Opera Learning Resources

Looking to learn more about opera?  You have come to the right place!

Inside Austin Opera: David Lefkowich, Stage Director
Check out this backstage interview with stage director David Lefkowich, featuring students DeSyre Collier and Ethan Boone, Lehman H.S., Hays CISD

Descriptions of all of the musical components in an opera – overture, aria, recitative, ensemble, chorus, orchestral music.

A detailed definition of all the different voice types common in opera.

Opera America’s detailed voice type resource, which includes audio excerpts for each of the voice types described.

ACTIVITY: Careers in the Arts
This lesson encourages students to explore a wide range of careers in the arts.

A great ONLINE source for information about opera.

Opera101 – Opera History
A nice overview of opera history through the time periods.

AUSTIN, TX - APRIL 26, 2018 - La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi.
AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 10, 2015 - Austin Opera presents Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman." (Photo by Erich Schlegel for Austin Opera).
AUSTIN, TX - APRIL 27, 2017 -  Austin Opera presents  "Madame Butterfly." (Photo by Erich Schlegel for Austin Opera).


Designing and Making a Costume
Head of Costume Workshops, Mal Barton, talks through the process of designing and creating a costume for the Royal Opera House main stage.

The ART of Costume Design PowerPoint
This PowerPoint is full of great pictorial references to introduce students to CLOTHING TERMINOLOGY.

Meet three of Austin Opera’s Wardrobe staff who work behind the scenes to make the magic of costumes come alive for Austin Opera’s productions.

Inside Austin Opera: Kathy Lang, Wardrobe Supervisor
Spend a few minutes with Kathy in the Wardrobe Room prior to the start of a final rehearsal of Austin Opera’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos.

Inside Austin Opera: Trinka Withers, Head Dresser
Put on your comfy shoes and get ready to follow Trinka as she shows us some of her favorite spots in the theatre.

Inside Austin Opera: Joe Adams, Assistant Wardrobe Supervisor
Join Joe at the Austin Opera Warehouse as he takes us through the steps of a costume fitting.  This video also features Abigail Jackson, from the Austin Opera Chorus.

UNIT LESSON PLANS – Costume Design
Three lessons that bring the videos and PowerPoint above together and provide ideas for engaging students in the costume process.  Technical Theatre TEKs correlated.

Making of Opera: Nabucco – Costume Design
Go behind the scenes with Costume Designer Mattie Ullrich and the Washington National Opera and discover what it takes to bring an opera to life.

Backstage at the Met Opera’s Costume Shop
Elissa Iberti, head of the Metropolitan Opera’s Costume shop, knows that every piece of lace trim, button and sash are important.  She oversees the production of 100s of costumes for multiple productions each season.  No detail is too small for the costumes adorning some of the world’s biggest opera stars.

AUSTIN, TX - JANUARY 26, 2018 - Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss. Austin Opera
AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 9, 2017 - Carmen by Georges Bizet. Austin Opera

Austin Opera is thrilled to partner with the Girl Scouts of Central Texas to encourage girls to discover, to connect with and to celebrate opera!

More details and curriculum coming soon!!

What is Opera, Anyway?
This PowerPoint accompanies the lesson What is Opera, Anyway?  It is a compilation of illustrations from the book Brava! Brava! A Night at the Opera.  It is a great way to introduce the many different people and skills required to put on an opera.  Includes a lot of vocabulary associated with opera as well.  A simple script for the PPoint is provided (Go to VIEW – Outline View in the PPoint to see notes on each slide).

There are some great resources for introducing the opera Carmen to your students here


Inside Austin Opera
Includes “Behind the Scenes” videos of interviews with an opera stage director and Austin Opera’s Wardrobe Staff.  Along with the wardrobe videos are additional materials for learning more about Costumes and Wardrobe, including a PowerPoint and lesson plans to guide students in creating an original costume in the artistic medium or their choice.

Getting to Know Opera
Includes links to information about the components in an opera (ex. Overture, aria, etc.), the different voice types, as well as a nice overview of opera history.  Don’t forget to check out the Careers in the Arts activity – it has a comprehensive list of careers and skills associated with opera.


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