Vocal Arts & Opera

Overview

Internationally recognized for its long tradition of excellence in vocal and operatic training, the USC Thornton Vocal Arts department emphasizes the development of secure vocal technique, artistry in the interpretation of a richly varied, representative repertoire, perfection of diction in English and foreign languages and frequent solo and ensemble performance. Alumni have been named finalists and winners of prestigious competitions, and many currently work as recitalists, members of opera companies and voice faculties in both the United States as well as abroad. Opportunities for enriched experiences are offered through weekly student recitals, workshops and master classes with visiting artist-teachers and resident faculty.

The USC Thornton Opera Program is an integral part of the Vocal Arts department, providing career development opportunities for singers, coaches, pianists, conductors and directors. The program includes instruction in opera history and literature, coaching techniques, stage direction, body movement for singers, stage training, role study and analysis. The opera workshop is a repertory experience involving preparation and performance of operatic works and excerpts for performance both on and off the USC campus. For more information, visit the USC Thornton Opera Program homepage.

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Spotlights

event calendar

Upcoming events

  • Faculty Recital with Rod Gilfry

    Rod Gilfry, a member of the USC Thornton faculty and a celebrated operatic baritone, revels in contemporary vocal works from Bernstein to Aucoin, exploring a bit of jazz along the way. Joined by Thornton student and alumni musicians, Gilfry will perform excerpts from Matthew Aucoin's opera, Crossing, jazz arrangements of songs by Fauré and Debussy, songs of Leonard Bernstein, and selections from the Great American Songbook. Guest performers include pianist Peter Walsh (BM ’07, MM ’09, DMA ’14), jazz bassist Max Kraus (MM ’18), and senior jazz drummer Suraj Parthasarathy.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Metropolitan Opera Live in HD: Giuseppe Verdi's “Aida”

    Following a pre-opera discussion hosted by Ken Cazan, USC Thornton and the USC School of Cinematic Arts present a delayed broadcast of Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida. The grandest of grand operas, Aida features an epic backdrop for what is in essence an intimate love story. Set in ancient Egypt and packed with magnificent choruses, complex ensembles, and elaborate ballets, Aida never loses sight of its three protagonists. Soprano Anna Netrebko sings her first Met Aida, going toe-to-toe with mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as Amneris. Pre-Opera Discussion at 12PM HD Opera Broadcast at 1PM Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Organized by the USC School of Cinematic Arts in conjunction with the USC Thornton School of Music and the Metropolitan Opera.

    Norris Cinema Theatre (NCT)

  • USC Thornton Opera presents “Le Rossignol” & “L'Enfant et les Sortilèges”

    The USC Thornton Opera program and USC Thornton Symphony present a rare French double bill featuring iconic one-act operas, Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges. Le Rossignol, with music by Igor Stravinsky and libretto by Stravinsky and Stepan Mitussov, is based on a story by Hans Christian Anderson and speaks to a spoiled ruler’s lack of control over nature and death. L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, composed by Maurice Ravel with libretto by the incomparable Colette, is the story of the consequences for a child who, in anger, destroys his nursery room, harming the animals around him. The child and the emperor both learn to find solace in nature and harmony in the worlds they inhabit. Performed in French with English subtitles. A pre-performance discussion on Friday, Nov. 16 is presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 8PM Friday, Nov. 16 at 8PM Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2PM

    Bing Theatre (BIT)

  • USC Thornton Opera presents “Le Rossignol” & “L'Enfant et les Sortilèges”

    The USC Thornton Opera program and USC Thornton Symphony present a rare French double bill featuring iconic one-act operas, Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges. Le Rossignol, with music by Igor Stravinsky and libretto by Stravinsky and Stepan Mitussov, is based on a story by Hans Christian Anderson and speaks to a spoiled ruler’s lack of control over nature and death. L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, composed by Maurice Ravel with libretto by the incomparable Colette, is the story of the consequences for a child who, in anger, destroys his nursery room, harming the animals around him. The child and the emperor both learn to find solace in nature and harmony in the worlds they inhabit. Performed in French with English subtitles. A pre-performance discussion on Friday, Nov. 16 is presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 8PM Friday, Nov. 16 at 8PM Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2PM

    Bing Theatre (BIT)

  • USC Thornton Opera presents “Le Rossignol” & “L'Enfant et les Sortilèges”

    The USC Thornton Opera program and USC Thornton Symphony present a rare French double bill featuring iconic one-act operas, Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges. Le Rossignol, with music by Igor Stravinsky and libretto by Stravinsky and Stepan Mitussov, is based on a story by Hans Christian Anderson and speaks to a spoiled ruler’s lack of control over nature and death. L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, composed by Maurice Ravel with libretto by the incomparable Colette, is the story of the consequences for a child who, in anger, destroys his nursery room, harming the animals around him. The child and the emperor both learn to find solace in nature and harmony in the worlds they inhabit. Performed in French with English subtitles. A pre-performance discussion on Friday, Nov. 16 is presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 8PM Friday, Nov. 16 at 8PM Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2PM

    Bing Theatre (BIT)

  • Chamber Music Festival: Vocal Arts

    As part of a three-day festival, Lisa Sylvester leads USC Thornton Vocal Arts students and instrumentalists in an evening of vocal chamber works from across the centuries. CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL: WINDS & PERCUSSION - Monday, Nov. 26 at 2PM & 4:30PM VOCAL ARTS - Tuesday, Nov. 27th at 5:30PM STRINGS - Tuesday, Nov. 27th at 7:30PM & Wednesday, Nov. 28th at 5PM & 7:30PM

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Chamber Music Festival: Strings

    Lina Bahn leads USC Thornton Strings students in a survey of iconic chamber works as part of a three-day festival. CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL: WINDS & PERCUSSION - Monday, Nov. 26 at 2PM & 4:30PM VOCAL ARTS - Tuesday, Nov. 27th at 5:30PM STRINGS - Tuesday, Nov. 27th at 7:30PM & Wednesday, Nov. 28th at 5PM & 7:30PM

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Chamber Music Festival: Strings

    Lina Bahn leads USC Thornton Strings students in a survey of iconic chamber works as part of a three-day festival. CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL: WINDS & PERCUSSION - Monday, Nov. 26 at 2PM & 4:30PM VOCAL ARTS - Tuesday, Nov. 27th at 5:30PM STRINGS - Tuesday, Nov. 27th at 7:30PM & Wednesday, Nov. 28th at 5PM & 7:30PM

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Chamber Music Festival: Strings

    Lina Bahn leads USC Thornton Strings students in a survey of iconic chamber works as part of a three-day festival. CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL: WINDS & PERCUSSION - Monday, Nov. 26 at 2PM & 4:30PM VOCAL ARTS - Tuesday, Nov. 27th at 5:30PM STRINGS - Tuesday, Nov. 27th at 7:30PM & Wednesday, Nov. 28th at 5PM & 7:30PM

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)


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    News

    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… read more

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