Expanding students’ horizons
Northern Arizona University’s Lyric Theater provides a broad range of enriching experiences in both opera and musical theater, for undergraduate and graduate performers, and for a diverse array of audience members.
About the program
Our goal is to provide singers with the skills necessary to perform on the operatic and musical theater stage with confidence and to prepare students for further study in all aspects of lyric theater. Under the direction of Eric Gibson, and with the hands-on participation of artist voice teachers, students are involved in a wide variety of productions. Fully staged opera productions with orchestra and opera scenes programs are performed in the original language.
Many roles in production are double cast when possible, and opportunities abound for students to learn about important aspects of lyric theatre, including production, design, stage management, and assistant direction, along with facilitating marketing and audience experience enhancements, e.g., supertitles. Supportive curriculum includes Movement and Acting for Singers, Opera History, and an elective independent study in opera directing. Voice faculty assist with opera coaching.
Ardrey Memorial Auditorium, with a seating capacity of 1400 and with an orchestra pit capable of holding a Wagnerian-style orchestra, is the primary venue for opera productions. More intimate productions utilize Ashurst Hall and the new Kitt Recital Hall.
A team of musicians and artists at Northern Arizona University won first place in the National Opera Association Opera Production Competition with their spring 2018 performance of “Die Zauberflöte.”