Opera Studio



Opera Studio provides Webster University students plenty of performance training and opportunity. Fully-staged scenes each January include orchestra and guest music and stage directors.

Webster University Opera Studio is a select ensemble of singers that presents complete works and scenes from all periods of opera, operetta, and musical theatre; supported by a complete production staff from the Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts. One of these works always features an extended chorus part. Previous scenes with chorus have included excerpts from Lehar’s The Merry Widow, Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, and Offenbach’s great comedy, Orpheus in the Underworld.

Each Fall semester, in addition to music rehearsals, guest directors and conductors occasionally come in to work with the ensemble on acting and musical techniques. In January, the ensemble collaborates with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and the Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis, both based at Webster, to present a fully staged and costumed production, with orchestra of both professional and student musicians.

Rehearsals are held on Tuesdays, 3–5:50 pm, with one scene rehearsing each hour, so no student is there the entire time. Other rehearsals may be held earlier on Tuesdays, and on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Each student is in rehearsal no more than 3 hours a week, with somewhat longer staging rehearsals in January.

In April, Webster Opera Studio presents a workshop production of ensembles from opera, operetta and musical theatre, in which each student has one or more solo roles. This gives younger students the chance to try out singing and acting in a smaller venue, with the possibility of being cast in a role the next fall. These scenes are accompanied by professional Webster and area pianists/coaches.

Colby Dunn as Violetta, 2014.

Watch: scenes from the 2014 Opera Scenes performances, conducted by Scott Schoonover.


Webster University is an all-Steinway School

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