Moores Opera Center - University of Houston
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Buck Ross
Edythe Bates Old Professor of Music
Director of Moores Opera Center
Phone: 713-743-3162
MSM 184

Moores Opera Center is a nationally recognized opera training program led by founding Artistic Director Buck Ross. We treat our program like a professional regional company, producing four fully staged operas per year performed by all-student casts and orchestra in the magnificent 800-seat Moores Opera House.

Our imaginative productions regularly win National Opera Association awards in the most competitive division in the United States. Moores Opera Center's New Opera Initiative ensures that one opera per season was written in the past twenty years, and living composers frequently visit to attend the regional premiere of their recently-composed works. Our alumni are regularly accepted in some of the most prestigious apprentice programs in the US and go on to have careers performing in opera houses and recital halls around the world. Come see a Moores Opera Center production to discover one of Houston’s best kept opera secrets! 

2021 - 2022 Season






Underwrite an entire or partial production! Sets, props, scholarships, orchestra costs, projections, publicity, stage hands, accompanists, makeup, or wigs, the list is endless and so is the need. Every donation is appreciated. 

Join Moores Society to connect with others who support the Moores Opera Center through programs and events that benefit scholarships, special projects and educational opportunities for music students at the University of Houston.


Production History

Our productions have consistently won awards with the National Opera Association since we started entering in 2011. Notable contemporary productions have included Dominick Argento’s Miss Havisham’s Fire and Casanova’s Homecoming, Conrad Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons, Christopher Theofandis’ The Thirteen Clocks, Robert Nelson’s The School for Scandal and A Room with a View and Jonathan Dove’s Flight. We were the first university to produce Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath, Robert Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry, and Daron Hagen’s Amelia, John Musto’s The Inspector, David Carlson’s Anna Karenina, and Thomas Pasatieri’s Frau Margot.

Composer Daniel Catán was so impressed by our production of his opera Florencia en el Amazonas that he asked us to do the second U.S. production of his new opera Il Postino right after its premiere in Los Angeles with Placido Domingo. We continue with a project to produce all of Mr. Catán’s operas. 

In addition to the expected standard operatic repertory, other memorable Houston premieres included Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges, Weber’s Der Freischütz, Barber’s Vanessa, Massenet’s Chérubin, Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims, Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Mozart’s Lucio Silla, Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki, Mechem’s Tartuffe, and Rota’s The Italian Straw Hat. 

Alumni News

Be successful! Moores Opera Center alumni are continually among those who are selected for apprentice programs, win competitions, and are cast in roles with leading opera houses around the world. Our graduates have gone on to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Minnesota Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Virginia Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Austin Opera, Opera Colorado, Des Moines Metro Opera, and many other American houses, as well as European houses such as La Scala, Teatro San Carlo, the Vienna State Opera, and the Bavarian State Opera. Our alumni do great things!


The 800 seat Moores Opera House is arguably the finest university opera production facility in the country. The opening 1997 season included our first production of John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, putting us on the national opera radar! The Opera House was designed to emulate the acoustic space of an old European opera house while providing the modern equipment demanded in today’s world. Boasting an enormous orchestra pit, full fly capacity and state of the art sound equipment, it allows performances of the largest operas while still maintaining a sense of intimacy. It gives young voices a chance to develop properly by not subjecting them to the demands of an acoustically unforgiving large hall. Featuring a movable, flexible-size orchestra shell, it also serves as the performance space for our orchestra, wind ensembles, choral groups, and chamber music. Visually it is dominated by a spectacular installation by artist Frank Stella that attracts visitors from around the globe.