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Academic Programs

Welcome to the Moores Opera Center!

We do four fully-staged opera productions each season making us one of the largest university opera production programs in the nation.

With less than 100 voice majors including approximately 25 graduate students, this allows us to insure that our students will get more stage time and experience than in any other program. While our primary goal is your education, we treat the program like a professional regional company to make sure you are properly prepared to compete once you leave school.

We do most productions in the original language and all have surtitles, orchestra, and are fully staged. We make a tremendous effort to find two major roles a season for our graduate students. Many of our students(especially men) do three. We double cast all roles whenever possible. Undergraduates are on an equal footing with graduate students in casting. We tend to do large cast shows whenever possible to maximize opportunities for our students. Typically, we have a total of less than 50 students auditioning for roles in four operas. We cast our fall opera at the end of the previous spring semester and incoming students are included in that pool of singers. We cast the rest of the season during the first week of classes in the fall semester. We plan our seasons AFTER we know who’s going to be here. This season alone has over 58 named roles for the main-stage. That’s BEFORE we double cast anything. We often also have other projects like children’s operas or student produced operas. In addition, our Collegium Musicum annually presents a staged work with many opportunities for our singers. We also offer experience for stage directors, coaches, conductors, and stage managers.

We have three opera production periods. The fall opera is typically performed in mid to late October. The winter production period includes two full-length operas in repertory in late January. The spring opera falls around the first weekend of April.

Our tuition is among the lowest in the nation for in-state students. Fortunately, most of our graduate students receive a scholarship that entitles them to in-state tuition even if they are from another state. The remaining bill is quite low. You don’t want to have to go into enormous debt to finance your education, as that can scuttle a budding singing career faster than terrible high notes.

Our gorgeous opera house is arguably the finest university opera performance facility in the world and is the envy of most opera companies. We have our own scene shop and rehearsal spaces dedicated to the opera program.

We offer a positive work environment. Our voice faculty members all get along and input from other teachers on the faculty is always welcomed. Students are encouraged to attend repertory classes with different teachers. Our voice professors are professional singers with important careers. This makes sure that you are being held to the standards of performance in the real world.

We respect your time. Most of our rehearsals are in the afternoons, eliminating late-night burn out. Rehearsals are carefully planned and scheduled so you are not sitting around waiting to be used. You always know well in advance exactly what you are rehearsing and when. Rehearsals never go beyond the time scheduled, so you can plan the rest of your life. We don’t suddenly add last minute rehearsals.

We make it a priority to find repertoire that is challenging and will give you enough exposure to different styles during your time here. Our commitment to the operas of today means that you will be up to date with current trends in opera and will contribute to the health of the art form. We do at least one recent opera each season, often with the composer and librettist in residence.

Houston is the fourth largest city in the country, with a world-class innovative opera company, Houston Grand Opera. Houston also has a first class symphony orchestra, inventive chamber music, two professional early music groups, musical theatre, drama, dance, and art museums. Lots of performance opportunities are available throughout the city.

We work very hard and we attract dedicated people. But we also laugh a lot on the way. Being part of an opera can be a joyous, thrilling, and life-altering experience. Join us.

Buck Ross,
Director, Moores Opera Center