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Music 330 | Opera: Based on a True Story


Collaboratively research and write (on your group’s doc) answers to the following questions about your opera.

  • In brief, what are the relevant historical facts upon which the work is based? Are there areas of historical controversy or uncertainty? 

  • How does the work demonstrably differ from the historical record in terms of fabrications, inaccuracies, or significant omissions?

  • How did the work’s creators creatively shape the depiction of historical events? What events or perspectives contributed to their decisions? What are some different choices they could have made?


In your research process, your group should explore the following sources at a minimum:

  1. The libretto of the work, or at least a detailed synopsis

  2. At least one print or online reference source available through Collins Memorial Library

  3. At least one scholarly article (i.e., from a peer-reviewed academic journal), or a chapter or essay from an edited book

  4. At least one print or ebook available through Collins Memorial Library

  5. At least one biography/autobiography of the composer and/or librettist that talks about the creative process for the specific work, or (if living) at least one substantial interview with the composer and/or lyricist. (The latter may be a video or audio recording.)


You are welcomed and encouraged to look at many more sources, including non-scholarly ones such as Wikipedia.