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Classes with Deborah

Ms. Rosengaus' inner performer is present in her lecture work fostering a fun, light hearted and often irreverent classroom atmosphere, perfect for classical music lovers and amateurs alike.

Past Courses

Santa Clara University - Osher

Shandong University

San Francisco Opera Guild

College of Marin 

San Mateo Adult School

OFJCC, SFJCC, PJCC, Adison-Penzack JCC, Marin JCC

Peninsula Regent, Magnolia of Millbrae, Avant Palo Alto
Oakmont Lifelong Learning


All lectures can be tailored to fit the needs, interests and budget of you community. Lectures usually run from 1-2 hours.

What’s so great about Opera?!: An exploration of some of the greatest moments in Opera. Take the funniest moments, wildest “Mad” scenes, best of the supernatural and see how music history, social trends and compositional techniques were used to bring Operatic masterpieces to life. (1-7 Lectures)


                         Class Titles:

                         Mad Divas

                         Comedy in Opera

                         Faeries and Demons

                         Opera's Most Romantic Moments

                         Homegrown, American Opera

                         Ballet in Opera

                         Beautiful Arias You've NEVER Heard


Telling a story through music: The power of music is never more evident than when it is used to tell a story. This can be anything from a scripted ballet to an abstract interpretation of a Fairy Tale. Featuring programmatic music by such greats as Berlioz to the soundtrack symphonies of some of Hollywood’s most iconic films.


Music and the Movies: Music and pictures are a match made in heaven! The right soundtrack can make a giant gorilla sympathetic or turn a starlit drive into a scary nightmare. We’ll explore the changing technology of sound and the developments in film scoring through the decades. (5 lectures, 60 minutes each)


On with the show, the birth of Broadway

The lights of Broadway have always been bright, but before the neon and billboard of Time Square, were the candlelit salons of the New York elite and the gaslamps of Vaudeville. We’ll discuss the great producers and architects of the famous theaters as well as the artists that graced their stages. Discover the history of one of the Big Apple’s most iconic neighborhoods and the struggle of a new America trying to find its own voice through the medium of music and theater. (5 lectures)


The Jewish Sound: What makes music sound Jewish? A discussion of the music of biblical times to contemporary world folk fusion. We’ll delve in to the history and traditions around Klezmer music and compare it to it’s sephardic cousin as well as the sacred traditions developed by unique Jewish communities around the world. (1-4 lectures)


Meet the Instruments: An exploration of the history and development of the much loved instruments found in the Western Orchestra. From the archaic versions found on wall paintings to the virtuosic high tech models of today, you will see and hear how musical tastes and crafty engineering morphed these incredible sound-makers over the ages. Musical excerpts will highlight works by famous composers through the centuries and feature some of the internationally renown modern day players of these instruments.


Music of Jewish Composers: This talk celebrates the lives and musical offerings of Jewish composers from around the world, many whose works were suppressed by the Nazis during WWII.  Some are household  names and others are only now starting to receive recognition. Works by composers; Hahn, Mendelssohn, Mahler, Bernstein, Copland, Weill, Meyerbeer. (1 lecture)

Americana: The fabulous music we all know and love but where does it come from? An in depth look at the development of the “American” sound from the classical composers like Copland and Gershwin to the evolution of Blues, Jazz and Rock n’ Roll! (5 lectures)
                           Class Titles:
                           Folk and Blues
                           From Blues to Jazz
                           The birth of Rock n’ Roll
                           Classical America
                           The Pop Evolution

How Opera Grew-up: Hear how fashion, religion and politics have helped opera evolve over its 400 year history-from its conception during the 1600s in the courts of Italian nobility through its troubled teen years seeking popularity across Europe, all the way to its reinvention in the 21st century. (4 lectures)

Prep for the Met: A great way to get the scoop on the Operas being broadcast by the Metropolitan Opera in New York. These unique screenings are being played all over the world and combine the world’s greatest singers with beautiful sets and dramatic cinematography. These talks are meant to enrich your viewing experience and serve as program notes to the broadcasts. (runtime 1-2 hrs)

Music Appreciation: Make your concert going experience more enjoyable by coming to this music appreciation course. Get the insider's look at music being played this season by local orchestras, opera companies, chamber groups and popular musicians. We'll break down some of the biggest works to hit the western world and explore the question "what is music now and where is it going?" A fun interactive course that will polish up your ears and make you a whole new breed  of concert goer. 


Politics of Music​: The history of classical music is a turbulent thing as composers walked the line of pleasing their patrons and striving to create something wonderfully original. For some composers, a close-knit relationship with the social elite lead to thrilling advancements and for others it was a noose from which they had to cut themselves free. You'll hear the music of great composers like Haydn and Bach, revolutionaries such as Mozart and secret activists like Shostakovich. Get the inside scoop on these great composers and the political pressures that influenced their life's work.


Musical Family Dynasties: Is musical genius a genetic trait? We’ll explore the biological family trees of some of Musics greatest composers. From husband and wife power couples like the Schumans to generations of composers who strove to fulfill the family legacy like the Bach brood.  (4-8 lectures)

Lecture Recitals

Where Concert meets education. All examples are performed live!

A Delightfully Condensed History of Opera - Embark on an exciting whirlwind journey through 400 years of opera history. Learn how religion, politics and fashion trends impacted opera over the centuries. Hear musical excerpts from the greatest composers as well as live renditions of popular favorites. (Lecture/Recital runs 1.5hrs)


Artsong - What is it you ask? Artsong is to Opera what Poetry is to a Play. A vastly underperformed and under appreciated sect of the classical repertoire. We’ll compare  (Lecture/Recital runs 1.5hr)


The Greats of Piano - In collaboration with the incredible concert pianist Louise Costigan Kerns, these unique events discuss the lives and musical styles of some of the greatest pianist/composers such as Liszt, Chopin and Debussy with examples played live.


Americana See description above

Jewish Classical Composers

A History of Broadway

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