Opera at Simpson


Why Simpson Opera?

• Two fully-staged productions of opera or
musical theater per academic year
• Principal, supporting, and chorus roles
performed exclusively by undergraduates
• Student opera with a professional orchestra
• First-rate voice, coaching, conducting, and
piano faculty
• Dedicated one-on-one music preparation,
vocal, and language coaching
• Biannual May Term Opera Workshop in
musical preparation, stagecraft and career
• Visiting professional stage directors, designers,
and master teachers
• Internships and employment opportunities
with the Des Moines Metro Opera

A Student's Perspective

“As a Simpson College music student, I have had the opportunity to participate in eight operas, three regional tours, two madrigal dinners, and two European tours! In auditions and masterclasses I have already benefited from Simpson’s network of outstanding alumni, many of whom are influential in the field of professional opera.”

-THADDEUS ENNEN ’13 Bachelor of Music, voice performance major

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Simpson College offers an unusual and highly distinctive undergraduate opera program with two fully-staged productions a year and a biannual May Term Opera Workshop in musical preparation, stagecraft, and career development for singers and student conductors, pianists, and stage directors.

A first-rate faculty in the areas of voice, vocal coaching, conducting, and piano allows for dedicated one-on-one musical preparation, with vocal, language, and acting coaching that is exceptional in undergraduate music education. A close, historic partnership with the Des Moines Metro Opera allows for internships and employment opportunities for music students.

The number of alumni working at the highest level as singers, artistic administrators, and educators, demonstrates that Simpson College punches far above its weight in the field.

Opera at Simpson Presents "Die Fledermaus"

Simpson's Fall 2011 production of “Die Fledermaus” was sung in English with a student cast and chorus. The orchestra was drawn from Des Moines area professional players, Simpson instrumental faculty, and student instrumentalists. It was conducted by Bernard McDonald, Simpson's Director of Opera. Stage direction was by Bruce Brown, Assistant Professor of Music.