Cast of Dido and Aeneas | 2015

Opera Workshop offers you the opportunity to learn the craft of the singing actor in a “learn by doing” setting. It produces one complete opera annually, fully staged with orchestra, in Crouse College’s Setnor Auditorium. An additional project of scenes and arias takes place in the spring semester.

Opera Workshop is open to all Syracuse University students by audition. The main stage projects are produced under the name of the Syracuse University Opera Theatre and are among the highlights of the Setnor performing season. Care is taken to select repertoire that is suitable for young voices and to present it in an acoustically safe environment. All works are performed in English; reduced orchestrations are used whenever appropriate. The emphasis is on giving the greatest number of qualified students the chance to perform complete roles that are appropriate for their individual stage of development, and casts invariably feature undergraduates in major roles. Ensemble acting is stressed over elaborate production values.

Recent productions of the Opera Theatre include The Mikado, Dido and AeneasThe TelephoneTrial by Jury, and Figaro’s Wedding, an adaptation of Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro. In 2006, the Opera Theatre presented a “pre-premiere” production of Snow White by the eminent American composer Luigi Zaninelli; 13 of our cast members later traveled to Florence, Italy, to participate in the work’s official world premiere at the world-famous Florence Opera. The spring semester is dedicated to instruction in stage movement, acting, etc., in addition to a more informal public performance.

Opera Workshop enjoys a close relationship with the Syracuse Opera, and many of its students are engaged to sing in the chorus. Several outstanding undergraduates have made their professional debuts with the company in supporting roles. Students have been invited to observe rehearsals as members of a “shadow cast,” and recent years have seen master classes with former artistic director Richard McKee, musical director Douglas Kinney Frost, and conductor John DiCostanzo as part of the spring semester curriculum. Productions are directed by Professor Eric Johnson.

For more information about Opera Workshop, contact Professor Eric Johnson at 315.443.2512 or