Opera Workshop

This annual performance course offers Northwestern’s Music & Theatre singers and actors an opportunity to hone their skills. Spring semester culminates in the performance of an opera or operatic scenes in Knight Performance Hall.

University of Northwestern students performing in Opera

UNW Opera Workshop offers a curricular production experience in acting, singing, accompanying, and producing opera, designed to enhance and advance the development of singers and actors. Spring semester culminates in the performance of an opera or operatic scenes in our recently renovated, 1,500-seat, Knight Performance Hall. Admission to the class is by personal interview with the director, Doreen Hutchings.

Northwestern students gain a wealth of experience and training from Opera Workshop, as well as through UNW’s outstanding voice program, which offers private voice lessons and vocal master classes by noted artist-teachers. Students and graduates of Northwestern have received scholarships and acceptance to graduate schools and study programs such as Rice University, Royal Academy of Music in London, Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY), Austrian American Mozart Academy in Salzburg, Austria, and Oberlin in Italy opera program in Arezzo, Italy (through the Oberlin Conservatory of Music). Graduates of Northwestern’s vocal program grace stages from Minneapolis (Guthrie Theater and Chanhassen Dinner Theatre) to performance halls in London, England, and Houston, Texas.

In April 2008, Opera Workshop premiered the opera Ruth with the UNW Orchestra and Northwestern Choir. Faculty composer Dr. Barbara Rogers expressly wrote the work for Northwestern. In April 2018, Opera Workshop took their performance to the next level with Die Fledermaus (“The Bat”), a favorite comic German operetta (sung in English) with music by Johann Strauss II. Complete with impressive singing, beautiful costumes, and elegant staging, the 80+ members of the cast, crew, and full orchestra made this operetta come to life!