Lecture 24

Italian and French opera; exoticism


Ah, music! A magic far beyond all we do here! —J. K. Rowling

opera and exoticism

in this lecture, we watch the final scene from Verdi's Aida; I introduce the concept of exoticism - the fascination on the part of a composer with the ethnic sounds of foreign, ethnic cultures. Many examples are given and we complete the discussion of exoticism with music from the opera, Carmen - a story that takes place in Seville, Spain, but is written by a Frenchman, Georges Bizet. 

We continue our discussion of romantic opera as we look at Puccini's La Boheme.

Topics covered:


  • Giacomo Puccini and La BohèmeGiacomo Puccini


  • watch lecture 24 (in multiple parts for quicker download)
  • review previous chapters, as necessary
  • read textbook, Chapter 24
  • As you are reading your textbook, go through the Listening Exercises in textbook sequence, listening to the examples provided.
  • regarding developing listening skills: you should be in the habit of developing your listening skills early in the game - the assignments will get more complex through the semester and you may find yourself unable to keep up. As simple as these early assignments may seem to some of you, they will help to keep you on the right track, and help you develop the skills required for a greater appreciation in listening to music, including the music that you listen to for your own enjoyment. Of course, those objectives are in total sync with the success you hope to have in this class. Remember that your ability to recognize the music on your CDs will be tested and will, of course, impact your grade. 

Audio / Video lecture

click lecture segments below in sequence

presented in several segments to reduce download time

total lecture time: approx. one hour 15 minutes (all segments included)

can be downloaded for portable media players by right clicking each segment link and choosing save option. (note: older Macs and Mac notebooks with single-button mice: control-click)

Lecture 24.1

Aida Final Scene

Lecture 24.2 
Lecture 24.3 
Bizet and Carmen
Lecture 24.4 
Carmen : Habanera
Lecture 24.5 
Giacomo Puccini
Lecture 24.6 
La Bohème 1
Lecture 24.7 
La Bohème 2