Middlebury Language School Graduate Programs

 

Bettina Matthias

Director of the German School and Director, German for Singers and Vocal Coaches, and
Chair of the German Department, Middlebury College

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Phone: work802.443.3248
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Bettina Matthias(Ph.D., University of Washington) 

is Professor of German and Chair of the German Department at Middlebury College. She has been the director for “German for Singers and Vocal Coaches” since 2010, a program in which she has taught beginning German and classes on German cultural history since the year 2000. The author of numerous presentations about and a special textbook for German for Musicians, Ms Matthias is also active as an accompanist and has collaborated with singers in recitals in the Northeast and in Paris (France).

As the founder and director of Middlebury’s German Theater Group, Ms. Matthias has directed over two dozen German plays. In 2009, she also received her certification as “Spielleiter szenische Darstellung von Musik” from the Staatsoper unter den Linden, Berlin.

Ms Matthias’ scholarly focuses on early twentieth century Austrian and German works, most notably on Arthur Schnitzler, Stefan Zweig, and Thomas Mann and the literary hotel in the early 20th century. Her current research explores the literary libretto from the early 20th century.

Together with Mr. Stefan Boving, Ms. Matthias has also co-directed our last two opera productions in the program, Mozart's "Figaros Hochzeit" (2012) and Johann Strauß' "Die Fledermaus" (2013).

 

 

Courses


indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

GRMN 3104 - Diction & Culture German Stage      

The performance component carries one unit of credit and includes weekly private coachings; performance classes with a focus on expression through correct diction and vocal/musical style, as well as acting for the operatic stage; one public recital; one public performance of the summer's opera project; and an intensive audition training workshop at the end of the program, offered by a German opera agent with years of experience and expertise in the field. Repertoire will include German Lieder, oratorio, and operatic arias for the recital. Students are expected to arrive with a minimum of three songs or arias memorized; additional assignments and work focused on the opera production will be announced during the summer. The following course numbers are only different because they correspond with the language level each student is enrolled in, but all students in the following courses are in the same group, taking the same performance classes, and participating in the same projects and workshops.

Summer 2012

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GRMN 3105 - Elementary German for Singers      

Daily activities include three hours of classroom instruction, plus additional work in the computer lab. Emphasis will be placed on the grammatical structures of German, conversational survival skills, diction and pronunciation, as well as music vocabulary.

Summer 2011, Summer 2012, Summer 2013, Summer 2014 Language Schools

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GRMN 3106 - Elementary German for Singers      

Daily activities include three hours of classroom instruction, plus additional work in the computer lab. Emphasis will be placed on the grammatical structures of German, conversational survival skills, diction and pronunciation, as well as music vocabulary.

Summer 2011, Summer 2012, Summer 2013, Summer 2014 Language Schools

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GRMN 3194 - Diction & Culture German Stage      

A performance component carries one unit of credit and includes a daily performance class with a focus on expression through correct diction and vocal/musical style, as well as acting for the operatic stage; weekly private coachings; one public recital; one public performance of the summer's opera project; and an intensive audition training workshop at the end of the program, offered by a German opera agent with years of experience and expertise in the field. Repertoire will include German Lieder, oratorio, and operatic arias for the recital. Students are expected to arrive with a minimum of three songs or arias memorized; additional assignments and work focused on the opera production will be announced during the summer.

Summer 2012

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GRMN 3204 - Diction & Culture German Stage      

The performance component carries one unit of credit and includes weekly private coachings; performance classes with a focus on expression through correct diction and vocal/musical style, as well as acting for the operatic stage; one public recital; one public performance of the summer's opera project; and an intensive audition training workshop at the end of the program, offered by a German opera agent with years of experience and expertise in the field. Repertoire will include German Lieder, oratorio, and operatic arias for the recital. Students are expected to arrive with a minimum of three songs or arias memorized; additional assignments and work focused on the opera production will be announced during the summer. The following course numbers are only different because they correspond with the language level each student is enrolled in, but all students in the following courses are in the same group, taking the same performance classes, and participating in the same projects and workshops.

Summer 2012

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GRMN 3304 - Diction & Culture German Stage      

The performance component carries one unit of credit and includes weekly private coachings; performance classes with a focus on expression through correct diction and vocal/musical style, as well as acting for the operatic stage; one public recital; one public performance of the summer's opera project; and an intensive audition training workshop at the end of the program, offered by a German opera agent with years of experience and expertise in the field. Repertoire will include German Lieder, oratorio, and operatic arias for the recital. Students are expected to arrive with a minimum of three songs or arias memorized; additional assignments and work focused on the opera production will be announced during the summer. The following course numbers are only different because they correspond with the language level each student is enrolled in, but all students in the following courses are in the same group, taking the same performance classes, and participating in the same projects and workshops.

LNG

Summer 2012

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GRMN 3404 - Diction & Culture German Stage      

The performance component carries one unit of credit and includes weekly private coachings; performance classes with a focus on expression through correct diction and vocal/musical style, as well as acting for the operatic stage; one public recital; one public performance of the summer's opera project; and an intensive audition training workshop at the end of the program, offered by a German opera agent with years of experience and expertise in the field. Repertoire will include German Lieder, oratorio, and operatic arias for the recital. Students are expected to arrive with a minimum of three songs or arias memorized; additional assignments and work focused on the opera production will be announced during the summer. The following course numbers are only different because they correspond with the language level each student is enrolled in, but all students in the following courses are in the same group, taking the same performance classes, and participating in the same projects and workshops.

Summer 2012

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FYSE 1099 - Cultural History of the Piano      

Piano, Piano: The Cultural History of the Piano
Why do so many people have a piano in their living room? In this seminar we will try to answer this question by exploring the cultural history of the piano. As we study the piano’s special place in our (musical) culture, we will learn about the technical as well as social aspects of this instrument’s developments over the past 300 years. We will hear virtuosos like Franz Liszt and Keith Jarrett, study milestones of the pianistic repertoire, and discuss representations of this instrument and its artists in literature, the arts, and film. 3 hrs. sem.

ART CW EUR

Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

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GRMN 0101 - Beginning German      

Beginning German
Geared toward quick and early proficiency in comprehension and free expression. Grammatical structures are practiced through group activities and situational exercises (e.g., role-playing games and partner interviews). Active class participation by students is required and will be counted toward the final grade. Since this is an integrated approach, there will be laboratory assignments but no special drill sections. Classes meet five times a week. Students take GRMN 0102 as their winter term course. 5 hrs. lect.

LNG

Fall 2010, Fall 2011

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GRMN 0102 - Beginning German Continued      

Beginning German Continued
This course is the intensive continuation of GRMN 0101 which will further the development of your language skills in an immersion-like environment, and will include bi-weekly cultural readings in English. Classes meet for two hours each morning, then lunch at the language tables, in addition to afternoon and evening activities (e.g. film screenings). Completion of this course is a prerequisite to enrollment in GRMN 0103. (GRMN 0101 or equivalent)

LNG WTR

Winter 2012

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GRMN 0103 - Beginning German Continued      

Beginning German Continued
This course is a continuation of GRMN 0101 and 0102. Increased emphasis on communicative competence through short oral presentations and the use of authentic German language materials (videos, songs, slides). Introduction to short prose writings and other documents relating to contemporary German culture. Five class meetings per week. (GRMN 0101 plus winter term GRMN 0102, or equivalent) 5 hrs. lect.

LNG

Spring 2014

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GRMN 0111 - Accelerated Beginning German      

Accelerated Beginning German
This class is aimed at students who wish to begin the study of German on the fast lane. In one semester, we will cover a year's material, the equivalent of GRMN 0101, 0102, and 0103. We will develop all four skills in an intensive, immersion-style environment, allowing students to continue German in the regular second-year classes in the fall. Classes meet five times per week, including two 75-minute meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and an additional drill session. Students are expected to fully participate in all departmental activities. No prerequisites. 6 hr lect./disc./1 hr. drill

LNG

Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015

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GRMN 0150 - German Cultural History      

Tall Blondes in Lederhosen? A German Cultural History (in English)
In this course students will be introduced to Germany and its cultural history broadly conceived. Faculty will lecture on areas of special expertise, covering the period from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. We will embed important concepts, developments, events, and cultural artifacts in their broader (European) context. This course will lay a foundation for students wishing to study European
history, German, European Studies, Art History, Music, Philosophy, or Literature.

EUR HIS

Spring 2013

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GRMN 0201 - Intermediate German      

Intermediate German
GRMN 0201/0202 is a culture-based intermediate language sequence that focuses students' attention on intercultural aspects of language acquisition, vocabulary expansion, reading and writing strategies, and a review of grammar. It moves from a focus on issues of individual identity and personal experiences to a discussion of Germany today (GRMN 0201), explores national identity in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and supplies an overview of cultural history, literary achievements, and philosophical traditions in the German-speaking world (GRMN 0103 or equivalent) 4 hrs. lect.

LNG

Fall 2013, Fall 2014

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GRMN 0315 / CMLT 0315 - Hotel and Modern Experience      

"A Home Away From home": The Hotel and the Modern Experience (in English)*
In this course we will examine the hotel as a quintessentially modern social and cultural space. Sex and love, death and crime, money and leisure, and architecture and commerce find a special "home away from home" in the hotel, a quality that has inspired the cultural imagination for generations. Theories by G. Simmel, S. Kracauer, and Th. Veblen will help explain the complex dynamics between time, space, and money underlying the hotel's special aura. By “reading" real and fictional hotels in the arts and media (E. Hopper, Th. Mann, A. Hailey, St. Zweig), we will show the hotel's complex significance as a symbol of modern life. 3 hrs sem.

EUR LIT SOC

Spring 2013

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GRMN 0338 - German Comedy      

German Comedy
Even though the German literatures abound with comedies, humor is rarely mentioned as a German trait. In this course we will challenge the notion of “humor” as a universal, and examine the general ramifications that frame the comical as a cultural phenomenon. Drawing on theoretical texts such as Freud’s Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious (1905), we will discuss the German sense of humor and its manifestations in everyday life as well as in literary representations. Readings include texts by G. E. Lessing, F. v. Kleist, H. v. Hofmannsthal, and P. Süskind.

EUR LIT

Spring 2011

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GRMN 0344 - Body in German & Austrian Art      

Naked Truth: Approaches to the Body in Early 20th Century German-Austrian Art (in English)
In this team-taught course we will examine conceptions of the human body and the manner of its visualization in Germany and Austria in the period leading up to and following the First World War. Part of our inquiry will involve the planning of an exhibition of original artworks from the holdings of the Sabarsky Foundation (New York City), provisionally entitled Naked Truth, at the Middlebury College Museum in the fall semester of 2015. With the help of primary source readings from the period, and secondary readings in philosophy, critical and literary theory, and art history, we will consider how German and Austrian artists turned to the nude body as the site through which questions of personal and political freedom, desire, beauty, nature, culture, and their antonyms could be negotiated and represented. Taking these ideas as one critical point of departure, the class will work with select drawings, paintings, and etchings by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Otto Dix, and Käthe Kollwitz, among others. 3 hrs. sem.

ART EUR PHL

Spring 2015

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GRMN 0403 - Weimar Germany & Its Legacies      

Weimar Germany and Its Legacies
This course examines the brief and intense period of artistic creativity and political upheaval in Germany's first democracy, the Weimar Republic. Beginning with Germany's humiliating defeat in World War I, we will cover the implications of the Versailles Treaty, the Dolchstoß (stab-in-the-back) theory, the stillborn revolution of 1918-1919, and the growing political polarization and apathy leading to Hitler's rise to power. Contrasting the political decline with the increase in cultural productivity, we will discuss the artists' outcry for spiritual rebirth, examining the development of Expressionism, Dadaism, and New Objectivity in literature, visual arts, theater, and film. Readings include texts by Lasker-Schüler, Toller, Fallada, Kafka, Brecht, and Thomas Mann.

EUR LIT

Fall 2011

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GRMN 0440 - German Theatre in Action      

German Theatre in Action
In this course, students will prepare and stage a full production of a German play. After five weeks of seminar-style academic discussions of this work in context (the genre, the author, the topic, the time) and aspects of theatrical performance (theory), the class will prepare the show for the last week of the semester (two rehearsals/ week). Students will make informed staging decisions as a group and come to understand performance as a powerful mediator in the never-ending process of negotiating literary meaning. (At least two 0300+-level courses or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect/disc. (Formerly GRMN 0418)

ART EUR LIT

Fall 2013

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GRMN 0460 - Fin-de-siecle Vienna      

Memory Matters: National Identity in Contemporary Germany and Italy
In the course we will explore the crucial role of memory in the formation of national identity, and focus on the troubled remembrance of the Nazi period in Germany and the Fascist period in Italy. Using primary sources in their original language, students will study the ways in which the memory of this difficult past decisively informs contemporary national identity. Topics will include commemorative sites, national symbols, autobiographical memory, traumatic memory, and trans-generational memory. Classes will alternate between a plenary English session and discussions in either German or Italian. (Formerly GRMN 0481) 3 hrs. sem./disc.

EUR LNG

Spring 2012

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GRMN 0485 - Weimar Germany & Its Legacies      

Weimar Germany and Its Legacies
In this course we will examine the brief and intense period of artistic creativity and political upheaval in Germany's first democracy, the Weimar Republic. Beginning with Germany's humiliating defeat in World War I we will discuss the implications of the Versailles Treaty, the Dolchstoß (stab-in-the-back) theory, the stillborn revolution of 1918-1919, and the growing political polarization and apathy leading to Hitler's rise to power. Contrasting the political decline with the increased in cultural productivity, we will trace the artists' outcry for spiritual rebirth, examining the development of Expressionism, Dadaism, and New Objectivity in literature, visual arts, theater, and film. Readings will include texts by Döblin, Th. Mann, V. Baum, Kracauer, Kästner, Brecht, and Hans Fallada. Special project: preparation of an art exhibit in MCA opening in fall 2014. (Formerly GRMN 0403) 3 hrs. sem.

EUR LIT

Spring 2014

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GRMN 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
(Approval only)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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GRMN 0700 - Senior Research      

Honors Project
(Approval only)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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HARC 0344 - Body in German & Austrian Art      

Naked Truth: Approaches to the Body in Early 20th Century German-Austrian Art (in English)
In this team-taught course we will examine conceptions of the human body and the manner of its visualization in Germany and Austria in the period leading up to and following the First World War. Part of our inquiry will involve the planning of an exhibition of original artworks from the holdings of the Sabarsky Foundation (New York City), provisionally entitled Naked Truth, at the Middlebury College Museum in the fall semester of 2015. With the help of primary source readings from the period, and secondary readings in philosophy, critical and literary theory, and art history, we will consider how German and Austrian artists turned to the nude body as the site through which questions of personal and political freedom, desire, beauty, nature, culture, and their antonyms could be negotiated and represented. Taking these ideas as one critical point of departure, the class will work with select drawings, paintings, and etchings by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Otto Dix, and Käthe Kollwitz, among others. 3 hrs. sem.

ART EUR PHL

Spring 2015

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INTL 0702 - EUS Senior Thesis      

European Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Winter 2011, Winter 2012

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