The goal of this course is to introduce students to the world of opera. This is not a comprehensive history of opera, but an overview designed to impart knowledge of arguably the greatest, most complex art form on earth. The course opens with an analysis of perhaps the most famous aria in operatic history: “Nessum Dorma” from Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot. This aria exemplifies opera’s unique marriage of words, music, and visual art, before students are transported back to Monteverdi and the birth of opera. Students will track the various influences of opera including Neoclassicism, the Roman Catholic Church, Secularism, the Enlightenment, Postmodernism, and more in the operatic masterpieces of Gluck, Mozart, Verdi, Strauss, Wagner, Puccini, et al.