Theatro Municipal de São Paulo offers a free online introductory course to opera

Presented by musicologist Ligiana Costa, the course addresses the rise of opera to vocal classifications, with the participation of Lyrical Choir, immersing itself in elements of musical dramaturgy. There will be six classes, available once a week on YouTube at Municipal Theater.



How is the opera produced? Which it is the plot? What musical forms support this artistic genre? Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, linked to the Municipal Secretary of Culture, is recognized for its lyrical seasons of excellence. The largest opera in Brazil remains closed due to the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus, but remains active with its extensive digital programming.


Added to the digital offer of the theater starting this Wednesday, July 22, is the Introduction to Opera course with musicologist Ligiana Costa, specialized in baroque opera and presenter of Municipal Theater Podcast.


With a doctorate from the Universities of Tours (France) and Milan (Italy), he takes a free course to present the longest-running Western musical theater genre designed for all audiences. From regular listeners of this art to newcomers to the world of musical drama. Recorded by the presenter herself from home, the content will now be available online and free of charge, without the need to register. You should only access the YouTube of Theatro Municipal.


The course is divided into three modules and there will be a total of six classes, which will be offered on Wednesdays at 7pm. One a week. Each episode lasts up to 30 minutes. From the emergence of opera, through dramaturgy to voices. “Prepare your coffees and turn on the sound”, invites Ligiana Costa.


In the first two classes, a theoretical and historical content on the birth of this art. What was there before the opera? What were the aesthetic pursuits that culminated in this fully sung form of musical theater? How does opera, initially a diversion at court, become public and possible for a paying audience?


Ligiana dates back to the Italian Renaissance, between the 14th and 16th centuries. The era of a divided and family-run Italy and its courts or councils, and music is already in transit in a professional context. Rescue the figure of the chapel masters, responsible for ecclesiastical music and the chamber or court directors, who stayed with the music of events and celebrations, profane music in general.


For this, it is important to remember the three main events that contributed to the birth of the opera: Daphne and Eurydice in Florence; Orpheus Claudio Monteverdi’s in Mantua; and the appearance of paid opera in Venice.


In classes three and four, the subject is dramaturgy and musical forms. How do scripts work? How do the plots work? What are the musical forms that support opera musically? Ligiana Costa paints a picture to understand how opera is formed and how to evaluate opera production from a structural point of view.


And in the last two episodes of the course available on YouTube at the Municipal Theater, the presenter talks about the art of excellence and the technical precision that is lyrical singing. Here, she brings a brief history of the lyrical vocation and the various vocal classifications present in an opera, which in a simple and well-known way for the general public are divided into tenor, soprano, mezzo soprano, baritone, bass and alto. And for a better understanding of the styles, the Lyrical Choir enters the scene to interpret excerpts of arias recorded in the chapel by some of the members of the artistic body of the Municipal Theater that since 1939 has made up the house assemblies.


Agenda of content – Introduction to the Opera

07/22, lesson 1: The birth of the opera – part 1

07/29, lesson 2: The birth of the opera – part 2

08/05, lesson 3: Musical dramaturgy – part 1

08/12, lesson 4: Musical dramaturgy – part 2

08/26, lesson 5: Lyrical voices – part 1

09/02, lesson 6: Lyrical voices – part 2

Connect here


+ Municipal online

Although Theatro Municipal de São Paulo remains closed as determined by the city to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, the digital territory is the new stage. It has chamber performances, free courses, solo recordings in reduced versions for piano, full videos of shows and lives with theater professionals. All this with free and unrestricted access on the Municipal Theater pages on Instagram, Facebook or YouTube.


And the new episode of Podcast Theatro Municipal is now live. To talk about musical training, the presenter Ligiana Costa spoke with the Director Érica Hindrikson, coordinator of the Municipal School of Music, the mezzo-soprano Joyce Tripiciano, from the lyrical Choir and the musicians Renan Mendes (flute) and Ugo Kageyama (violin) from Municipal Symphony Orchestra.

Connect here