Vocal Arts and Opera News

Soprano Jessica Rivera featured in Paola Prestini’s spectacular “Hubble Cantata”

November 1, 2016

Soprano and USC Thornton alumna Jessica Rivera (MM ’98) recently performed in the groundbreaking Hubble Cantata as part of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park. In celebration of the 26th anniversary of the Hubble Telescope, composer Paola Prestini and filmmaker Eliza McNitt engaged live performers and virtual-reality technology to bring festival audiences inside […]


Thornton musicians sweep Frances Walton Competition in Seattle

October 20, 2016

Mezzo-soprano and USC Thornton Vocal Arts & Opera graduate student Lesley Baird (MM ’15) was a winner of the 2016 Frances Walton Competition in Seattle, where she was accompanied by pianist and Keyboard Collaborative Arts DMA candidate Jasper Jimenez (MM ’13, GCRT ’15). Since winning the competition in July, the duo has presented several area […]


Ryan Reithmeier named opera director at Azusa Pacific

September 7, 2016

Ryan Reithmeier (DMA ’16, vocal arts) has been appointed the Director of Opera at the Azusa Pacific University (APU) School of Music. Reithmeier first joined the APU vocal faculty in 2015 while he was still in his doctoral studies at USC Thornton. In addition to his work with the APU Opera, Reithmeier directs high school […]


Rod Gilfry sings Don Alfonso in back-to-back European productions

August 29, 2016

Baritone Rod Gilfry, a member of USC Thornton’s Vocal Arts & Opera faculty, recently performed the role of Don Alfonso in back-to-back runs of Mozart’s Così fan tutte in the UK and France. The co-production, directed by Christophe Honoré and conducted by Louis Langrée and Jérémie Rhorer, was first presented at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in […]


Marilyn Horne celebrated at Music Academy gala

July 27, 2016

USC Thornton alumna Marilyn Horne was honored at a gala concert on June 4, 2016 at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, where she is director of the Voice Program. The concert, which opened the Academy’s 2016 Summer School and Festival, featured performances by vocalists Simone Osborne, Isabel Leonard, Ben Bliss, and […]


Trojan Family Magazine spotlights musicians – and the specialists who keep them healthy

July 6, 2016

The spring issue of USC’s Trojan Family Magazine includes a feature article exploring the special relationship between musicians and the medical specialists who help to keep them in top performing condition. The piece profiled two USC Thornton students – Popular Music junior Javen Smith and Vocal Arts alumnus Justin Fatu Su’esu’e (MM ’16) – and […]


Alumnus Richard Bernstein receives Metropolitan Opera Service Award

May 3, 2016

Each year, the Metropolitan Opera convenes an event to honor those individuals who have reached milestones in their careers with the venerable New York City institution. Operatic bass and USC Thornton alumnus Richard Bernstein (’89, Vocal Arts) has completed his 20th year as a solo artist with company and was recognized at the Met Service […]


University of Pittsburgh to build museum honoring Marilyn Horne

April 28, 2016

The University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees has approved the creation of a museum and exhibit center honoring opera legend and USC Thornton alumna Marilyn Horne. The mezzo-soprano was a recipient of the 1992 National Medal of Arts and the 1995 Kennedy Center Honors. She has also won four GRAMMY Awards for Best Opera Recording. […]


Yelena Dyachek wins Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

March 14, 2016

Soprano Yelena Dyachek, a Graduate Certificate candidate in the USC Thornton Vocal Arts & Opera program, was selected as a winner at the Grand Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in New York City this past weekend. The Grand Finals are widely considered to be among nation’s most prestigious vocal competitions, regularly launching […]


Cynthia Munzer presents vocal workshop with Music Center

March 3, 2016

Vocal Arts & Opera faculty member Cynthia Munzer recently presented a day-long vocal master class at the Los Angeles Music Center as part of the Center’s Spotlight Academy, an annual free day of performing arts workshops for students, parents and teachers. The Academy invites arts leaders, such as Broadway star Karen Morrow, jazz icon Arturo […]


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