Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music College of Communication and Fine Arts Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music
opera photo header
U of M Opera

Opportunities abound for students in the University of Memphis Opera Program. With multiple performance possibilities, students gain experience in ensemble, comprimario roles, young artist contracts and leading roles. Opera workshop, vocal coaching and master classes focus on the many aspects of vocal performance and stage presentation. There is also a two-semester Acting for Opera class incorporating traditional and post-modern approaches to acting and ensemble-building.



Mark Ensley, Director of Opera Studies, who has served on the artistic staffs of Des Moines Metro Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera Memphis and is a former faculty member of the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv.

Dean Anthony, Opera Stage Director

Mignon Dunn, Artist-In-Residence, who has sung the leading mezzo-soprano roles in the most important opera houses of the world. Miss Dunn teaches one week per semester.

In addition to faculty in residence, the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music is dedicated to a program of master classes with today's leading figures in opera. Recent visiting artists include:

Giovanna Maresta Kathryn Hartgrove
Sherrill Milnes Guerilla Opera
Barbara Dever Stefano De Peppo
Gayletha Nichols Matthew Lata
Barbara Day Turner Gerald Moore
Robert Ward Stanford Olsen
Reed Woodhouse Louis Otey
Richard Masters Claude Webster


Each year the University of Memphis Opera produces two to three operas or musicals with orchestra and a gala concert. Students work with professional designers and production personnel and have the opportunity to work backstage as a part of their total education. All operas are presented in the original languages with projected English supertitles.

Hansel and Gretel (2008) and Idomeneo (2011) both won first place for Best Opera Production in the National Opera Association Competition.

In 2012, the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music teamed with the Department of Theatre and Dance to present an award-winning production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera for the University's Centennial Celebration.

The University of Memphis Opera also produced Raphäel Lucas' Confession for the National Opera Association/National Association of Teachers of Singing National Convention in January 2012 for a sold-out house of industry professionals.  

This year's season featured Lee Hoiby's Summer and Smoke and Mozart's Don Giovanni.

1997/1998     Le nozze di Figaro, Carmen
1998/1999     Hansel and Gretel, The Magic Flute
1999/2000     Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Don Giovanni
2000/2001     Sweeney Todd*, Dido and Aeneas, Les contes d'Hoffmann
2001/2002     Cosi fan tutte, The Beggar's Opera (Britten), The Consul
2002/2003     Into the Woods*, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi
2003/2004     Il matrimonio segreto, Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor
2004/2005     The Promise**, Christopher Sly (Argento), Albert Herring
2005/2006     La bohéme, Parade*, Don Giovanni
2006/2007     Le nozze di Figaro, Die Fledermaus
2007/2008     Werther, Die Zauberflöte
2008/2009     Hansel and Gretel***, Partenope
2009/2010     Il barbiere di Siviglia (Act 1), Manon (Act 2), The Crucible (Act 1),
                    The Old Maid and the Thief and The Medium
2010/2011    The Crucible, Tartuffe
2011/2012    Idomeneo***, Confession, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera*
2012/2013    Summer and Smoke, Don Giovanni

*  Joint production with The University of Memphis Department of Theatre and Dance

** World Premiere in conjunction with the Department of Theatre and Dance and The   Germantown Performing Arts Center

***Winner first place for Best Opera Production, National Opera Association Competition


Phantom of the Opera


The Medium

Beyond the University

U of M Opera students perform often with professional companies. Our students and alumni have also performed with opera companies nationally and internationally such as:

Ash Lawn Highland Summer Festival
Arizona Opera
Central City Opera
Dallas Opera
Des Moines Metro Opera
Deutsche Oper Berlin
English National Opera
Florida Grand Opera
Ft. Worth Opera
Glimmerglass Opera
Houston Grand Opera
Indianapolis Opera
Israel Vocal Arts Institute
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Metropolitan Opera
Minnesota Opera
Mississippi Opera
Nashville Opera

Natchez Opera Festival
New Jersey Opera Theatre
New Orleans Opera
New York City Opera
Opera Birmingham
Opéra de Lyon
Opera North
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
PORTOpera (Maine)
Royal Opera Covent Garden
San Francisco Opera
Santa Fe Opera
Seagle Music Colony
Seattle Opera
Shreveport Opera
Syracuse Opera
Teatro Real Madrid
Washington Opera

Auditioning for professional companies provides additional prospects and experience for U of M students. Every year, our opera students participate in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, with the district auditions held in the School of Music's own Harris Concert Hall. Recent auditions heard by General and Artistic Directors from other professional companies include:

idomeneoBrevard Opera Center                          
Como Opera Guild
Des Moines Metro Opera
FIO Americas, Brazil
Fort Worth Opera
Mississippi Opera
Nashville Opera
Natchez Opera Festival
New Hampshire Opera
New Jersey Opera Theatre
Opera Birmingham
Seagle Music Colony
Syracuse Opera





Rudi E. Scheidt
School of Music
The University of Memphis
Music Building, Room 123
3775 Central Ave.
Memphis, TN 38152-3160




Artist Diploma in Voice, Coaching or Stage Direction

Text Only | Print | Got a Question? Ask TOM | Contact Us | Memphis, TN 38152 | 901/678-2000 | Copyright 2015 University of Memphis | Important Notice | Last Updated: 
College of Communication and Fine Arts | 901/678-2350 | Contact us
Last Updated: 8/21/14