Vocal music homework - year 8

The singers have a range of voices, some high and some low. The
highest female voice is the s_________, the lower one a m______
Soprano and the lowest is Alto. There are usually three types of
male voice. The highest is the t_______, followed by the Baritone
and the lowest is the b_______.
There are different roles that are usually given to each character.
The Soprano usually gets the most sympathetic roles. They are
normally the wives who are being c_________ on. The MezzoSoprano roles play the spiciest and juiciest roles. They often can be
tramps or w________. They are e_______ characters that cause
suffering to the Sopranos. The Altos sound almost like guys. Their
parts were originally written for b_____ because females were not
allowed to be on stage. Altos are usually maids, mothers or
grandmothers. Tenor parts are generally likeable. They are usually
vulnerable men who love too much. Baritones have a m_______
range. They are all round fun loving guys, who are often the hero.
The Bass singers have the lowest voice. They often play the role of
the p_______ or father.
Task 3
Choose from these words:
Priest Soprano Boys Tenor
Mezzo Evil Medium Bass
Have a go at thinking up your own opera plot.
 Outline the characters and singers using the information
 Outline what will happen in the 3 acts
 Have a go at designing costumes or scenery for your
Make it exciting and interesting. You can do anything – it’s your
show! Break a leg
A Night at the Opera
When you think about operas you might get the idea
of overweight ladies
singing in a screechy
voice for hours on end
about nothing. And posh
ladies and gentlemen of a
certain age with their best
clothes and jewellery on,
drinking champagne and
paying hundreds of pounds
for a ticket. Or boring plots
and even more boring
songs. And you’d be right.
But you’d also be wrong. Opera
is about much more than fat
ladies and posh men. In the
opera theatre we see love,
death, heaven, hell, sex, lies,
deception and murder – and loud
music too.
And it’s the
grandfather of today’s musicals
and films. So, for the next few
minutes, read this worksheet and
learn about a really important
style of musical theatre. You
might even like it!
What is opera?
An opera is a theatre piece, like a play. But instead of speaking
their lines the characters sing them. Even Broadway musicals such
as Les Miserables, Evita, and Cats are actually operas.
Until very recently going to an opera was like going to a movie.
People went to an opera as you might go to a rock concert: to have
FUN! They went to see their favourite stars and hear their favourite
tunes. They wore casual clothes; they brought along food and
drinks; they even cheered during the show. Classical music was
their pop music.
Where does opera come from?
Opera originated from the Ancient Greeks (800-100BC). They
developed dramatic versions of religious tales (myths), which
included singing and chanting. People would sit outside watching a
live performance of their favourite religious story.
It was not until the 10th century that opera was developed.
Imagine you are a monk. Your job is to spread the message of
Christianity, the hot new religion sweeping the land. You have a
brainstorm: “Hey, didn’t the ancient Greeks use some kind of
musical plays in their religious service? Why, we could do that too!”
This is exactly what happened. To break the boredom of long
services, the Europeans started to write little Bible opera-ettes,
complete with costumes and singing. Operas became a part of
Italian entertainment.
We now know that opera was born in ancient Greece and raised in
Italy. But one by one, other countries adopted opera as their own,
taking it in new and different directions. These other countries
include France, Germany and England.
Task 1
In full sentences below, answer the following questions:
Q1. Where did opera originate?
Q2. In the past was opera popular? Why?
Q3. What happened in the 10th century?
Q4. Does opera still exist today? If so give some examples.
Task 2
Fill in the gaps
Like a play, an Opera is based on a story line (the plot or synopsis)
and the story is broken down into Acts and s________. There is no
speaking in Opera only singing, unlike musicals where there are
There are main characters, minor characters who play a smaller
role, and the c_________.
An Opera is made up of different types of music: Song or r______,
sung dialogue or r______________ and the Overture (orchestral
introduction). The songs are presented in different ways to add
Choose from these words:
For example:
Recitative Chorus Solo
§ S_______ - the singer sings alone.
Ensemble Scenes Aria Duet
§ D_______ - two singers sing together.
§ E_______ – lots of singers.
§ Chorus – a song that only the chorus sing.