Using Opera Land in Schools A Guide for Teachers


Opera Land is a website primarily designed for children aged between 8 and 11 (Primary School Key Stage 2). However we hope that users of a variety of ages will enjoy exploring the site.

We have tried to keep the amount of text on the website to a minimum, with all the instructions and guides given in audio. However it may be useful for you to be able to refer to a text based version of these instructions, which we have included below.

Opera Land is designed for use in the classroom with full class participation, either on a Smart board or on computers with headphones attached. We strongly suggest that if you are using the website in this situation then you spend some time beforehand explaining the layout of the site and how to play the games, as this could otherwise use up a large amount of class time.

Planning your lesson

Opera Land will not only introduce opera as an art form, but also explores the concepts of singing, music theory and theatre more generally. Specifically:

• Different voice types in singing

• Hearing and pitching notes to form a melodic line

• Styles and techniques of composition

• Music history

• Characterisation in opera

• Staging an opera

• Leitmotif and musical themes

• Different musical elements of an opera including Recitative and Arias

When planning your lesson we understand that you will focus on the subjects that are relevant and interesting to your students. However, in order that you can understand our thought process behind the creation of Opera Land, we have attached some example lesson plans which focus on different areas of the site.

Download Lesson Plans / Useful terms

(All downloads are in Microsoft word format)

Lesson Plan: An Introduction to La Cenerentola

Lesson Plan: The Story of La Cenerentola

Lesson Plan: The Characters of La Cenerentola

Terms you might need to know

Text Based Instructions and Information

Below you will find text based instructions explaining how to play each of the games. These instructions exactly follow the script you hear when you click on the ‘How to Play’ button in each of the games.

Also included below are the character descriptions for each role mentioned in Opera Land.


La Cenerentola

How to Play the La Cenerentola game

Match the characters from the opera La Cenerentola to their correct voice-types.

Roll over the steps to hear about each voice.

When a character appears at the top of the staircase, listen to them sing. Click on the staircase next to the description which matches their voice.

If you want to hear them sing again; just click on the character.

Be careful though! If you choose the wrong steps, all the characters will come to a nasty end!

To win you must correctly match all the characters to their voice-types.

Voice descriptions

1. Soprano: The soprano is the highest female voice.

2. Mezzo: The mezzo-soprano is the middle-range female voice.

3. Tenor: The tenor is the second highest male voice.

4. Bass: The bass is the lowest male voice.

La Cenerentola Character descriptions

Angelina (Cenerentola)

Also known as Cenerentola, Angelina lives with her step-father, Don Magnifico. Although mistreated by her step-father and his family, Cenerentola remains brave, kind and cheerful.

(Mezzo Soprano)

Don Magnifico di Monte Fiascone

As his name suggests Don Magnifico – or “Baron the Magnificent Great Fiasco” – is a foolish buffoon. Once a wealthy man he has wasted all his money, and now his family is very poor.

(Bass)

Tisbe and Clorinda

The daughters of Don Magnifico and Cenerentola’s step-sisters, Tisbe and Clorinda are vain and proud. They do not like Cenerentola and treat her as though she were a poor servant girl.

(Mezzo-Soprano & Soprano)

Don Ramiro

Don Ramiro is an eligible prince in search of a wife. At the beginning of the story he goes undercover dressed as his servant Dandini, hoping to find a woman who truly loves him and is not just after his money.

(Tenor)

Dandini

As Don Ramiro’s faithful valet or servant, Dandini’s job is to look after the prince. During the character exchange he enjoys being dressed as his master and plays up to the role.

(Baritone)

Alidoro

Alidoro is Don Ramiro's tutor. He wants to find a good woman for the prince to marry. In this version of Cinderella, practical and wise Alidoro takes the place of a Fairy Godmother.

(Bass)


Hänsel und Gretel

How to Play the Hänsel und Gretel game

Foil the evil witch by recreating some of Humperdinck’s music from the opera Hansël und Gretel.

Click on the button ‘Play Humperdinck's Tune’ to hear the tune you are trying to create.

Listen to the music carefully!

Each sweet in the witch’s shop makes the sound of a different musical note. You will hear the notes when you roll your mouse over the sweets.

To make the tune, find the seven correct notes and put them in the right order on the conveyor belt. You can grab a sweet by clicking it with the hand and dragging it onto the conveyor belt. Not all the notes on the shelves are needed, and some of them you will need more than once.

If you make a mistake, just drag the sweet off the conveyer belt and it will disappear!

When you have filled all seven slots on the conveyor belt click on 'Play your tune’ to see if you have managed to beat the witch!

Hänsel und Gretel Character descriptions

Hänsel

A cheerful and greedy young boy, Hänsel imagines himself a hero but often has to turn to his sister – Gretel – for help and comfort. When facing real danger, though, Hänsel proves himself to be brave and resourceful.

(Mezzo-soprano)

Gretel

Gretel is a fun-loving girl who teases but also dearly loves her brother, Hänsel. Although her rash behaviour gets them into trouble, Gretel is clever enough to outwit the witch and save her brother.

(Soprano)

Mother (Gertrud)

A hard-working woman, Mother cares deeply for her children but struggles to find enough money to feed and clothe them. Sometimes worry and hunger makes her short-tempered and frustrated with Hänsel and Gretel.

(Soprano)

Father (Peter)

Easy-going, funny and irresponsible, Father loves his wife, children, and having a beer. When his family is in danger he proves himself to be courageous and resolute.

(Baritone)

The Witch

Cruel and selfish, the witch Rosina Sweet-tooth is a classic baddie. She claims to love children but in fact wants to fatten them up with sweet, sugary food, before eating them!

(Tenor / sometimes sung by a Mezzo-soprano)