If you had to teach a class on opera, what might you do on the very first day?

Steve Swayne, the Jacob H. Strauss 1922 Professor of Music and Director of the Montgomery Fellows Program, takes his students to the movies. Even if you are a newcomer to the world of opera, you have probably heard opera's best-known music through popular and award-winning films. Professor Swayne will explore the impact that filmmakers create by using classical music in a film.

6:00 p.m. Welcome by Robin Albing, Director of Lifelong Learning
6:03 p.m. Greeting and introduction by Mary Lou Aleskie, Director of the Hopkins Center
6:05 p.m. Presentation by Professor Steve Swayne
6:45 p.m. Live Q&A
7:00 p.m. Virtual reception

Dartmouth on Location: Opera in Popular Imagination Mid-Atlantic Region

June 3, 2020 from 6:00-7:30 pm EDT

Register Here

Dartmouth on Location: Opera in Popular Imagination West Coast and Western Canada 

June 5, 2020 from 5:00 - 6:30 pm PDT

Register Here

Before the event, watch one or all these films:

  • Moonstruck (1987), listen for the opera by Puccini, La Boheme
  • Pretty Woman (1990), listen for the opera by Verdi, La Traviata
  • Life Is Beautiful (1997), listen for the opera by Offenbach, Les Contes d'Hoffmann
  • Philadelphia (1993), listen for the opera by Giordano, Andrea Chenier
  • Prizzi's Honor (1985), listen for the opera by Puccini, Gianni Schicchi
  • Manchester-by-the-Sea (2016), listen for the opera by Massenet, Cherubin
  • What's Opera, Doc? (1957), listen for the opera by Wagner, Tannhauser and Der Ring des Nibelungen


Sign-up for Dartmouth X Courses on Opera with Professor Swayne

Want to listen to an opera for the first time? Have you been listening to opera for your entire life? These courses are suited for beginners and advanced opera listeners alike!

Both courses focus on giving you the tools and experiences to become better students of opera.

Introduction to German Opera

Introduction to Italian Opera

Recipes Inspired by Operas

  1. Risotto Giuseppe Verdi Style -Composers in the Kitchen, NPR Series 
  2. Pears Belle-Helene - French dessert created around 1864 by Auguste Escoffier and named after the operetta La belle Helene by Jacques Offenbach
  3. Monte Bianco inspired by La Boheme

Drinks Inspired by Operas 

  1. The Opera
  2. La Boheme 
  3. Puccini - Mocktail by replacing Prosecco with club soda or sparkling water
  4. Madam Butterfly - Inspired by Puccini's Opera


Steve Swayne

Steve Swayne

The Jacob H. Strauss 1922 Professor of Music, teaches courses in art music from 1700 to the present day, opera, American musical theater, Russian music, and American music and directs the College's Montgomery Fellows Program. He has received fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has written two books How Sondheim Found His Sound and Orpheus in Manhattan: William Schuman and the Shaping of America's Musical Life (winner of the 2012 ASCAP Deems Taylor Nicolas Slonimsky Award for Outstanding Musical Biography) - and is at work on two more: one, on the life and music of musical theater composer William Finn; and another, on the intersections of music, neuroscience, and ethics. He is an accomplished concert pianist, with four nationally distributed recordings currently in release and a performance with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas to his credit. In addition to his work at Dartmouth, he has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and at UC Berkeley, and he is the president-elect of the American Musicological Society, the largest English-speaking organization of music scholars in the world.

Mary Lou Aleskie 

Mary Lou Aleskie

The Howard L. Gilman '44 Director of the Hopkins Center for the Arts. She assumed her role at Dartmouth in April 2017. She is charged with leading the advancement of the Hopkins Center for the Arts and arts and creativity at Dartmouth. Mary Lou is an internationally known advocate for the power of the arts to bring people together, not only within local communities, but around the globe.

To learn more about Dartmouth on Location programs, please contact us at (603) 646-9159 or ar.ace@dartmouth.edu.