For this activity, students will need the "Performance Activity" handout and the "Opera Review" handout.
COMMON CORE STANDARDS
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Interpret, analyze, and evaluate narratives, poetry, and drama artistically 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 Porgy and Bess, the first activity sheet, “Broadway Operations,” has students consider whether Porgy and Bess is an opera or a work of musical theater. In fact, scholars, critics, and performers have argued over this point ever since the work’s premiere: Porgy and Bess opened in New York in a Broadway theater, it has been performed in opera houses across the world, and Gershwin’s songs are performed by operatically trained voices and musical-theater artists alike. As students watch the production, they should consider how closely different aspects of the work seem to align with the style of either opera or musical theater.
The second activity sheet is called ”Opera Review: Porgy and Bess,” 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 Porgy and Bess. 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.