Vocal Arts and Opera News

Red Hen Press: An Afternoon of Poetry & Performance

December 13, 2018

Free this Sunday afternoon? USC Distinguished Professor Morten Lauridsen presents his celebrated music with Thornton faculty and alumni alike, including Rod Gilfry, Carin Gilfry, Dana Gioia, and more. The event, Red Hen Press: An Afternoon of Poetry & Performance, will take place at The Broad Stage! The spiritual depth of Morten Lauridsen’s music, paired with […]


Zhengyi Bai selected as Adler Fellow with San Francisco Opera

November 29, 2018

Tenor and USC Thornton Vocal Arts alumnus, Zhengyi Bai (GC ’18), was named a 2019 Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera. Bai was chosen along with nine other singers in this multi-year performance-oriented residency offering advanced young artists intensive individual training, coaching and professional seminars as well as a wide range of performance opportunities.


Grant Gershon warmly reviewed for work with LA Master Chorale and LA Opera

October 23, 2018

USC Thornton alumnus Grant Gershon (’85, piano), artistic director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, recently launched the ensemble’s 2018-19 season on September 22 with a performance of Shawn Kirchner’s Songs of Ascent, featuring baritone and faculty member, Rod Gilfry, and faculty harpist JoAnn Turovsky as soloists. Gershon is currently conducting the LA Opera’s production […]


Alumnus Jules Pegram premieres new opera

September 5, 2018

USC Thornton alumnus Jules Pegram (BM ’13, Composition) recently composed, produced, and conducted two performances of Higher Ground, a sixty-minute, one act opera with a libretto by North Carolina-based writer Jim Whiteside. Scored for seven principal vocalists, SATB chorus, and chamber orchestra, the opera was fully staged on April 4 & 5, 2018 at the […]


Faculty and alumni featured in summer opera productions across the country

August 7, 2018

Several USC Thornton faculty and alumni have enjoyed success on the opera stage this summer. Faculty member Ken Cazan, the USC Thornton Opera’s resident stage director, returned to Colorado’s Central City Opera to direct productions of Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Henry Mollicone’s 1978 chamber opera, The Face on the Barroom Floor. Starring as Galatea, […]


Composer, exchange student Tuomas Kettunen shares collaborative work

June 29, 2018

Finnish composer Tuomas Kettunen, a master’s student at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, recently concluded a semester as an exchange student at USC Thornton, where he studied with Donald Crockett and took classes in orchestration, game scoring, and music technology. Kettunen shared the fruits of his work from the Writer-Composer class, led by Lisa Sylvester, […]


Rod Gilfry warmly reviewed for “Crossing”

June 4, 2018

Baritone Rod Gilfry, a member of the USC Thornton Vocal Arts & Opera faculty, recently starred in a concert presentation of Matthew Aucoin’s opera, Crossing, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. Produced by the LA Opera, the work was inspired by poet Walt Whitman’s experiences during the Civil War […]


Two Thornton Vocal Arts alumna lead Tulsa “Turandot”

May 17, 2018

Sopranos Jessica Rose Cambio (MM ’06) and Alexandra Loutsion (MM ’08), both graduates of the USC Thornton Vocal Arts & Opera program, recently starred in the Tulsa Opera’s production of Turandot, which ran from April 27th-29th. Loutsion and Cambio portrayed Turandot and Liù, respectively, under the baton of conductor James Lowe. Cambio debuted the role […]


Los Angeles premiere of Mark Weiser opera at Art Share L.A.

May 15, 2018

The Place Where You Started, a chamber opera by USC Thornton Composition faculty member Mark Weiser with a libretto by Amy S. Punt, will be performed in collaboration with the Helix Collective, May 17-19 at Art Share L.A. The multimedia work, Weiser’s fourth opera, explores tensions around race and class. His previous opera, Where Angels […]


Rod Gilfry stars in Matthew Aucoin opera

May 8, 2018

Baritone Rod Gilfry, a member of the USC Thornton Vocal Arts & Opera faculty, will star in Matthew Aucoin’s opera, Crossing, on May 25th and 26th at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. Produced in concert by the LA Opera, the work is inspired by poet Walt Whitman’s experiences during […]


News archive