Simpson Opera Program Placed In International Spotlight by New York Times Edition

Simpson College’s enormously successful opera program has received local, regional and national attention.

Add international to that list.

A story featuring the Simpson opera program appeared recently on the front page of the online edition of the New York Times International Chinese edition.

The article is about opera training in the United States, in light of the current Chinese boom in Western opera. The three US-based authorities interviewed are stage director Stephen Wadsworth, director of Opera Studies at the Juilliard School; Anne Bogart, head of the graduate directing program at Columbia University; and Bernard McDonald, Simpson’s director of opera.

“It is fitting that Simpson’s unique program is featured in the New York Times International,” McDonald said. “Other institutions train opera professionals, but none in the United States provides the holistic and ambitious opera experience exclusively for undergraduates, nor has its record of alumni achievement, than the program that was pioneered by Robert L. Larsen over decades and that I now have the privilege of leading.”

The 5000-word article, written in Chinese, highlights the explosion of Western opera in China, and profiles an up and coming Chinese stage director of Western opera, Mo Zhou, whom McDonald has engaged to direct Simpson’s 2014 production of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene.

“Mo Zhou represents the next generation of opera artists combining impeccable schooling with already extensive professional experience, knowledge, and passion for the art of opera,” McDonald said. “It is exciting for students at Simpson College to have the opportunity to interact with and learn from a gifted young professional with a burgeoning career.”

The NY Times International Chinese edition has about 1,000,000 readers a day, drawn from an educated worldwide audience.

“This is well-deserved recognition for Simpson College,” said Steve Griffith, academic dean. “China represents the largest and fastest growing group in terms of international students, and anything that introduces students there to the Simpson Experience is to be applauded. Our renowned opera program is helping open the door to increased interest in our entire college.”

To view the story, in Chinese, go here:

Visit the Simpson Opera website