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Macbeth │ September 2017 Resource Guide

About OPERA San Antonio How it began OPERA San Antonio was founded in 2010 by Mel Weingart, “Chairman and President” of the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund. The company’s first performance was the Gala Concert of Stars, and took place in May, 2013. The gala featured world renowned American opera stars, in collaboration with San Antonio Symphony under its music director, Maestro Sebastian Lang-Lessing. This was followed by a semistaged production of Rusalka as part of the San Antonio Symphony’s Dvorák Festival in January 2014. The company has established itself as an up-and-coming world class performing organization entering its fourth season. The company hired a permanent General and Artistic Director in 2016, Maestro Enrique Carreón-Robledo. Our 201718 Season is the first season fully planned by our new leader.

Our mission OPERA San Antonio is committed to producing opera of uncompromising artistic quality and enriching the community through education and outreach programs. Currently OPERA San Antonio’s fourth season in the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts features Verdi’s Macbeth, and Puccini’s La Bohème, both fully staged productions in the H-E-B Performance Hall.

On the horizon With a growing staff and another stunning season, OPERA San Antonio remains committed to its values and to fiscal responsibility. The company will continue to create and promote educational programs that encourage the community to venture out and experience the arts.

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Macbeth │ September 2017 Resource Guide

Dear friends and educators, OPERA San Antonio is pleased to bring you a production of Macbeth by Giuseppe Verdi. It is our hope that this study guide will serve as an educational resource and to further enrich your students’ opera experience. Users of this study guide will learn more and better understand Verdi’s Macbeth in comparison to the popular Shakespeare play. When Verdi originally wrote this opera in 1847, he may not have created this piece with young students in mind. Nevertheless, we encourage you to evaluate this enclosed material is appropriate for your children or your students. As parents and educators, I encourage you to use your own discretion on how to present the study guide. For years, international studies have shown that children involved in the arts are able to apply themselves better, and often achieve higher scores on standardized tests, as well as ACT/SATs, and college entrance exams. But studying music and the arts does far more than improve critical thinking skills; music permeates everyday experiences. We have playlists for our workout and our daily commute; there is music in commercials, TV shows, and movies; there is even music played inside retail outlets, hotel lobbies, and elevators. Music permeates our everyday experiences. What better way to further our education than to learn about this art form which is present in so many places? Thank you for supporting OPERA San Antonio, and thank you for your consideration with using this guide to be part of your students curriculum. Sincerely, Rhanda Luna, OPERA San Antonio Director of Administration and Education

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Table of Contents Introduction to Opera ........................................................................................................................5 The Production Team .........................................................................................................................7 Voice Types ..................................................................................................................................... 11 About the Composer ........................................................................................................................ 14 About the Librettist ................................................................................................................................. 15 About the Poet ........................................................................................................................................ 15 About the Opera .............................................................................................................................. 16 Character descriptions ............................................................................................................................ 16 Synopsis .................................................................................................................................................. 18 Questions and Activities ................................................................................................................... 21 Discussions .............................................................................................................................................. 21 Essay Questions ...................................................................................................................................... 21 Creative Writing ...................................................................................................................................... 22 Art ........................................................................................................................................................... 23 Macbeth Crossword & Word Search ...................................................................................................... 24 Color the angry King Macbeth ................................................................................................................ 27 BIBLIOGRAPHY................................................................................................................................. 28 Educator or Parent Survey ................................................................................................................ 29

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Introduction to Opera What is an opera? An opera is a drama set to music, with pieces accompanied by orchestra. It is practically like any other drama -a TV show, movie, or play. Opera simply includes music and usually sung words, as opposed to spoken word. What makes an opera truly unique is that it is all-encompassing: there are elements of visual arts, drama, dance, literature, writing, and music. If you take a peek backstage, you’ll note that the people working there are not necessarily musicians. As an all-inclusive art form, opera requires people with knowledge of math, science, and other technical skills to orchestrate the complete staging of an operatic work.

Common Concerns 1. “I won’t understand what’s going on” False. Those days are over. Back in the late 1900s, someone introduced supertitles –a caption projected on a screen above the stage in an opera, translating the text that is being sung. With this useful tool, you will easily be able to follow the dialogue and story line. 2. “Opera singers do not look like normal people” The stereotype of a fat lady screaming in a horned helmet is the most common perception for opera all over the world. That image no longer defines opera singers. The trend is for opera singers to look the part of the person they are playing, true to the size, stature, and attire of their character within the story. 3. “But, I have to dress up…” In its early days, opera was for the elite only, and attendees were indeed required to fit a certain dress code. Today, there is no dress code. Opera is for everyone. People can come to our performances dressed in everything from jeans to gowns. When choosing your attire, wear what is most comfortable or pleasing to you. 5|Page


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Introduction to Opera (continued) Arias and Recitative Remember, almost everything in opera is sung! However, there are some works which also have some spoken dialogue. The singing parts in opera are divided into two categories. The first, recitative, are sung words and phrases that are used to further the action of the story. These parts of the opera are meant to convey conversations, so the melody is often simple or fast to resemble speaking. The second type of singing is the aria, which is like a normal song, in that it has a more recognizable structure and melody. Arias, unlike recitative, are a stop in the action, where the character usually reflects upon what has happened. Arias are often solos, meaning they are sung by one person only. When two people are singing, it becomes a duet. When three people sing, it is a trio, and so on.

Do’s and Don’ts DO: -Turn off your cell phone or any noise-making device. -Clap at the beginning, when the conductor comes on stage, at the end of an act, and after arias. -Have fun! Enjoy the performance and listen carefully to the music. Going to the opera is an exciting experience! DON’T: -Be late! People who arrive late are generally not allowed to be seated until an appropriate moment, which can often be until intermission. -Talk or text during the show. You don’t want to disturb other people’s experience at the opera. -Eat and drink during the performance. 6|Page


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Introduction to Opera (continued) The Production Team It takes more than singers to put on an opera. While you may only see the performers in the spotlight, there are people behind the scenes that put together everything you see and all the things you do not.

On Stage ___________________________________________________________ Cast: all singers and actors who appear onstage.

Actors: performers who have dialogue but do not sing. Principal: a singer who performs a large role in the opera. Comprimario: a singer who specializes in the small character roles of opera, from the Italian meaning “next to the first”. Supernumeraries (or Supers): actors who participate in the action but do not speak or sing. Dancers: performers who dance or move to preset movement.

Tynan Davis, a comprimario in OSA’s Macbeth – the Lady-in-Waiting, or Dama di Lady Macbeth

Chorus: group of singers who mostly sing together: sometimes this group contains actors and dancers, as well. 7|Page


Backstage__________________________________________________________ The Artistic Director is the head of the opera and makes all the final decisions. The Stage Director tells our singers how to move across the stage so that you are able to understand what is being sung, even if it is in a different language. The Music Director instructs singers on singing and musical style and leads music rehearsals. The Production Manager coordinates between the artistic and business aspects of production and ensures that everything happens on time. The Technical Director coordinates the lighting, set, costumes and the crews that handle those things.

The Lighting Designer plans or designs the color, intensity and frequency of the light onstage. The Wig and Make-Up Designer designs and oversees hairstyles, wigs & make-up. The Costumer plans how each singer is dressed and makes sure that all the costumes will help the singers accurately portray their characters in the opera’s setting. The Properties (Props) Manager is in charge of finding objects for the singers to use while on stage that will correctly reflect the time period of the opera and give the actions on stage a more realistic feel.

The Stage Manager works backstage and tells the singers when to walk onto the stage and helps the stagehands know when to change the scenery.

The Choreographer invents dances and movements and teaches them to dancers and/or cast members.

The Set Designer plans or designs the sets and scenery and supervises set construction.

The Crew or Stagehands assist in construction, installation and changes of the set, costumes, lights and props.


Macbeth │ September 2017 Resource Guide

In the Pit___________________________________________________________ The Conductor tells the orchestra when to play and the singers when to sing. The conductor controls how fast or slow the music goes. The Orchestra is the group of musicians who play the musical instruments. The orchestra and conductor reside in the orchestra pit during operas, as opposed to onstage for symphony concerts. What is the orchestra pit? It is the open hole right in front of the stage. You’ll generally only be able to see the back of the conductor’s head in the pit if you are an audience member. But fear not! You may be able to peek into the pit at intermission and catch an instrumentalist practicing for the second act of the opera! Just make sure you return to your seat in time for the second act. For Macbeth, you will find a large orchestra, including the following musical instruments: violins, violas, cellos, trumpets, trombones, percussion instruments, flutes, clarinets, a harp, and a few others.

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The Audience (that’s you!) also has an important role to play. It would not be a real performance without you! Sometimes as an audience member, you too have to be creative. A setting might be suggested by a few panels or a background – so you can imagine the rest of it while the singers tell the story.

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Voice Types Soprano The highest of the female voice types, the soprano has always had a place of prominence in the hierarchy of vocal music. In operatic drama, the soprano is oftentimes the heroine or protagonist. Her high, bright sound suggests youth, innocence, and virtue.

Mezzo-Soprano

Soprano Nadja Michael, who sings the role of Lady Macbeth

A mezzo has a lower voice than a soprano, but higher than a contralto. Throughout history, the mezzo has been used to convey many different types of characters: everything from boys or young men (called a “trouser� role), to mothers, seductive heroines, and villainesses.

Contralto The lowest of the female voices. It is rare to find contralto singers, and true contralto roles are few and rare. These roles are usually special characters such as witches, gypsies, and old women.

Countertenor The highest of the male voices, the countertenor is a natural tenor or baritone with an elevated range. With training and patience, this higher range (like that of a woman alto) becomes the natural voice.

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Tenor The tenor has a range between baritone and mezzo, and is frequently the hero or protagonist of the opera. Baritone The baritone is the most common male voice. It is lower in range than the tenor and with darker tone. In comic opera, the baritone is often the leader, but in tragic opera, he is often the villain. Bass-Baritone A category used to describe voices with a range between that of the baritone and bass. The tessitura of these roles is higher than what a bass can comfortably sing, with occasional moments of probing in the bass register, and the need for a darkness of color that the bass brings to a role. Bass This is the lowest and darkest of the male voices. Low voices often suggest age and wisdom, or evil characters in serious opera. In comic opera, they are often used for old characters that are foolish or laughable.

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The Cast of Macbeth Macbeth, (Macbetto), General in Duncan’s army ............................... Baritone Lady Macbeth, Macbeth’s wife ............................................................ Soprano Banquo, (Banco) General in Duncan’s army ........................................ Bass Macduff, a Scottish nobleman, Thane of Fife ...................................... Tenor Malcolm, eldest son of King Duncan .................................................... Tenor Doctor, assigned to cure Lady Macbeth .............................................. Bass Lady-in-Waiting (Dama di Lady Macbeth) ........................................... Soprano Servant to Macbeth ............................................................................. Bass Herald ................................................................................................... Bass Assassin ................................................................................................ Bass Three Apparitions ................................................................................ 2 Soprani, 1 Bass King Duncan (Duncano) ........................................................................ (silent) Fleance (Fleanzio), Banquo’s son ........................................................ (silent)

Witches, messengers, nobles, attendants and refugees…………. Chorus

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About the Composer Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (1813-1901) was born in Le Roncole, Italy. He composed over 25 operas. His musical education began from a young age, studying under Fernando Provesi. At age 13, he began to write a variety of sacred works, concertos, and arias. Once Verdi established himself as the leader of the Philharmonic in 1830, his mentor declared that he had “no more to teach him”. Verdi’s first opera premiered in the famous theater La Scala in 1837. While he was writing his second opera, his wife and children died. Following this unfortunate event was the failure of his second opera, after which Verdi took a vow to “never compose again”. Nevertheless, he shortly began to write his next opera, Nabucco. From 1842 to 1849, Verdi’s operas began to spread almost world-wide. It was during this period of growth that Verdi wrote Macbeth. After taking some time off for “country living”, Verdi married his girlfriend Giuseppina Strepponi, and took an active interest in the political environment of Italy. From 1862 to 1898, Verdi wrote various operas, his famous Requiem, and Four Sacred works, which skyrocketed his fame and success. In 1901, Verdi died of a stroke, but his legacy as a prolific composer, lover of the country, and political man, lives up to this very day.

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About the Librettist Francesco Maria Piave (1810-1876) was born in Venice, Italy. He was a professional proofreader, journalist, translator, the resident poet and stage manager at La Fenice, and later on at La Scala, where he met Verdi. Piave had a close relationship with Verdi, who often annoyed him by submitting his librettos for revision. Nevetheless, when Piave suffred from a stroke, Verdi helped take care of his family.

About the Poet William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was perhaps the most famous English writer ever to live. He wrote approximately 154 sonnets and 38 plays, most of which are still studied, read and performed to this day. Shakespeare was one of Verdi’s favorite authors, in fact, Verdi also wrote an opera based on Shakespeare’s play Othello. While Shakespeare’s first plays were mainly comedies and histories, his later ones include some of his most famous tragedies, among them Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth. Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s shortest and bloodiest tragedies, displaying themes of ambition, corruption, power, fate, and dominance. 15 | P a g e


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About the Opera Macbeth is Verdi’s 10th opera. It includes four acts, and uses Piave’s prose translation. Verdi wrote it in honor of his beloved ex father-in-law. The opera closely resembles the plot of the original play. The main difference between the opera and the play is the characterization of the witches. Shakespeare only writes about three witches, but Verdi sets the characters into a large 3-part women’s chorus. The opera Macbeth premiered in 1847 before Verdi’s famous operas Rigoletto and La Traviata. Macbeth has three main versions: the original from 1847, the revised version from 1865, and the last version from 1939, which combines the ending of the two previous versions.

Character descriptions Macbeth: Ascending from Thane of Glamis, to Thane of Cawdor, to King of Scotland, Macbeth is a brave and powerful tyrant, whose belief in the witches’ prophecy brings him not only success, but doom. Macbeth murders King Duncan and Banquo in order to assure his power, but is not comfortable with his role as criminal until the end of the story, when he has committed too many atrocities to look back. Lady Macbeth: Macbeth’s ruthless and ambitious wife. Her lust for power prompts her to convince Macbeth of killing King Duncan. In the first 3 acts, Lady Macbeth seems to have command over her marriage, as she prompts Macbeth to have the courage to murder anyone who stands in the way of their perpetual rule. Nevertheless, towards the 4th act, she is consumed by the guilt of her crimes, and kills herself in an act of lunacy. Banquo: Macbeth’s fellow war general, who is later murdered under Macbeth’s orders. The witches prophesize that Banquo will be the father of a line of future kings, though he will not be a king himself. Banquo is Macbeth’s moral counterpart, 16 | P a g e


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since he is ambitious, but not evil. After Banquo is murdered, his ghost haunts Macbeth. Macduff: A general opposed to Macbeth’s rule. He mobilizes the troops necessary to lead a battle against Macbeth, and finally places Malcolm (King Duncan’s son) in the throne of Scotland. King Duncan: The benevolent and virtuous King of Scotland, who is murdered by Macbeth. After his death, chaos befalls the land. His son Malcolm is restored to the crown at the end of Act 4. Malcolm: The righteous heir to the throne, son of King Duncan, crowned after Macbeth’s defeat. The Witches: Servants of Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft. The witches reveal the prophesies of Macbeth’s and Banquo’s destinies. These prophecies implant the seed of inordinate ambition in Macbeth’s heart.

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Synopsis (Wait – what’s a synopsis?) A synopsis is provided in the program booklet for every performance. It is a summary of the opera and what it’s about. This will help if you’re attending an opera that is sung in a foreign language; if you have read the synopsis before you go to the performance, you will know what is happening in the story – like reading the book before you see the movie, except with opera, the “movie” never disappoints!

Act 1, Scene 1, in a heath. A group of witches gathers in a forest next to a battlefield to sing about the evils they have done. War generals Macbeth and Banquo enter after their victory. The witches address Macbeth as “Thane of Glamis”, and prophesize about his future as Thane of Cawdor, and later “King of Scotland”. Banquo is then addressed as “lesser than Macbeth, but greater”, and the witches prophesize that a line of kings will come from him, though he will not be king himself. When the witches leave, messengers from the king Duncan inform the two generals that the “Thane of Cawdor” has been executed for treason. Macbeth and Banquo sing about the witches’ prophecy and ponder how true it may be. Act 1, Scene 2, in Macbeth’s castle. Lady Macbeth reads a letter in which her husband informs her of the witches’ prophecy (Vieni! T’affretta!- “Come! Hurry!”). Thirsty for power, she sings about her determination to lead Macbeth to the throne at any cost (Or tutti, sorgete- “Arise now, all you ministers of Hell”). The queen convinces Macbeth to murder King Duncan, who is a guest at their castle that night (Mi si affaccia un pugnal?- “Is this a dagger which I see before me?”). Noticing Macbeth’s horrified reaction to his crime, Lady Macbeth begrudgingly completes it by smearing the guards with the dagger’s blood. In the morning, when Macduff and Banquo discover the King’s murder, they and chorus sing about avenging Duncan’s death (Schiudi Inferno- “Open wide thy gaping maw, O Hell”). 18 | P a g e


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Act 2, Scene 1, a room in the castle. As Duncan’s son, Malcolm, has fled the country under the suspicion of patricide, Macbeth ascends to the throne. Yet, this does not satisfy him. Remembering the witches’ prophecy about Banquo’s royal descent, he promises Lady Macbeth to kill Banquo and his son Fleance that very night (La luce langue- “The light fades”). Act 2, Scene 2, outside the castle. A group of murderers wait for Banquo outside the castle (Come dal ciel precipita- “O how the darkness falls from Heaven”). Even though Banquo is suspicious, he is caught and killed, as his son Fleance escapes. Act 2, Scene 3, castle dining hall. Macbeth and the queen welcome some guests to the castle and Lady Macbeth happily offers a toast (Si colmi il calice- “Fill up the cup”). Macbeth is informed of Banquo’s death during the banquet, and takes the opportunity to publicly mourn him. The guests join him in a toast for Banquo. Still in the banquet, Banquo’s ghost appears to Macbeth and terrifies him. The guests become suspicious of Macbeth’s lunatic behavior, and Lady Macbeth tries to soothe him. Macduff then resolves to leave the country, noticing the wickedness that has befallen, and the banquet ends abruptly. Act 3, the witches’ cave. The witches are conspiring around their caldron. Macbeth enters and asks them to reveal his destiny and the “dark secrets of the future.” In a very dramatic scene, some spirits tell him that “no man born of woman will harm him”, and warn him about “Birnam wood coming towards him”. Macbeth rejoices because “no wood has ever been moved my magic power” (O lietto augurio-“O happy augury! No wood has ever been moved by magic power”). Macbeth is then disturbed by ghostly visions that remind him of Banquo and his descendants, who are not yet alive (Fuggi regal fantasmina- “Begone, royal phantom that reminds me of Banquo”). Macbeth faints, 19 | P a g e


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but is brought back to his chamber to tell Lady Macbeth about the witches’ prophecy (Vi trovo alfin!- “I have found you at last!”). They both agree to kill Banquo’s son, Macduff, and his family (Ora di morte e di vendetta-Hour of death and vengeance”). Act 4, Scene 1, border between England and Scotland. The Scottish refugees sing about the oppression and sadness caused by the betrayed motherland (Patria oppressa- Down-trodden country”). Macduff enters and laments the death of his family, and prays that God will bring him face to face with the tyrant so he can have his vengeance (Ah, la peterna mano- “Ah, the paternal hand”). Malcolm joins him and orders the people to make arms with Birnam wood. Act 4, Scene 2, Macbeth’s castle. Lady Macbeth’s doctor and maidservant are concerned that she talks in her sleep. Lady Macbeth enters, sleepwalking and rubbing her hands as if washing them from all the blood she is guilty of, then concluding that she will never be able to wash her hands from her crimes (Una macchia é qui tuttora!- Yet here’s a spot!”). She commits suicide. Act 4, Scene 3, Battlefield. Macbeth complains about being attacked and betrayed, but hesitatingly takes solace in the prophecy that supposedly no man can harm him. He sings about how he will never be a beloved king, even if he wins the battle, because he is already hated and feared (Pietà, rispetto, amore- “Compassion, honour, love”). Then, the maidservant informs Macbeth that Lady Macbeth is dead, to which he responds “what does life matter?”, but quickly shifts his attention as he is informed that Birnam wood is advancing toward him. He gets armed to fight as Macduff quickly approaches him, informs him that he was not born, but “ripped” out of woman, and drags Macbeth to kill him (Cielo!- “Heaven!”). All the people finally claim victory, as Macduff returns victorious and hails Malcolm as the new King of Scotland (Salve, o re!- Hail, oh king!”). 20 | P a g e


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Questions and Activities Discussions 1. Discuss the relationship between Macbeth and his wife. Do you think they love each other? Who controls the relationship? Does their relationship decline as their evil deeds prosper? 2. If you have read Shakespeare’s play, how much does it differ from the opera? 3. If the witches had foretold Banquo the destiny they had for Macbeth, do you think he would have followed the same corrupt path? 4. Why do you think it is important for people to learn about the effects of uncontrolled ambition? How has ambition negatively impacted history? Can ambition be used for good purposes?

Essay Questions 1. Does Macbeth accurately embody a “tragic hero”?

2. What is the role of women in Macbeth?

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3. Is ambition good or evil? How could Macbeth have used his ambition for the good?

4. What is your personal opinion of the characters from Macbeth?

5. Write about what character from the opera you relate to the most, and why.

Creative Writing 1. Adapt Macbeth to the modern world, and make a modernized character description.

2. Summarize the opera in one sentence.

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Art 1. Draw the characters either in old or modern setting.

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Macbeth Crossword & Word Search 1

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DOWN 1– The King 3– First name of the opera Macbeth’s composer 4– Last name of the composer 5– Macbeth’s wife 7– The General/Future King 10– Macbeth’s fellow war general 11– The librettist of Macbeth

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ACROSS 2 – General opposed to Macbeth’s rule 6 – Lady Macbeth’s voice type 8 – Poet who wrote the play Macbeth 9 – Another name for Macbeth 10 – Voice type of Macbetto 12 – Righteous heir to the throne

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Macbeth Crossword Answer Key

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Color the angry King Macbeth

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Shmoop Editorial Team. "Macbeth." Shmoop. Shmoop University, 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 17 July 2017. "Macbeth." SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 17 July 2017. "Macbeth (opera)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 09 July 2017. Web. 17 July 2017. "Giuseppe Verdi." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 13 July 2017. Web. 17 July 2017. "Francesco Maria Piave." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 July 2017. Web. 17 July 2017. "William Shakespeare." Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, 28 Apr. 2017. Web. 17 July 2017. "Macbeth | Giuseppe Verdi." Opera-Arias.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 July 2017. "The World's Leading Classical Music Channel." Medici.tv. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 July 2017.

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Educator or Parent Survey The best tool we have for assessing the effectiveness of our programs is your feedback! This is completely optional. Feel free to submit this evaluation along with any comments, photos, or other responses you must our production, this study guide, or to opera in general. Thank you so much for your great support! Without you, we would not exist, and we cannot thank you enough for allowing us to continue in our efforts to build community and enrich people’s lives through music. Date: Name: School & District: Phone: Email: Address:

Did/will you attend Macbeth? Is this your first opera? If not, what have you seen before, and what was your favorite? This is our fourth season. Please let us know what we can improve: And what we did well: How did your students react to opera, initially? Have your students/children ever attended other performing arts events outside of school?

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On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being of the utmost importance, how do you rate the priority of arts and cultural education for our youth?

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On the same scale of 1 to 5, how important is it to you for students to be able to take fieldtrips and visit programs outside of school?

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How important is it for those programs to come directly to the schools?

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On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being of the most How would you rate the helpfulness of this guide?

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How has our program impacted your students?

Please feel free to leave any additional comments:

Please return this survey to Rhanda Luna, Director of Administration and Education Email, at rhanda@operasa.org

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