Unit 2: Opera with Timothy

Genre Overview

The word Opera in Italian means “work.” Opera is a type of theatrical artwork where everything is sung and set to music. Just like plays or movies, operas can be dramatic or comedic, but all of the dialogue is sung instead of spoken. Many cultures have their own style of opera. The first documented western operas were performed in the early 1600s and are still evolving and part of contemporary music. Opera tells many types of stories and include ideas of romance, social issues, fairytales, and magic to name a few. The operatic voice is often categorized into vocal types by the range of notes that they feel the most comfortable singing. From highest to lowest soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, countertenor, tenor, baritone, and bass. Opera singers are not amplified by technology. They use their bodies and their breath to project their voices over full orchestras and fill concert halls.

Meet Timothy

A native of Augusta, GA, tenor Timothy Miller is an active performer whose operatic roles include First Armored Man in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Street in Davis’ X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, Un Messaggero in Verdi’s Aida, and Parpignol in Puccini’s La bohème.  His concert repertoire includes tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Magnificat, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Mozart’s Requiem, and Adolphus Hailstork’s I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes.  Timothy is widely recognized for his stirring renditions of “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch of Atlanta Braves home games.  In addition to a busy performance schedule, he is also an Assistant Professor of Voice and Music at Morehouse College and serves on the board of the Meridian Herald.

Lesson 1: Learning “La Donna è Mobile”

Students will explore the elements of classical singing technique by listening and learning “La Donna è Mobile.” Go to Lesson 1: Learning “La Donna è Mobile” →

Lesson 2: Exploring Nessun Dorma”

Students will explore the ways opera singers express emotion through dramatic musical storytelling.
Go to Lesson 2: Exploring “Nessun Dorma”→

Learn More!


Murray Monster and Ovejita travel to Lincoln Center to join Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard
Fleming sings ‘12345’ (Caro nome) at The Muppets Show
Sesame Street- Placido Flamingo’s Opera
What is Opera? Opera 101


Additional Teaching Resources:

Unit 2: PDF Downloads

↓ SG12 Meet Timothy!

↓ SG13 We asked Timothy…

↓ SG14 Ways We Can Use Our Voices

↓ SG15 Parts of an Opera Production

↓ SG16 Write Your Own Riddles

Audio Tracks

Track 12 – “La Donna è Mobile”

Track 13 – “La Donna è Mobile” (chorus)

Track 14 – “Nessun Dorma

Track 15 – “Nessun Dorma” (final phrases)

Lesson 1: Learning “La Donna è Mobile” →

Lesson 2: Exploring “Nessun Dorma” →

Unit 1 – Lesson 2: Learning “Put All Your Troubles Away”