Opera as a Motivating Device



ABSTRACT This article describes a non-technical approach to the classroom presentation of opera. Opera, which is rapidly gaining in popularity throughout the country, can be a valuable learning and motivating device in the foreign language classroom. Since one of the functions of art is to give pleasure, the technique herein described will show high school students a method of deriving pleasure from using the language they are studying. The opera Manon, by Jules Massenet, serves to illustrate this method, which teachers of other languages can easily adapt. The basic elements of this technique include annotation of the libretto by the teacher, preparation of useful documents, presentation of the recorded work to the class, preparation of a student take-home assignment, and classroom discussion. An optional classroom activity is suggested in which the class may study the literary source of the opera.