Introduction to Opera
Winter 2020 - This class was pretty okay. Dr. Syer is a really nice, caring person. She is evidently very interested with opera and really loves what she does. The lectures are 2 hours long, and for me it was impossible not to get bored. This class had a fair amount of assignments. We had to write 3 papers on operas. As for testing, the midterm has a listening component where you listen to a piece (which is on a list of about 20 pieces we looked at in class) and we write about the piece and identify the composer and the importance of that piece in the opera, there was also an essay component, which she gave the prompt for a week before the exam. The grading in this class wasn't harsh, and we all loved our TA, Pheaross. There were long and boring reading assignments, which I never did. I think they helped out a lot of people with giving context for this class, but I'm an opera singer so this was unnecessary for me. Dr. Syer conducted lectures on Zoom when she was out of town (she was really ahead of her time lmao), and she was very helpful. She would give us feedback on our essays before submitting them, which was very nice of her. The only problem is that it's often hard to get a hold of her and many emails you send her aren't responded to. I'd say, take this class if you're interested in opera. There isn't too much work, and it isn't too hard. That being said, you will get bored and need to do the long readings if you don't have musical background. Dr. Syer is a sweet lady, who really cares about her students, which made this class a lot better.