A Viking saga, a mad king, a vengeful husband: these are a few of the characters that we encounter in recent small-scale operas (or ‘music-theater’ works). They give us a starting point for considering how we tell stories in opera. We will look at the music, the staging and the performance and the ways these elements come together to provide a unified artistic work. Students will be encouraged to respond creatively through writing about the work, or musical composition or developing a particular performance idea. The course will be graded on a final project of the student’s choice.