Ithaca College School of Music provides an introductory operatic experience to all undergraduate voice majors either remotely interested in or fully interested in pursuing a career in this immensely complicated and rewarding field.
The Main-stage Opera is an annual collaboration between the School of Music and the Department of Theatre Arts. Open by audition to all students, it provides an opportunity for voice majors to be part of a complete operatic production. Here students gain performance experience through collaborating with fellow cast members, directors, conductors, designers, technicians, and stage management. Students develop a deeper understanding of the how a production is conceived, from the first vocal coaching to closing night. Performances are fully staged with costumes, lights, sets, and full orchestra. Recent productions have included Ravel's L'enfant et les sortileges, and the regional premiere of Rachel Portman's beautiful opera, The Little Prince in collaboration with the Ithaca Children's Choir, Monteverdi's Orfeo, and Mozart's Magic Flute, and Puccini's Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi and Chabrier's L'Etoile.
Beyond the main stage, there are plenty of other venues through which students have ample opportunities to develop and hone their skills. Acting and Movement for Singers, is a course that is unique to Ithaca College. Here students learn basic concepts of acting and stage deportment, including tumbling, falling, stage combat, as well as period gesture and dance. Much time is spent on improvisation, character study, monologues and arias.
Juniors, seniors and graduate students are eligible to audition for Opera Workshop, an in-depth overview of the art, the craft, and the field of opera in today's world. The initial goal of the class is to introduce students to all aspects of this art form that requires acute skills not only in singing, but also in acting, languages, movement, and much more. And ultimately, Opera Workshop will offer a variety of training in such areas as audition technique, interpretation, and scene study through performance opportunities, collaborative group projects, and invaluable feedback - the overall objective being to facilitate self-assessment and self-awareness and to prepare the student to enter a field that is at once both challenging and rewarding.