Opera Studies

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Actors with bright clothing and expressive makeup sign during an opera performance Actors with bright clothing and expressive makeup sign during an opera performance

Renowned faculty members in the Department of Vocal Performance play a vital part in opera studies through numerous course requirements and offerings.  These include private lessons, vocal coachings, diction, stagecraft, movement, history, audition technique, media, production, and performance.  Master Classes by guest artists are given throughout the academic year in all areas of opera discipline.  A complete list of Master Class guests can accessed on this website.

Undergraduate Opera Studies

Students register for an opera curriculum course beginning in their second year of study. This stagecraft and acting class meets twice a week.

  • MVP 288 - Stagecraft and Acting for Opera II, Sophomore
  • MVP 388 - Stagecraft and Acting for Opera III Junior
  • MVP 488 - stagecraft and Acting for Opera IV Senior

The objective of this class is to build advanced techniques in performance that will help improve the overall presentation of the singing actor, empowering the student with a vast array of tools needed for success on the stage and in the professional opera industry. Focus is placed on:

  • helping the student define goals that will accelerate personal growth as a performer;
  • interpreting text, and learning to interpret music in its relation to text and to acting choices;
  • advanced role preparation and character development;
  • the physical aspects of performing that uniquely challenge the operatic singing actor;
  • exploring partnerships onstage, including the basics behind stage combat and keeping any physical contact on stage safe at all times;
  • understanding the context of the operas being explored.

Throughout the course, students are encouraged to take healthy risks, to explore new possibilities in their performances, to define themselves as interpretive artists, to build expressive communication skills, and to analyze and employ the skills and traits that will ultimately help lead them to success in the opera industry.


MVP 580 - Opera Production (Frost Opera Theater)

All undergraduate MVP students register for MVP 580, meeting in tandem with MVP 680. All students attend casting auditions for MVP 580/680 productions and may be cast in role assignments and opera chorus.

Frost Opera Theater rehearsal hours are held four times a week, with additional times scheduled in the proximity of performance dates:

  • Monday: 2:30 – 4:50
  • Tuesday: 6:30 – 10:00
  • Wednesday: 2:30 – 4:50
  • Friday: 2:30 – 4:50

Graduate Opera StudiesĀ 

M.M. and A.D. students register for opera each semester during their course of study. DMA students register for an opera ensemble in two semesters with the option to register in all semesters as an elective.

MVP 680 - Opera Production (Frost Opera Theater)

Participation in Frost Opera Theater is arranged in tandem with Stagecraft and Acting for Opera. All students attend casting auditions for MVP 680 productions and may be cast in opera chorus and role assignments.
Frost Opera Theater rehearsal hours are held four times a week, with additional times scheduled in the proximity of performance dates:

  • Monday: 2:30 – 4:50
  • Tuesday: 6:30 – 10:00
  • Wednesday: 2:30 – 4:50
  • Friday: 2:30 – 4:50

MVP 788 - Stagecraft and Acting for Opera, Graduate

This stagecraft and acting class meets twice a week.