For Utah Opera’s Artistic Director, the Spark was Ignited at Simpson

Photo credit: Deseret News

At Simpson, we often talk about the benefits of small class sizes, where professors take the time to get to know their students.

Christopher McBeth ’92 can explain why that matters.

McBeth is the artistic director of the Utah Opera, and he was featured recently in the Deseret News. In an interview, he explained how his love of opera began:

“I went to a little place called Simpson College south of Des Moines, Iowa. I earned a voice scholarship there, and the man who ran the (music) department at the time, Dr. Robert L. Larsen, was a force of nature, a big personality, and he had started and was running an opera company there on campus during the summer. He just instilled enthusiasm and a love for opera the minute you walked in the door, whether you knew it existed or not. He kept saying, “I want you to take my class. I want you to try out this opera stuff.” I really wasn’t interested. But he kept badgering me that whole first year. I finally acquiesced, took the class, and I was bitten. Right away. That was the spark.”

Read the entire article.

(Note: McBeth’s wife, Julie Poe, who is mentioned in the article, also graduated from Simpson in 1992.)

That legacy – of professors helping students find their career paths – continues at Simpson College today. It’s why we say your success begins at Simpson.


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