Cynthia Munzer

Professor Emerita of Vocal Arts

Cynthia Munzer is a professor emerita of vocal arts at the USC Thornton School of Music.

Mezzo-soprano Cynthia Munzer has sung over 20 roles in 223 performances with the Metropolitan Opera, in New York at Lincoln Center and on tour in the United States and Japan. Audiences across America have known her through Metropolitan Opera Saturday broadcasts and over 20 Met Opera broadcast recordings with Pavarotti, Milnes, Domingo, Sutherland, Caballé, Kraus, Corelli, Birgit Nillson and Scotto. Munzer has garnered rave reviews as a leading guest artist with over 90 opera companies and major symphony orchestras. L’Opéra de Montréal and the New York City, Dallas, Houston Grand, Florentine and Washington operas have presented Munzer in diverse leading roles such as Carmen, Amneris, Dame Quickly and Octavian. She has been a guest soloist with the Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras, the Los Angeles and Hong Kong philharmonics and the San Francisco, National and American symphonies.

Hailed in reviews for performances at the renowned Wolftrap, Aspen, Carmel and Oregon Bach music festivals and the New York Mozart Bicentennial Festival, her artistry is captured in a Live From Lincoln Center telecast, a Gian Carlo Menotti world premiere, recorded performances with Aaron Copland, Leopold Stokowski, James Levine and Zubin Mehta and a special 9/11 memorial tribute CD with Metropolitan Opera artists.

Born in West Virginia and raised in Kansas, Munzer has been on the vocal arts faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music since 1995 and is deeply committed to creative teaching and mentoring. Her students are winners of such national and international competitions as the Metropolitan Opera National Council, Berlin Opera, Prague Dvorak and International Liszt competitions. They have appeared in young artist programs of The Santa Fe Opera, Virginia Opera and Chautauqua Opera and have made leading role debuts at the New York City Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Munzer is increasingly sought after for her masterclass presentations in the United States as well as in China, Taiwan, Croatia, British Columbia, Mexico, Austria and Italy. The Metropolitan Opera National Council Masterclasses throughout the U.S., the Met Opera Guild in New York City, the Schubert Club Song Festival in Minnesota, Celebrity Masterclasses-Classical Singer Convention NYC, Tuscia Opera Festival in Italy and over a dozen major universities join the growing number of presenters. She is also the artistic director of Musiktheater Bavaria, a summer opera and music theater institute in Oberaudorf, Germany.

Professional experience

Career Highlights:

  • Metropolitan Opera live television and radio broadcasts from Lincon Center
  • Performances with conductors James Levine, Leopold Stokowski, Sir John Pritchard, Thomas Schippers, Richard Bonynge, Sixten Ehrling, James Conlon, Helmut Rilling, Zubin Mehta, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Sir David Wilcox, Georges Pretre, Gerard Schwarz, Thomas Schermerhorn
  • Debuts with New York City Opera, L’Opera de Montreal, Houston Grand Opera, Washington Opera, Florentine Opera
  • Founder/Director, International Vocal Institute, Hvar, Croatia
  • Master Teacher for the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s Annual Education Master Class Series, New York City

Honors, Awards & Competitions:

  • Metropolitan Opera Council Audition on the MET Stage: National Winner plus contract
  • Frederick K. Weyerhaeuser Award
  • Gramma Fisher Foundation Award
  • Geraldine Farrar Award
  • Honored by the city of Dallas, Texas—Awarded the Key to the City for Artistic Merit

Music Festivals:

  • Carmel Bach Festival, California
  • New York Lincoln Center Mozart Bicentennial Festival
  • Oregon Bach Festival
  • Aspen Music Festival
  • Wolftrap Music Festival, Virginia


  • Metropolitan Opera: Giuseppe Verdi, I Vespri Siciliani,  Myto 2mcd 052309 Nacionalista (2 CDs), re.2005
  • Metropolitan Opera: Richard Strauss, Ariadne auf Naxos, Celestial Audio CA 389 (2 CDs), Australia, re. 2004
  • Memorial Tribute to the Fallen Heroes of September 11, M. Senft Production, NY, NY, 2001
  • Metropolitan Opera: Richard Wagner, Die Walküre, JDT Productions RHSC 144, released 1998
  • Metropolitan Opera: Jacques Offenbach, Les Contes d’Hoffman, Bellavoceblv 107.224 2, Released1996
  • ●●Metropolitan Opera: MET LABEL:Vincenzo Bellini, I Puritani; : Charles Gounod, Romeo et Juliette; Modest Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov; Richard Wagner, Elektra; Giuseppe Verdi, La Traviata; W.A. Mozart, Die Zauberflöte; Gioachino Rossini, Il Barbiere di Siviglia; Giuseppe Verdi, Il Trovatore; Giacomo Puccini, Suor Angelica; Giuseppe Verdi, La Forza del Destino. re.2008


Featured in:

  • Who’s Who in America, Marquis Biographical Reference Publishing Company, NJ, 1980-present, example2005 edition p.3336
  • Annals of the Metropolitan Opera, 1883-1985 Guide to Performances and Performers
  • Musical America: International Directory of the Performing Arts, 1977-present
  • The Classical Singer Magazine, January 2005, entitled “A Place in the Sun” International Vocal Institute
  • Inter Nos, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Fall 2005 Vol.38.no.3
  • The Classical Singer Magazine, April 2008,  “Organic Artistry”
  • Who’s Who In Entertainment –
    Marquis Biographical Reference Publishing Company

Other academic experience:

Degree in Vocal Performance: University of Kansas
Post Graduate work:

  • Vocal instruction: Mme. Herta Glaz at the Manhattan School of Music
  • Vocal instruction: Roy Henderson of the Royal Academy of Music, London
  • University of Minnesota, Department of German Studies
  • Italian Language: Universita Per Stranieri, Siena, Italy
  • Il Globo Scuola di Dante Alighieri, Florence, Italy
  • New School for Social Research, New York City
  • New York City College, NY (Sociology and Psychology)
  • University of the South, Theological Seminary, EFM (Education for Ministry)

Studied with:

  • Mme. Herta Glaz, voice
  • Roy Henderson, voice
  • Alberta Masiello, vocal coaching
  • Leo Mueller, vocal coaching
  • Ted Forlow, stagecraft