Opera at CWU
Opera is a vital part of the CWU Vocal Program, producing at least one operatic production each year. The CWU Opera provides a positive learning experience for music students in all aspects of stagecraft and performance culminating in an enjoyable offering of polished operatic entertainment for the Ellensburg community. Every other year, CWU produces a fully staged opera production in collaboration with the CWU Chamber Orchestra conducted by Dr. Nikolas Caoile providing invaluable experience to the singers on stage and the orchestral players in the pit. Recent productions include Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart, Die Fledermaus by Strauss and The Tender Land by Copland. In the alternating years, students perform in a wide variety of opera scenes allowing students to focus on repertoire appropriate for their level, from beginner to advanced.
CWU productions have received national recognition from the National Opera Association in the Opera Video Production Competition and Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition.
CWU's award winning opera of Aaron Copland's The Tender Land is now available in the Wildcat shop or online here!
In addition to the annual opera production, CWU offers a variety of courses in operatic training, including Diction for Singers and Opera History. Students are given the opportunity to coach and work on operatic repertoire in private voice lessons as well as in Weekly Studio Classes with CWU faculty members. Singers often receive individual dramatic coaching in addition to their applied study. The annual Over-the-TOPera concert offers another unique performance opportunity for students to explore operatic repertoire. Master classes with visiting professionals from the around the country also help students perfect their performance skills.
Student interest in opera is supported by the SNATS Club, which provides financial support to the Opera Ensemble and a valuable performance opportunity at the popular Bella Notte event. SNATS also provides travel funding for vocal students to the annual Inland Empire NATS competition, subsidizes frequent student trips to see professional operas and shows outside of Ellensburg and sponsors vocal master classes and speakers.