Ciao, Opera Mavens and Happy Spring! Here are the educational opera-tunities gathered for you this month:

More Tales from the Pit – What would Tristan und Isolde be without the haunting English horn solo? WSNC’s April guest, Janet Popesco Archibald, holds the solo English horn position in the SF Opera orchestra and this talk with her promises some music making so expect an exciting afternoon!  Free for members, $10 fee for nonmembers.
Sat Apr 1 at 1pm JCC-SF 3200 California St., SF

Preview: La Boheme (Puccini) – A free one-hour presentation moderated by General Director Larry Hancock including lecture and performances by OSJ artists.
Tues Apr 4 at 12noon Beethoven Ctr, Dr. MLK Jr. Library, 150 E. San Fernando St., SJ


Increase your understanding of opera and your enjoyment of the upcoming Opera San Jose performances of La Boheme by attending one of Bradford Wade’s free 90-minute preview talks.
Tues Apr 4 at 7:30pm Pat Miller’s Music School, 14107 Winchester Blvd., Los Gatos
Mon Apr 10 at 7:00pm Italian-American Heritage Foundation, 425 N. 4th St., SJ
Wed Apr 12 at 7:30pm Sheppard Mullin law firm, 379 Lytton Ave., Palo Alto
If you would like to attend the Los Gatos talk, and perhaps have dinner beforehand with the speaker, please RSVP by email to If you would like to have dinner with the speaker before the Palo Alto talk, please RSVP with Brad at No reservations are needed for just the lecture in Palo Alto or San Jose.

All Together Now – Sing with the SF Opera Chorus during this interactive workshop for adults. Chorus Director Ian Robertson will demonstrate how many different voices–including yours!–can unite to create one dramatic force. Sit in on a rehearsal of La Traviata and talk to chorus members about their essential role in an opera performance.  No prior experience necessary to participate! $35; Register now at the link above or call the box office at (415) 864-3330 to reserve your spot.
Tues Apr 4 from 7 – 9pm Wilsey Center for Opera – 4th Floor, War Memorial Veterans Building 401 Van Ness Ave., SF

Mozart and His Women: The Magic of Mozart’s Operas Through the Eyes of His Fascinating Females – Join SF Opera’s dramaturg Kip Cranna on a musical tour of Mozart’s operatic genius with a focus on the vivid female characters who represent the heart and soul of his art. In exploring the historical and literary contexts of the operas, video and audio examples will help you more deeply appreciate Mozart’s gift for capturing the full spectrum of human nature in his music, his skill at musical characterizations, and his matchless talent for drama. $250
Class I – Learn about the composers and styles that influenced the young prodigy, and explore his operas Idomeneo and La Clemenza di Tito.
Class II – An exploration of his comic gem The Abduction from the Seraglio and his crowning glory, The Marriage of Figaro.
Class III – The delightful comedy Così fan tutte and the famous drama Don Giovanni.
Class IV – His final masterpiece, The Magic Flute.
Wed nights Apr 5 – 26 from 7 – 8:30pm Room 201, SF Conservatory of Music 50 Oak St., SF

Exploration Workshop – Workshops for families and the community centered around The Barber of Seville and Cinderella Opera in and Hour Family Movie Festival. Explore the wonderful world of opera, singing, movement and stories with SF Opera Teaching Artists. Come for the workshops and stick around for the free movie screenings.
Workshops are $10; Movie screenings are FREE
Sat Apr 8 at 10am and 1:30pm Bryan Education Studio – Wilsey Center for Opera – 4th Floor, War Memorial Veterans Building 401 Van Ness Ave., SF
First Act: Up in the Mountains – Don’t miss the American premiere of this interactive performance from Norway, which combines words, song, gesture and visual media to tell a story inspired by fairy tales.  Here, adults and children are free to let their imaginations run wild in their interpretation of the story being told. $20/adult; $10/child.
Wed Apr 19 – Sun Apr 23 Bryan Education Studio – Wilsey Center for Opera – 4th Floor, War Memorial Veterans Building 401 Van Ness Ave., SF

Antonin Dvorák: Music from the People – This 19th-century composer brought the world symphonies, symphonic poems, operas, chamber music, and ensembles for strings; all of which had roots in Czech folk music.  Instructor John Kendall Bailey will chart the composer’s career and play selections of his diverse body of work to illustrate his remarkable talent.
FREE for OLLI & center members/residents; $5 for non-members/non-residents.
Sat Apr 8 from 10:30am – 12noon Stoneridge Creek Senior Residence 3300 Stoneridge Creek Way, Pleasanton
Sat Apr 15 from 1:30 – 3pm Baywood Court 21966 Dolores St., Castro Valley
Tues Apr 18 from 2 – 3:30pm  Lake Park Retirement Center 1850 Alice St., Oakland

The Exceptional Giuseppe Verdi – One of the most popular opera composers of all time, Verdi’s music is everywhere and recognizable even by people who have never seen one of his operas. Led by instructor John Kendall Bailey, this class will discuss such masterpieces as La Traviata, Rigoletto, Aida, Otello, and Falstaff and even show you how Verdi’s music played a part in 19th century Italian unification.
FREE for OLLI & center members; $5 for non-members
Thurs Apr 20 from 1:30 – 3pm Mastick Senior Center 155 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda

Introduction to German Opera
– This FREE four-week online distance learning course offered through Dartmouth College and EdX will focus on giving you the skills and experiences to become a better student of opera. You’ll learn the history and conventions of German opera and develop close listening skills and musical analysis skills while connecting with opera lovers around the globe.  No previous knowledge of music or opera is necessary. This course is suited for beginners and advanced opera listeners alike!  Course begins April 11th.

Peter Kazaras, Director of Opera and Music Theatre at UCLA, will work with members of the Mosher Studio Artist Program. *FREE*
Sat Apr 15 from 1 – 3:30pm Alhecama Theatre, 914 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara

Afternoon at the Opera – This spring, join instructors Shari Deghi and Deborah Rosengaus in this five-week series of classes studying two operas from the current Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series, Eugene Onegin and Der Rosenkavalier, and more. You’ll enjoy spell-binding stories, become absorbed in passionate music, be mesmerized by sensuous performers and have lots of fun. Novices welcome! $75 for the series; $48 for four classes; $15 for each individual class (guest pass for May 22 is $30)
Mon Apr 17, 24; May 1, 15, and 22 from 2:30 – 4:30pm San Mateo Senior Center 2645 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

Rameau Roundtable A lively consideration of the extraordinary original 1745 manuscript score and libretto for Rameau’s Le Temple de la Gloire, one of the great treasures in the collections of UC Berkeley’s Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library. With Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale music director Nicholas McGegan, library head John Shepard, and emeritus library head John Roberts. Free and open to the public. Pre-registration recommended.   Tues Apr 18 at 6pm  125 Morrison Hall UC Berkeley

Resurrecting Rameau Opera for the Contemporary Stage – Round table discussion with Benoît Dratwicki (Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles), Julien Dubruque (Rameau scholar), Nicholas McGegan (PBO), and Catherine Turocy (NYBDC), moderated by musicologist Victor Gavenda. Free and open to the public. Pre-registration recommended. 
Sat Apr 29 at from 2 – 3:30pm Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley

Vienna: The Making of an Operatic Culture – UCSB Professor Simon Williams‘ course will begin with the mighty baroque festivals of the Habsburg court and the operas of Gluck and Mozart.  Next is the Viennese operetta and analysis of three of the greatest operas of Richard Strauss – Der Rosenkavalier, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Arabella – all of which were inspired by and set in Vienna. Finally, the course will touch upon the work of Alban Berg and the Viennese Second School that revolutionized opera in the first 40 years of the 20th century.  Registration open now. Tuition, fees, lodging, and other important info at the link above.  April 21 – 24,  Evergreen Conference Center  Oakhurst, CA

OSJ General Director Larry Hancock‘s popular 6-week course covers 400 years of opera development including the development and changes in the choice of opera subjects, the use of poetry and dialogue in the libretto, styles of musical composition, evolution of the opera orchestra, and changes in performance practice period by period. Each quick-paced session will be enhanced with visuals from other art forms, including fashion, architecture, painting, and sculpture, bringing a more complete knowledge of the society that influenced its composers.  $100; Call the OSJ box office at (408) 437-4450 to register.
Wed nights May 31 – July 6 from 7 – 9pm Opera San Jose HQ, 2149 Paragon Dr., SJ