Vocal Arts and Opera News from the 2014-2015 Academic Year

Cynthia Munzer speaks to KABC about her battle with lung cancer

June 11, 2015

Operatic mezzo-soprano Cynthia Munzer, who teaches on the USC Thornton Vocal Arts and Opera faculty, was recently interviewed by KABC-TV Eyewitness News about her 2013 lung cancer diagnosis and her path to recovery. Munzer underwent surgery to remove part of her lungs – and today Munzer works on behalf of the American Lung Association to […]


Rod Gilfry debutes new opera role, to critical acclaim

June 8, 2015

Rod Gilfry, operatic baritone and USC Thornton Vocal Arts and Opera faculty member, recently originated the role of Walt Whitman in composer Matt Aucoin’s “Crossing,” to critical acclaim. The new opera, which premiered at the Citi Shubert Theatre in Boston on May 29, draws on the life, work, and poetry of Whitman, and is part […]


Student Ryan Tani to pursue conducting opportunities

April 23, 2015

USC Thornton student Ryan Tani (BA ’15) has been accepted as a Master of Music candidate at the Peabody Conservatory in Maryland in the Orchestral Conducting program. Tani has been a member of many USC ensembles, including the Thornton Chamber Singers, the Early Music Ensemble and the Compline Choir and is co-founder and principal conductor […]


Members of the USC Thornton Board of Councilors offer career advice for aspiring professionals

March 24, 2015

The USC Thornton Alumni Association and Board of Councilors recently presented an interactive career panel for aspiring music industry professionals. Moderated by musician and producer Randy Jackson, the panel of industry veterans and members of the USC Thornton Board of Councilors offered Thornton students insight and advice about pursuing careers in artist management, music licensing […]


Ines Thomé and Katina Mitchell win Thornton Outreach Chamber Ensemble Competition

March 10, 2015

USC Thornton students Ines Thomé (GCRT, DMA) and Katina Mitchell (DMA) won the Thornton Outreach Chamber Ensemble Competition with their ensemble Gifts from Over Sea. Thomé, a DMA student in Classical Guitar, and Mitchell, a DMA student in Vocal Arts, will perform upcoming concerts for school children in Los Angeles as Thornton Outreach Chamber Ensemble […]


Ken Cazan’s production of “Thérèse Raquin” reviewed in Chicago

March 4, 2015

Ken Cazan, chair of the Vocal Arts and Opera department and resident stage director of USC Thornton Opera, received great reviews in Chicago for his direction of the Chicago Opera Theater’s production of Thérèse Raquin. Aaron Hunt of Newcity Stage reviewed the production as “the all-around finest production I have had the pleasure to enjoy […]


Ken Cazan wins Marlowe Award for production of “Dead Man Walking”

February 11, 2015

USC Thornton faculty Ken Cazan, chair of the Vocal Arts program and resident stage director of USC Thornton Opera, recently was awarded Denver’s Marlowe Award for his production of Dead Man Walking. Featured in the Central City Opera in Central City, CO, Cazan’s work garnered him the Best Director title. Praised by Opera News for […]


Jacquelynne Fontaine starring as Carlotta Giudicelli in the North American tour of Phantom of the Opera

February 3, 2015

USC Thornton alumna Jacquelynne Fontaine (MM ’08) is starring as Carlotta Giudicelli in the North American tour of Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Phantom of the Opera. Fontaine has appeared in many productions including The King and I, La Boheme and The Sound of Music. The tour began this January in Florida and will stop in […]


Ken Cazan reviewed in Los Angeles Times for revival of Tobias Picker’s “Therese Raquin”

January 28, 2015

USC Thornton faculty Ken Cazan, chair of the Vocal Arts program and resident stage director of USC Thornton Opera, revived Tobias Picker’s Therese Raquin last weekend at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro with the Long Beach Opera. A Los Angeles Times article praised Cazan’s production for being “naturalistic, focused and unfussy, true to […]


Marilyn Horne presents annual master classes at Carnegie Hall

January 22, 2015

The New York Times reviewed USC Thornton alumna Marilyn Horne’s The Song Continues at Carnegie Hall, a series of master classes that culminates in a public performance. Three young singers performed for the famed mezzo-soprano. The annual event also features a veteran singer each year. The Times noted: “After offering a few anecdotes, including a […]


News archive