IFR Recordings has produced a
series of CDs
"Madama Butterfly" by Puccini
"La Traviata" by
Barber of Seville" by Rossini
Excerpts - Music and Libretto, with
Narration by Ira Ross
"Opera for Everyone" series is an original concept that will
make you feel the fire
of opera whether you are a newcomer, a seasoned opera-goer,
or even one who has never entered the world of
opera in the series is a classic.
musical performances on each CD are outstanding, with an
excellent cast of singers and a marvelous conductor and
What Makes These CDs
for Music Educators
- Each CD tells the story in two
ways, first with words and then with music.
- Ira Ross begins each CD with an
introduction to the opera and to the overture. Then he
describes the action of the first major episode and suggests
what to listen for in the related music. This is followed by
the music. This sequence is repeated for each additional
major episode in the opera: narration--music, etc.
- The language used in the
narrative is informative and easily understood.
- For clarification, the words of
each musical track are written in two languages: 1) English
on the back cover, 2) The language of the original libretto
on the back of the front cover.
- Each CD will be most enjoyable
and helpful if it is listened to before and after watching
the opera live, on videotape or TV, or listening to it on
the radio or hi-fi.
wonderful way for grandparents and parents to introduce
their family to the Magic of Opera.
- Even if you never see the opera,
listening to these CDs can be a great joy!
- "Opera for Everyone" provides an
excellent opportunity for students to become familiar with
the background and music of four classic operas - each
related to a different important operatic period: "The
Barber of Seville" (1816) Rossini, "La Traviata" (1853)
Verdi, "Carmen" (1875) Bizet, and "Madama Butterfly" (1904)
Opera enriches in many ways. It provides magnificent
vocal and orchestral music -- and at the same time, it explores, interprets
and expresses the great variety of human emotions and acts of behavior.
- The following points are
suggestions for use of the CDs in the classroom:
Each CD is about
one hour in length, ideal for the classroom.
When technical terms are used (not very
often), they are fully explained.
Each CD has many short tracks. This format permits the
educator to select appropriate tracks to demonstrate the various elements.
Each CD is a valuable teaching tool and is ideal for
classroom use because it introduces students at all levels to the world of
opera. In addition, it demonstrates several phases of opera: the vocal and
orchestral music -- and the libretto.
To help students better appreciate all aspects of the
operas -- the music - the libretto - the visual -- it is suggested that the CD
be listened to, first. Then an appropriate opera videotape should be viewed,
either an edited version or the complete. A second hearing of the CD will
fortify the experience.
- The students will be introduced to the various
components that make up the opera:
- Vocal pieces: aria,
duet, trio, quartet, tutti (entire company), recitative, spoken dialogue.
- Voices: soprano,
mezzo-soprano, contralto, counter-tenor, tenor, baritone, bass.
- Roles of the orchestra:
to accompany the singers; to participate as one of the voices; to convey the
fire and the feel of the music.
We have two additional web sites
each one providing important benefits for a specific group
Our Special Site for Music Educators
This site contains valuable
resources for music educators
with links to supporting music education organizations
Our Special Site for
This site contains valuable
resources for executive directors
of opera companies and their directors of education
with links to supporting organizations
If you purchased any of the
CDs in the series
you are invited to download a copy of
the Teaching Manual from either site above.
The Manual includes Parts 1 and 2,
both of which will help you when using the CDs.
Part 1 consists of the original basic material.
Part 2 is brand new and includes the complete text,
in English, of each CD in the series.
Here's what the
critics are saying...
" The CD "Carmen" is spectacular. The production is
flawless and the sound levels are perfect ... vibrant
orchestral playing and wonderful voices -- especially the
old girl herself"
Bruce Robertson, Former Vice
President, Eckerd College
"We have just reviewed another wonderful opera CD
produced by Dr. Ira Ross... Carmen by Georges Bizet... He
puts both passion and humor into his opera instruction, an
absolutely irresistible combination... a fine addition to
any CD collection."
"I listened to... Ira Ross' CD and found it to be
extraordinary. In just a short time I gained a significantly
greater appreciation ... a masterful work."
Florida Orchestra's "Noteworthy"
Click here to read an
introduction by Ira Ross