio sospetto”

Sung by Miller
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Wurm has come to Miller for permission to marry Luisa, and tells him that Carlo, Luisa’s beloved, is Rodolfo, Walter's son. After Wurm leaves, a shocked Miller comments on how his own suspicions have come true.

Things to listen for

  • The orchestra is fully accompanying Miller, even replicating his melody completely. This orchestration is evocative of Miller’s confidence and self-satisfaction for Rodolfo’s revelation.

  • There is one phrase that Miller repeats many times and with some variation. Why do you think Verdi chose to highlight that line in this aria?

 

“Foco d'ira è questo pianto”

Sung by Miller, Rodolfo, Luisa, Walter
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At the end of act one, Count Walter confronts his son. Miller defends his daughter and as a result, Walter orders the arrest of both father and daughter. In this excerpt, Rodolfo stands up against his father and threatens to reveal the Count’s dark past.

Things to listen for

  • This quartet has an interesting structure:

    • It begins with a musical conversation between Rodolfo and Walter (his father).

    • This is followed by Luisa and Miller singing together in prayer.

    • Throughout the prayer there are interruptions by Rodolfo and Walter, still fighting.

    • Luisa continues her prayer with long flowing phrases. At the same time, Walter and Rodolfo continue their argument, in unison, singing staccato. Similarly, Miller in staccato.

  • Why do you think the fighting/arguing and praying are in different styles? Why do you think the composer chose to separate the men and Luisa musically with the short staccatos under her lyrical melody?

Musical selections performed by Carlo Bergonzi; Fausto Cleva; Anna Moffo; Ezio Flagello; Cornell MacNeil; Giorgio Tozzi; Shirley Verrett

Courtesy of Sony Masterworks

By arrangement with SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

 

Historical and Cultural Timeline

Learn more about this opera and events in the world at the time it was written.

 

Composer and Librettist

Click to learn more about the opera's creators.

Giuseppe Verdi

Salvadore Cammarano 

Photos:Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera