Vocal Arts and Opera News

Photo of Alan Smith

Faculty and alumni come together at fourth annual CollabFest

October 11, 2019

USC Thornton will have a strong presence at the upcoming CollabFest conference, with many alumni and faculty attending. Alan Smith, director of Keyboard Collaborative Arts, Andrew Harley (DMA ’97), Russell Miller (BM), James Douglass (DMA ’04), ChoEun Lee (DMA, ’13) and Lisa Sylvester, Chair of Vocal Arts & Opera at Thornton, will all be participating. […]


Ken Cazan directs largest opera in history of Central City Opera House

August 9, 2019

Last month, Ken Cazan, the Resident Stage Director of the USC Thornton Opera, directed the Central City Opera’s Colorado debut of Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd. CBS Denver featured a story of the performance, which with its 60 performers was the biggest show in the 140-year history of the Central City Opera House. “It’s more thrilling […]


Christina Linhardt’s documentary gets picked up by Amazon

May 28, 2019

USC Thornton alumna Christina Linhardt’s ’97 documentary, Guantanamo Circus, was recently released on Amazon Prime. The documentary chronicles an ad hoc circus troupe performing at Guantanamo Bay Cuba, one of the world’s most notorious and controversial prisons, in 2006. Linhardt co-directed and scored the film, which won the Hollywood F.A.M.E. Award. The score consisted of […]


Celka Ojakangas wins grant from Opera America

April 16, 2019

Celka Ojakangas, a DMA candidate in Composition, was one of eight recipients of Opera America’s 2019 Opera Grant for Female Composers. This grant will go towards her opera Mirror Game which examines issues of gender bias through the journey of an ambitious female video game designer. Celka and her librettist, Amy Punt, initially workshopped the […]


New opera works

Composers, Librettists and Performers collaborate for New Opera Works performance

March 28, 2019

This Friday at noon Newman Recital Hall, New Opera Works (NOW), a new student organization at USC Thornton, will present the first performance of three opera shorts. Running 10 minutes, each short is composed by Thornton Composition majors and performed by Thornton Vocal Arts students and alumni. NOW, founded by current DMA Vocal Arts student […]


Adan Fernandez

Adan Fernandez presents on Music Education and Latino Youth in America

March 20, 2019

Adan Fernandez, a doctoral candidate in the USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program, presented at the 2019 California All-State Music Education Conference this February. In his presentation, “Music Education and Latino Youth in America,” Fernandez discusses how best to engage Latinos in a choir setting. “I don’t have a clear and simple answer for […]


Lynn Helding and Melissa Treinkman to participate in National Association of Teachers of Singing Intern Program

March 18, 2019

Lynn Helding, a Vocal Arts & Opera faculty member, has been selected as one of four master teachers for the National Association of Teachers of Singing Intern Program for 2019. This 10-day program in June brings together the best vocal teachers in the country with early-career teachers. One of the 15 early career teachers selected […]


Rod Gilfry earns positive press

March 5, 2019

The San Fransisco Classical Voice praised USC Thornton Vocal Arts faculty member Rod Gilfry as one of the most successful and sought-after baritones in the Los Angeles area. The article applauds his various portrayals of opera heroes and villains. It also interviews Gilfry on his appearance in the West Coast premiere of David Lang’s the […]


Ken Cazan

Ken Cazan discusses Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ at The Met in HD broadcast

February 28, 2019

Ken Cazan, Resident Stage Director of the USC Thornton Opera program, shared his experiences directing the opera, Carmen as part of a broadcast of The Met in HD: George Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ on February 2 at the Eileen Norris Cinema Theater. Cazan discusses the opera’s themes of destiny, love, freedom and female self-expression and his personal connection with […]


Inaugural Angela Meade Vocal Competition Established

February 14, 2019

Soprano and USC Thornton alumna Angela Meade (MM ’04) established the Angela Meade Vocal Competition at Pacific Lutheran University this January. After an initial review of all applicants, six finalists performed two songs in this public competition finale. Three winners were announced and were awarded up to $1000 and a trip to the east coast […]


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