For this activity, students will need the "Performance Activity" handout and the "Opera Review" handout.
COMMON CORE STANDARDS
Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).
Interpret, analyze, and evaluate narratives, poetry, and drama, aesthetically and ethically by making connections to: other texts, ideas, cultural perspectives, eras, personal events and situations.
Supporting the Student Experience during The Met: Live in HD Transmission
Watching and listening to a live performance is a unique experience that takes students beyond the printed page to an immersion in images, sound, interpretation, technology, drama, skill, and craft. These performance activities are designed to help students analyze different aspects of this experience while engaging critically with the performance. Each performance activity incorporates a reproducible sheet; students should bring these activity sheets to the Live in HD transmission and fill them out during intermission and/or after the final curtain.
For Agrippina, the first activity sheet, “21st-Century Rome,”invites students to consider how opera directors depict historical eras onstage. For instance, an automobile onstage would indicate that a production must be set some time in the 20th or 21st century, while a horse-drawn carriage would indicate that the production is likely set in an earlier era.
Agrippina, as Handel wrote it, takes place in the first century ce, but Sir David McVicar has updated the setting to our own time. As your students watch the Live in HD broadcast, they should consider how the costumes, stage sets, and props work together to communicate “21st century” to the audience. Students should identify at least two items from each category, write about these items on the reproducible sheet, and return to class prepared to talk about what they observed and how these objects helped them understand (or not) Agrippina’s story and its relevance to the modern world.
The second activity sheet is called “Opera Review: Agrippina,” and it includes a scene-by-scene rating system to help students keep track of the opera’s story and develop their own opinions about what they see and hear. This activity is the same for each opera, and it is intended to guide students toward a consistent set of objective observations while enriching their understanding of the art form as a whole.
Following the performance, the Post-Show Discussion will offer a roadmap for reviewing the Live in HD performance of Agrippina. This guided discussion activity is designed to encourage careful, critical thinking about what students have seen and heard while also inspiring students to engage in further discussion and study.