Alumni and Guest Artists in their own words

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"The education and training I received at Frost Opera Theater was such a fulfilling experience for me. I was lucky to be involved in several opera productions, workshops, concerts over my 2 years at Frost. The unconditional support and encouragement is something that will stick with me. I met lifelong friends and received training and performance opportunities that truly shaped me in preparation for my career as an artist."
Linsey Coppens - M.M. '18

"I’ve been involved with Frost Opera Theater a number of time over the last 8 years; having two new pieces that I was working on performed by students and faculty, guest teaching, and observing classes. Each time was a stimulating and inspiring musical experience.  Alan Johnson is a fierce advocate for the art form, with a particular passion for contemporary opera, and in exposing his students to that ever changing and exciting world, is preparing them to be fully aware and well-trained 21st century musicians."
Douglas J. Cuomo – Composer, Frost School of Music Distinguished Alumnus

"Opera is about more than just making great music – it’s about creating a world filled with characters trying to make sense of their lives and each other. The Frost Opera Theater, under Alan O. Johnson’s direction, creates these many worlds in first-rate performances.  And even better, these performances are brilliantly captured on recordings engineered by the Frost School's Department of Recording Services, so that listeners  many miles away (and many years from now) will be guaranteed a front row seat.  The Frost School's superb performance and recording of my opera The Death of Webern received rave reviews, including being named by Opera News as one of the “5 Best New Works” of 2016."
Michael Dellaira - Composer

“Frost Opera Theater provided a nurturing environment where I had the opportunity to develop the skills needed to be a  competitive emerging young artist in modern and classic Opera. By working with top stage directors and professors who are still active performers, I learned about the current demands of opera companies and was therefore equipped with the experience and knowledge to have successful auditions and engagements after graduation.” 
Zaray Rodriguez – MM 2016 

The Frost Opera Theater gathers together exactly what is needed to delve deeply into our complicated art form and produce richly layered music drama. Under the direction of Alan Johnson, singers, instrumentalists, designers, directors and conductors bring their many faceted talents into a collaborative atmosphere to focus on the work at hand.  The process of “getting there” is rich and exciting and, by the way, the productions are marvelous.”
Libby Larsen – Composer and advocate for music and musicians of our time 

“I was fortunate to have spent three years at the University of Miami as a Doctoral Student in vocal performance.  The highlight of my time at the school was easily my involvement in the Frost Opera Theater productions.  Frost Opera Theater always chose a mix of new opera and standard repertoire that was challenging and delightful for both the performers and the audiences.”
Jeffrey Wienand – DMA 2016 

“Frost Opera Theater pushed the envelope of college opera in a way that was challenging and exciting.  While studying at the University of Miami I performed in multiple operatic premieres and twentieth century operas.  I also performed in full productions of Marriage of Figaro, Albert Herring, and other classic repertoire.  There was involvement from every level of study, from freshman to third year doctoral students.  My involvement in these productions greatly helped to shape my performing and was invaluable in making me the artist I am today.”  
Jillian Staffiera – BM 2012 

"Through guidance by wonderful faculty, the Frost Opera Theater gave me the tools to succeed as a performer, teacher, and artist. The training I received was indispensable, with wide ranges of styles, genres, and performance opportunities. I would not be the person, nor artist, I am today without the training I received at the University of Miami."
David Tayloe – MM 2011

“I’m incredibly grateful for the experiences Frost Opera Theater afforded me in my time at the University of Miami.  I was able to perform standard repertory roles by masters like Mozart and Britten with orchestra, as well as cutting-edge contemporary works that challenged me as a musician.  The training I received through Frost Opera Theater has greatly influenced my singing career; conductors/directors constantly remark on my attention to detail and rhythmic accuracy – two things I know I honed in my time with Frost Opera Theater.  Before Frost, I never imagined I would be someone living composers would entrust to premiere their works, but I’m proud to say it has become a wonderfully rewarding part of my life, while continuing to perform recognized masterworks.”
Jeffrey Williams – DMA 2013

 "Frost Opera Theater equipped me with the tools to be a versatile performer capable of successfully interpreting standard operatic works as well as contemporary stage works. Since graduating, I've used those skills in performances with Opera Carolina, Glimmerglass Opera, Palacio de Bellas Artes, and Asheville Lyric Opera. In my career as a voice faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, I pass along this valuable knowledge to the next generation at every chance!"
Carl Dupont – DMA 2014

"The Frost School of Music opened their arms and gave me the greatest gift of strength, knowledge, and confidence.  Words cannot describe how thankful I am to have collaborated with such fine musicians and to have studied under the greatest mentors this campus has to offer. Because of them and this program, I felt that I have grown, not only becoming a better performer and singer, but in being a well rounded musician and artist.
Andrés Lasaga - MM 2017

My time as a student with Frost Opera Theater really set me up well for a successful future. I had the opportunity to sing several different roles and work with many fantastic guest directors. I learned so much about myself as a singer and performer, and have been able to use that experience academically and professionally. FOT gave me my start, and I'm so thankful for that.”
Eric McConnell – BM 2015