1000 Fall 2019 European Operetta: The End of the Silver Age: Oscar Straus and Noel Coward
Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Nov. 13
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: James Keefe
In the first decades of the 20th century, the musical form of the Viennese operetta gradually morphed into musical comedy, or what came to be known as the Broadway musical. What started with Jacques Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld and Johann Strauss Jr.’s Die Fledermaus had a happy ending with composers such as Oscar Straus in Austria and Noel Coward in Great Britain. Oscar Straus’s best-known operetta is probably The Chocolate Soldier. Noel Coward attended a dance academy in London as a child, making his professional stage début at the age of 11. Coward achieved enduring success as a playwright, including the beautiful operetta Bitter Sweet. The class is dedicated to the late Rosemary T. McDonald, educator and patron of the arts.
Dr. James W. Keefe is a former choral music teacher, high school principal, university professor of education, and a National Association of Secondary School Principals director of research. He has conducted high school and college choruses as well as church and boys’ choirs. He is a current member of the Reston Chorale.