Top of the Class!
The project "Top of the Class" was instituted in 2012 as part of a series of initiatives promoted by the City of Milan to spread the magic of a unique, world class event: Opening Night at La Scala, the top of the season.
Accademia Teatro alla Scala and Edison S.p.A. have worked together over the years to create various programs to bring students closer to the wonderful world of opera, its idioms, and its trades. To date, more than 3,500 students of all ages have been actively involved in these educational initiatives.
Students will be taken on a guided tour of some of the most celebrated female roles in the opera repertoire. From Joan of Arc (opening performance of the 2015-2015 Teatro alla Scala season) to Madame Butterfly (which will open the 2016-2017 season), the theme of women will be explored in an original and engaging way.
Intrepid heroines and loving mothers, conniving seductresses and betrayed lovers: the vast range of female opera roles will provide fertile terrain for multidisciplinary studies.
Programs for primary schools comprise two elements:
- Teacher training – All teachers taking part in the project will be invited to a free training/refresher course led by Carlo Delfrati on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM at Accademia Teatro alla Scala. The seminar will provide teachers with ideas and tips for organizing dynamic guided listening exercises to acquaint students with the opera repertoire. Furthermore, all participants will be able to learn more about the operas offered at Teatro alla Scala thanks to a dedicated booklet providing in-depth information.
- Visual arts competition – After the teachers have completed their training, they will be ready to conduct guided listening exercises of suggested pieces. Taking free inspiration from their listening experience, the participating classes will create a drawing on a single sheet of paper in A1 format (594 x 841 mm), choosing the medium and expressive mode they feel is most appropriate.
Applications to the training program and competition must be printed, filled out and delivered to the Accademia Teatro alla Scala Teaching Office no later than January 29, 2016.
The drawings for the competition must be delivered to the Teaching Office (Via S. Marta 18, Milan) no later than Friday, May 20, 2016.
A jury composed of Accademia experts will choose the most original drawings and name the winning classes in two categories (first and second grades; third, fourth and fifth grades).
The awards ceremony will take place on Monday, June 6, 2016 at 3:00 PM at Accademia Teatro alla Scala. All drawings will be exhibited on opening night for the Teatro alla Scala 2016-2017 season.
The programs give students a chance to engage closely with the arts and trades of musical theatre, exploring its codes and idioms through free guided listening sessions. Starting with forms of music and art that appeal to a young audience, the music, characters and story lines of the opera and ballet repertoire are analyzed with a particular focus on the opera that will open the upcoming Teatro alla Scala season.
The program is addressed to students in years 3, 4 and 5 of high school (triennium); applications will be accepted until a maximum number of ten classes has been reached. Each class will be given two 2-hour lessons as follows:
- First lesson: introduction to opera and its idioms and trades (examples from cinema, musicals and opera);
- Second lesson: presentation of famous female roles from musical theatre and ballet. Analysis of these roles in relation to women’s place in 19th-century society (guided listening of operatic pieces).