Cold Mountain, a new opera by Pulitzer Prize-winning Philadelphia-based composer Jennifer Higdon and renowned librettist Gene Scheer, makes its East Coast Premiere with Opera Philadelphia in February, 2016.
In the hopes for preparing audiences for Ms. Higdon and Mr. Scheer’s spectacular new work, Opera Philadelphia has partnered with the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Music and Drexel University’s ExCITe Center and Instructional Technology Group (ITG) to present an online course to acquaint audiences with the piece for its performances in Philadelphia.
As part of the partnership between Opera Philadelphia and two of Philadelphia’s most prestigious universities, doctoral candidates from the University of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with Opera Philadelphia curriculum consultants, have written the program content which has been built by Drexel University’s ITG and hosted on Blackboard’s Open Education platform.
The goals of the course are to:
- Examine the opera’s musical and dramatic structure
- Introduce and discuss the characters
- Provide a modest understanding of Appalachian ecology and musicology
- Understand themes and events relevant to the opera
- Include information on the opera’s creation
- Offer multiple video and audio excerpts, interviews, and other multimedia to familiarize audiences with the creative teams vision
Selections from the opera are performed on video by cast members from the world premiere production with The Santa Fe Opera as well as by singers in Opera Philadelphia’s Emerging Artist program.