Term 1 Composer - Verdi

Giuseppe Verdi will be our Term 1 composer (a modification from the AO rotation of Weber) due to the opportunity to attend a performance of the opera La Traviata!  I am very excited for my kids to experience their first opera this year and I look forward to preparing them through our composer study this term!

Biography:


Classics for Kids has a great show introducing the composer along with some music!
I also found this wonderful old (and short) children's book on Archive.org!  Verdi: The Story of the Little Boy Who Loved the Hand Organ

Week 1-2- Aida

I will introduce opera to the kids through some fun picture books like Opera Cat  and Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera. We will listen to the Classics for Kids show on Verdi and spend time listening to the Triumphal March from Aida.  Our library also has a story book for the Aida opera storyline.



Week 3-4 - Aida

We will listen to the Classics for Kids show about Aida and hopefully watch the performance.  Since my kids are still on the younger side we may just play it in the background while doing other activities.


Week 5-6- La Traviata

Like Shakespeare, there are themes that are more mature that I will not expound on, yet I do want to expose my kids to the classics and great music!  A synopsis of the opera is here but I have not found any record of a picture book to accompany the storyline. We will listen to the overture linked below and talk about how overtures to operas are often famous instrumental works in classical music!
Zeke Pippin is a funny picture book about a pig who loves music and it references the overture of La Traviata on the harmonica!


Week 7-8 - La Traviata

The gypsy chorus is a fun musical selection to introduce to my kids and if using only a recording, have them identify all the sounds of the tambourines in the music!



Week 9-10 - String Quartet in E Minor

Verdi had time during his production of Aida to write this quartet while a vocalist was recovering from an illness. Here is a recording of the final movement - I like how you can hear the fugue elements of the instruments echoing each other!  "Scherzo" means "joke" and you can hear how the movement has a playful element.


Week 11-12 - Va Pensiero from the opera Nabucco

This piece was mentioned in the biography for Verdi at Classics for Kids that it has become known as an anthem for the people of Italy who wished to have their own king when they were under the Austrian rule.  The link below has English subtitles and you can read about the opera here.

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