The St. Olaf College Music Department provides aspiring singer-actors with a variety of training and performing opportunities that prepare them for the challenges of this richly rewarding artistic pursuit. Production repertoire and coursework are designed to nurture the growth of a healthy young performer in an environment of artistry, creativity, cooperation, support, and respect with the full support and mentorship of the voice faculty.
Lyric Theater Season
Unique among private liberal arts colleges in the state, the St. Olaf Music Department offers a complete Lyric Theater season of three fully-produced operas, operettas, and musicals as well as Broadway revues, opera-in-the-schools outreach, improvised opera, and an opera creation residency for local schools. The depth and variety of these offerings provides St. Olaf students with a broad spectrum of practical lyric theater opportunities during their college careers. Past productions include Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Cosi fan Tutti, Bizet’s Carmen, Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortileges, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and Britten’s Albert Herring as well as The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Candide, and world-premieres of Love Sonnets of a Hoodlum, The Mysteries, and Fabrizio’s Comet by professor of music, James McKeel.
Each year in the Spring Semester the Music Department offers qualified student stage and music directors* (Juniors or Seniors) an opportunity to direct an opera, operetta, musical, or Broadway revue under the guidance of the Lyric Theater staff. The student directors are responsible for auditions, music and staging rehearsals, space reservations, set, lighting, and costume designs, and public relations. The experience is of special value to Music Education students who may be required to direct middle school/high school productions as part of their future teaching responsibilities, but is also open to other B.A. and B.M. music majors. Interested student directors or directing teams may apply in OCTOBER following an announcement from the Lyric Theater Staff.
This production requires an audition, but is NOT a course.
*The Student Director positions require a substantial time/energy commitment and should only be considered by students with a manageable academic load in the semester of the production.
Lyric Theater Alumni – Graduate School and Professional Work
After St. Olaf, Lyric Theater alumni have gone on to graduate voice study at prestigious institutions such as the New England Conservatory, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Boston University, University of Texas-Austin, University of Colorado, Westminster Choir College-Rider University, University of Michigan, and Florida State. They have participated in young artist programs both domestic and abroad.
Lyric Theater Alumni have performed, or are currently engaged, at the Met, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Boston Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Minnesota Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Utah Opera, and the Opera Company of Philadelphia, and internationally with Canadian Opera Company, Western Australian Opera, L’Opera de Montreal, Malmö Opera, and theaters throughout Germany and Austria, for example, Augsburg, Chemnitz, Lübeck, Mainz, Pforzheim, Innsbruck, and Koblenz.