Opera: An Introduction Musical Lesson, Activities, Worksheets & Slideshow


Opera has been around since the Renaissance. If you’ve watched Disney cartoons, tv shows, tv advertisements or movies you have probably heard bits or full songs from some of the most famous operas.

This lesson plan has been designed to help your students appreciate opera while learning about its history and vocabulary. The lesson includes samples from some of the most famous operas and their most well known arias.

Beyond the music, opera has inspired the building of architectural marvels to showcase the performances. These opera houses are famous landmarks for most of the cities that house them. Your students will learn more about the opera houses around the world some of their cultural significance.

This is the perfect lesson and activity for elementary school children and teachers as well as home schooling. Each aria is between 2:30 minutes to about 5:00 minutes long. The lesson could take about 30+ minutes. Depending on the activity or activities you choose they could take up to several days to complete.

Download a sample of Opera: An Introduction Musical Lesson Plan.


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Lesson includes:

  • Lesson plan about Opera, its origins and history
  • 27 slide PDF slideshow with information about the history of opera, several famous operas with a synopsis and link to watch a famous aria from the opera, and the history of operatic architecture (opera houses)
  • Opera and musical vocabulary
  • A sample from some of the most famous operas and their most well known arias. The operas included are:
    • “The Barber of Seville” by Rossini
    • “Carmen” by Bizet
    • “Il Trittico” by Puccini
    • “La Bohème” by Puccini
    • “The Magic Flute” by Mozart
    • “Pagliacci” by Leoncavallo
    • “The Pirates of Penzance” by Gilbert and Sullivan
    • “Rigoletto” by Verdi
    • “Turandot” by Puccini
  • These 1 – 2 page opera sample sheets include:
    • The opera’s composer and the date it was written
    • A short synopsis of the opera
    • Digital links to YouTube videos of the opera
    • English or English translation of the aria’s libretto (lyrics)
    • Images of the opera and/or the opera’s playbill/poster
  • A one page history of the operatic song “O Sole Mio” by Mazzuchi that includes and English translation of the words and links to YouTube videos of the song as well as other versions of the song by Tony Martin and Elvis Presley
  • Lesson about Operatic Architecture / Opera Houses
  • Opera house vocabulary
  • Opera house websites with image galleries
  • Opera house art activities and links to printable coloring pages
  • 48 printable opera house cards with several corresponding activities. Opera house cards include:
    • A picture of the opera house
    • Opera house name and location
    • The architect
    • When it was built
  • Printable Worksheets:
    • Opera history worksheet
    • Write a sonnet worksheet
    • Opera Word Search
    • Opera Playbill worksheet
    • Opera house research questions worksheet
  • Activities
    • Listening Activities
    • Musical Activities
    • Writing / language arts activities
    • Visual Art activities
    • Dance activities
    • History / social studies activities
  • Activities for Younger Children
    • Visual Art Activities
    • Writing & Drama / theater activities
    • Dance Activities
    • History / social studies Activities
    • Ideas for Art Nights
  • Over 20 full pages images from operas and of several opera houses
  • Answer key Included
Formats Included
  • Zip
  • PDF
  • 73 pages