Residents who are clueless about opera will soon have a chance to learn something new.
The Livingston Public Library will be holding a special series titled Opera 101. Funded by the Livingston Library Endowment Fund, the Opera 101 mini-course will detail the history of opera, composers and themes through several centuries.
The course will be taught by Dr. Robert W. Butts, a maestro, who currently serves as Music Director/Conductor of The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey and New Jersey Concert Opera and as artistic director with Opera At Florham. Since 2006, he has provided leadership and inspiration as Artistic Director for the Summer Festival of Baroque Music held in Madison. In addition, he has conducted performances featuring The New Jersey Symphony, The Plainfield Symphony, The Society of Musical Arts Orchestra, Harmonium Choral Society, the Oratorio Singers and the Masterwork Chorus.
Butts is a respected lecturer throughout the state on a variety of musical topics. He is on the faculties of Montclair State University and The College of Saint Elizabeth. He has taught at Drew University, County College of Morris and Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Butts has also done special speeches for New Jersey State Opera, The New Jersey Symphony, The State Theater, NJPAC and at libaries, retirement communities and museums across the state.
The course will be taught in three parts. The first part is titled “Opera: The First 200 Years.” Opera began as an experiment around the year 1600. By 1700, opera became the world's leading form of entertainment. It will be held on Thursday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Part two is called "Opera: The Golden Years." will focus on the nineteenth century, perhaps the greatest century for opera as more of the most lastingly popular operas were composed during this, the Romantic era. It will be held on Thursday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m.
The third part is titled "Opera: Verismo and Modernism." This lecture deals with the end of the Romantic period, which produced a style of opera that was filled with passion, sensuality and excitement. It will be held on Thursday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m.
The course is free for residents with a valid library card. Residents need to register for the course, and the tickets will be limited to two per person and must be picked up in person at the library. For additional information, residents can call 973-992-4600, extension 263.