North Park University’s opera program is a cornerstone of the master of music in vocal performance (MMVP) degree program. Together with undergraduates, graduate candidates focus on techniques needed as a singer and actor, emphasizing movement, character analysis, and the dramatic relationship between stage action and music.
The Opera Workshop functions year-round with continuous vocal and dramatic coaching as students prepare for opera performances. Each fall semester, opera scenes with piano accompaniment are produced, giving students opportunities to explore more than one operatic role and style.
In alternating spring semesters, either a full opera production with orchestra or two one-act chamber operas give singers the opportunity to delve more deeply into the vocal demands of a full role as well as its dramatic realization.
Multiple opportunities exist for singing roles, including leads, in all operas through competitive auditions. Productions have included The Masque of Angels, The Marriage of Figaro, Susanna, Bartered Bride, Gianni Schicchi, The Medium, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Ba-Ta-Clan, and Suor Angelica.
Meet the Faculty
North Park’s opera program is directed and produced by expert faculty with extensive experience teaching and performing.
- Nyela Basney, artistic director, brings more than 30 years of coaching and preparation for opera roles, including a position as assistant conductor and chorusmaster for the New York Grand Opera.
- Michael Kotze, stage director, has directed and staged productions for companies including Light Opera Works, Chamber Opera Chicago, L’Opera Piccola, American Opera Group, and the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, among others.
- Matthew Ozawa, has numerous directing credits to his name, with some of the most prestigious companies in the nation and working with world-renowned directors and artists. He has directed productions at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera North, Chicago Folks Operetta, and Off-Off Broadway, among others.
- Alexis Randolph, assistant director, has worked as an actor and director with Redmoon, Appetite Theatre Company, Point of Contention, The State, New Leaf, Chicago Fringe Festival, and Element.