I'm going to start in immediately with a listening exercise. I'll play the first number of Act II of Orfeo ("Ecco pur ch'a voi ritorno") a couple of times, and ask students to pair/group up and talk about the music for a few minutes. I'd like them to brainstorm as many ways to describe it as they can. After some time in small groups, I'll take notes as they discuss what they talked about.
After that we'll do some introductions and class business: the calendar, section syllabus, etc.
Next, we'll move into discussing the questions I set them for homework. Each student had to submit answers ahead of time to the questions:
1. What's your favorite moment in Orfeo so far?
2. What are three interesting things you've learned in lecture?
3. What's one idea or aspect of the class about which you're still fuzzy? (The so-called "Muddiest Point.")
We'll get a discussion going on these topics, primarily on questions 2 and 3. My biggest goal for this section will be to get this discussion going among students, not a bunch of them talking to me and me responding, the trap I fell into last year.
Finally, I'll ask some students to share their favorite moments from Orfeo. I'll play the music, they tell the class what's going on and why they particularly like that part.