Supporting Students During The Met: Live in HD Transmissions
Thanks to print and audio recording, much about opera can be enjoyed long before a performance. But performance itself remains an incomparable embarrassment of riches—sound and color, pageantry and technology, drama, skill, and craft. Performance activities are designed to help students tease apart different aspects of the experience, consider creative choices that have been made, and sharpen their own critical faculties.
Each activity incorporates a reproducible activity sheet (links below). Students bring the activity sheet to the transmission for filling out during intermission and/or after the final curtain. The activities direct attention to characteristics of the production that might otherwise go unnoticed. Ratings matrices invite students to express their critique, a time-tested prompt for careful thinking.
My Highs & Lows
The basic activity sheet is called My Highs & Lows. Meant to be collected, opera by opera, over the course of the season, this sheet points students toward a consistent set of objects of observation. Its purposes are not only to help students articulate and express their opinions, but to support comparison and contrast, enriching understanding of the art form as a whole.
For Roméo et Juliette, the other activity sheet "Set Design" invites students to look closely at a distinctive attribute of this Metropolitan Opera production: its fascinating blue and gold set, at once contemporary and medieval.
The set incorporates a versatile circular platform whose center and outer ring rise and fall independently, at a variety of slopes, to represent a wide array of locations. The activity sheet encourages students to consider the set in at least three of its states and to comment on the intent and effectiveness of each.