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School of Music


  •  Il Barbiere di Siviglia

    Il Barbiere di Siviglia: Gioachino Rossini

  • Candide cast and set

    Candide: Leonard Bernstein

  • cast of Helene

    Hélène: Camille Saint-Saëns

  • Elixir

    L'elisir d'amore: Gaetano Donizetti

  • Stomp your Foot

    The Tender Land: Aaron Copland

Opera at USC

Opera at USC offers a truly comprehensive program for both graduate and undergraduate students, covering every facet of opera production, both on stage and behind the scenes.

Auditions for 2016-2017 Season

It’s a season about ART!

Round one auditions:
Tuesday, May 3 from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
A sign up sheet will be posted the week of April 25.

Please have two contrasting arias (one English) prepared. An accompanist will be provided. Cold readings may be required.

Auditions will also be held August 15 for incoming students.
Children’s auditions will be held in August.

All roles are open with first priority given to current USC students. Opera at USC is fortunate to often cast people from the Columbia area, including students at other institutions and those who have finished USC.


2016-2017 Season Announced

(dates, times and repertoire subject to change)

Sunday in the Park with George (Sondheim)

November 4, 5, 6, 2016 
Drayton Hall

Later The Same Evening (Musto)

February 24, 25, 26, 2017
Drayton Hall

The Lanny and Sidney Palmer One Act Series

Bon Appétit! (Hoiby)

featuring Janet Hopkins
and

The Impresario (Mozart)

April 15, 16, 2017
School of Music Recital Hall


Opera at USC offers a truly comprehensive program for both graduate and undergraduate students, covering every facet of opera production, both on stage and behind the scenes. Singers, directors, pianists, conductors, marketing and public relations students and theatrical technicians get expert teaching and intensive hands-on experience in their respective crafts.

Opera at USC is one of only a handful of colleges and universities nationwide that offers special training and practice for aspiring opera stage directors. You can gain abundant practical stage experience by participating in the operas either onstage or off.

Opera at USC presents two fully staged operas with orchestra each year and also presents an evening of One-Act Operas, often with a graduate stage director. Roles are open to undergraduates and graduates.

Master classes conducted by international opera singers, conductors, coaches and directors are held each semester.

Voice faculty and the choral department work closely together with Opera at USC on many projects. Learn more about the choral ensembles and the vocal studies area.


See photos from our past seasons.


Opera Faculty

Ellen Douglas Schlaefer

Ellen Douglas Schlaefer

Ellen Douglas Schlaefer is director of Opera Studies. She has worked with some of the world’s top opera companies and directors, including the Washington Opera and Francesca Zambello. She has staged productions across the U.S. and throughout South Carolina.

Neil Casey

Neil Casey

Neil Casey is the assistant director of orchestras and teaches conducting, violin and chamber music. He also is conductor of the Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra in Savannah, Ga. Casey conducts Opera at USC and the USC Campus Orchestra, an ensemble he created.

Lynn Kompass

Lynn Kompass

Lynn Kompass is vocal coach and associate professor. She provides musical preparation for all productions performed by Opera at USC and teaches courses in song literature and advanced diction for singers.

Michael LaRoche

Michael LaRoche

Michael LaRoche serves as the technical director for Opera at USC and is the information technology support consultant for the School of Music. He is a doctorate of musical arts candidate in voice performance (baritone).

Laury Christie

Laury Christie

Laury Christie is a member of the voice faculty (soprano) and is certified in the Alexander technique. She has performed with orchestras the U.S. and at Spoleto Festival USA, Alice Tully Hall in New York City and on Public Radio.

Walter Cuttino

Walter Cuttino

Walter Cuttino chairs the voice faculty and is an associate professor (tenor). He has more than 1,500 operatic and concert performances to his credit, including a tour with the late Leonard Bernstein. He is artistic director of the Palmetto Opera.

Janet Hopkins

Janet Hopkins

Janet Hopkins is assistant professor of voice (mezzo-soprano). She has presented master classes throughout the U.S. and performed Beethoven's 9th in Kentucky and El Amor Brujo (Falla) with the S.C. Philharmonic.

Tina Milhorn Stallard

Tina Milhorn Stallard

Tina Milhorn Stallard is associate professor of voice (soprano) and teaches vocal pedagogy. She performed Vivaldi’s “Gloria” with the Shanghai Philharmonic as part of the cultural prelude to the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Jacob Will

Jacob Will

Jacob Will is a member of the voice faculty (bass-baritone). He made his New York Philharmonic debut as soloist in the American premiere of the “Messa per Rossini,” in a performance televised live nationwide.

don gray

Don Gray

Donald Gray has been a voice faculty member since 1972 and has performed all around the world. He has been a Metropolitan Opera audition winner and won the second annual Mario Lanza Competition.

Opera Events

View All Opera at USC Events