Nick Olcott, Interim Director of Maryland Opera Studio
Ashley Pollard, Manager
The acclaimed Maryland Opera Studio is both a degree program and a performance ensemble within the UM School of Music's Voice/Opera Division. As a two-year degree program awarding the Master of Music in Opera Performance, the Studio provides complete education & training of the opera singer in preparation for professional performance. The program includes work in all areas of vocal & theatrical training, movement & dance, operatic language study, and performance experience. Scene study, voice lessons and coaching are accompanied by a comprehensive study of movement, dance, fencing and combat, acting (including a Shakespeare course), improvisation, mask, and diction.
The first semester is devoted to extracting information about a character by exploring the character's words and music. The second semester concentrates on small ensemble scenes. Specific acting and vocal challenges are chosen to help singers overcome their particular areas of weakness. In preparing these ensembles the singers explore together how scenes can be played with other characters. These scenes are chosen from a wide variety of repertory and include all aspects of training. In the spring of the first year, the singers perform the scenes for the public. Accompanied only by piano and minimal props, these performances give the artists a chance to employ the techniques they have been studying.
The third and fourth semesters focus on the preparation and performance of complete roles. The choice of repertoire and roles is dependent on the singer's voice type and the composition of the current class. Operas are carefully chosen to address the needs of the class.
In the fall semester the Maryland Opera Studio presents at least one complete opera with piano or small ensemble. In these performance exercises the production values are minimal: basic props and furniture, no wigs or make-up, only the artist and the light. They are exercises designed to give students an opportunity to learn and perform a complete role. The costumes are generally constructed of muslin, which allows the student to understand, work and master movement in the clothes of the particular period. The emphasis is on the singers and their creation.
In the spring the Studio presents at least one fully produced opera with orchestra. Both the fall and the spring operas are performed in the Clarice Smith Center's glorious Ina & Jack Kay Theatre.
Click here for Audition requirements. Scroll down to Master of Music, Maryland Opera Studio (Opera Performance) and/or Doctor of Musical Arts, Maryland Opera Studio.
Recent Works Performed
The Studio stages one to two fully-produced operas each year in the Clarice Smith Center's Ina & Jack Kay Theatre, as well as two operas with piano, staged readings of new operas, and operatic scene study. As a performance ensemble, the Studio has a devoted following and routinely draws large audiences and critical praise for its productions.
|La Bohème||Puccini||Spring 2013|
|Postcard from Morocco||Argento||Spring 2012|
|Miss Havisham's Fire||Argento||Spring 2012|
|Il Barbiere di Siviglia||Rossini||Spring 2011|
|Die Entführung aus dem Serail||Mozart||Spring 2011|
|Reading Lolita in Tehran||New work reading||Spring 2011|
|Florencia en el Amazonas||Catan||Fall 2010|
|Shadowboxer (World Premiere)||Proto, Chenault||Spring 2010|
|La Finta Giardiniera||Mozart||Fall 2009|
|L'elisir d'amore||Donizetti||Fall 2009|
|Eugene Onegin||Tchaikovsky||Spring 2009|
|A Midsummer Night's Dream||Britten||Fall 2008|
|Cosi fan tutte||Mozart||Spring 2008|
|Later the Same Evening: an opera inspired by five paintings of Edward Hopper|
|Musto, Campbell||Fall 2007|
|Don Giovanni||Mozart||Fall 2006|
|Il Matrimonio Segreto||Cimarosa||Spring 2006|
|The Newport Rivals||Mechem||Fall 2005|
|Giulio Cesare||Handel||Spring 2005|
|La Bohème||Puccini||Spring 2005|
|The Turn of the Screw||Britten||Fall 2004|
|Il Barbiere di Siviglia||Rossini||Fall 2004|
|Clara (World Premiere)||Convery, Cahill||Spring 2004|
|Les Contes d'Hoffmann||Offenbach||Spring 2004|
|Sebaji||New work reading|
|Ion||New work reading|
Maryland Opera Studio Alumni