A CURRICULUM TO DEVELOP OPERA STAGE DIRECTORS

RICHARD STUART FLUSSER, Fordham University

Abstract

Opera stage director education has been exclusive, elitist and unavailable to many Americans who have talent and an inclination to work as stage directors in the professional opera field. Often such training has been available only for an apprentice to a master opera stage director, on a special, private basis. This frequently leads to irregular education determined by the schedule, energy, whim, and caprice of the master opera stage director in the midst of preparing a professional opera production. This investigation is an attempt to provide an alternative, a solution to such problems by developing a conceptual model for facilitating and systematizing opera stage director education which could then be made public and available to those who heretofore have been deprived of such training.^ The substance of this model is the distillation of the procedures and concepts espoused by 37 significantly successful opera stage directors who have been active in the professional field during the last 25 years. Of the 37, 11 work at The Metropolitan Opera, 10 for The New York City Opera including 3 who have worked for both companies. Twelve spend much of their professional time as guest opera stage directors, nationally, while at least six are regularly occupied as international opera stage directors.^ The researcher interviewed 11 stage directors. The raw data were analyzed and frequency distribution determined which of the concepts discussed in the structured interviews were to become questions on a questionnaire which was submitted to experts for evaluation, correction, and/or approval. When validated as ready, the questionnaire was delivered to 38 distinguished, active, opera stage directors.^ Thirty-seven questionnaires were returned. Frequency distribution determined which of the questionnaire questions would shape the model curriculum.^ Gagne (1977), in his Conditions of Learning, provided this model's analogue, the structure of which has been defined. Then, when the substance was mapped onto the structure, the conceptual model emerged.^ The study contains a 52-course curriculum for educating and training students to be competent beginners prepared for employment in the professional opera field. This instructional design is systematic, unique, and intended to be implemented on an egalitarian basis.^

Subject Area

Education, Music

Recommended Citation

RICHARD STUART FLUSSER, "A CURRICULUM TO DEVELOP OPERA STAGE DIRECTORS" (January 1, 1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI8223598.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8223598

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