Vive la France! Savoring French Opera
French operas are famed for their colorful sororities, refined expression, delicate sensibilities and grand pageantry. This course will offer a musical journey through the full range of France's great opera composers, including Baroque masterworks by Lully, Campra and Rameau, Classic Period operas by Gluck, French grand operas by Meyerbeer and, Berlioz, standard repertoire works by Bizet, Gounod, Offenbach, and Saint-Saens, romantic favorites by Massenet, and 20th-century works by Debussy, Ravel, and Messiaen. Video and audio examples will focus on listening skills, with biographical and literary background review putting each work in is historical context.
Now completing his 40th year with San Francisco Opera, where he serves as Dramaturg, Dr. Cranna earned his Ph. D. in musicology at Stanford University. He has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, writes and lectures frequently on opera and is a regular moderator for the San Francisco Opera Guild’s “Insight” panel discussions. He is on the faculty at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Dominican University and U.C. Berkeley. He has managed the commissioning of many new operas by composers such as Philip Glass, John Adams, André Previn, Jake Heggie, and others. For many years he was Program Editor and Lecturer for the Carmel Bach Festival. In 2008 he was awarded the San Francisco Opera Medal, the company’s highest honor, and in 2012 his work was honored with the Bernard Osher Cultural Award for distinguished efforts by an individual to bring excellence to a cultural institution. He was Dramaturg for the 2016 presentation of Wagner’s Ring cycle at the Kennedy Center.