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  • USU Opera Theatre

    The USU Opera Theatre offers students the opportunity to participate in a fully-staged opera or musical every year under the musical direction of Professor Dallas Heaton. Focusing on repertoire in English, undergraduates are able to concentrate on the fundamentals of stagecraft - the art of telling a story through sight and song. Professional guest stage directors are brought in from across the country and around the world to give students an authentic experience and further preparation for a career as a performer or teacher of opera.


    Utah State’s Opera Theatre has proven to be an excellent starting place for young singers, many of whom have gone on to further study at some of the nation's finest graduate schools and conservatories and then on to enjoy an accomplished careers with prominent companies around the world.


    In addition to full productions, students also have the opportunity to prepare roles and selected scenes through a yearly Opera Scenes program tailored to individual voices. Through close collaboration with voice professors, students are able to acquire a comprehensive set of necessary musical, technical, and acting skills that can serve as a foundation for continued growth. Opera scholarships are also available, providing additional performing opportunities as part of the Marie Eccles Caine-Russell Family Opera Outreach Quartet.


    Although the USU Opera Theatre is primarily an ensemble for Vocal Performance majors, all interested students are welcome to audition. Please contact Prof. Dallas Heaton for more information on how to be involved!


    The USU Opera Theatre is excited to announce the following productions for the 2017-2018 year:

    • Studio production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, December 5-6, 2017 at 7:30 in the Utah Theatre (18 W. Center St., Logan). Sung in English, this production is intended for audiences of all ages, with special invitations extended to audience members with special needs! Free and not ticketed. Please email dallas.heaton@usu.edu for requests for special seating or accommodation!
    • Mainstage performance of the first masterpiece of English Opera, Purcell's Dido and Aeneas in collaboration with the USU Practice Performance Institute. Guest music direction by world-renowned conductor and early music specialist Nicholas Kraemer, this production will run April 19-21, 2018 at 7:30 in the Morgan Theatre with a matinee performance April 21 at 2:00. Sung in English with supertitles. Purchase tickets here.


    Past productions of the USU Opera Theatre include:




    *Spring 2018

    Dido and Aeneas


    *Fall 2017

    Amahl and the Night Visitors

    Interactive Cabaret



    Spring 2017

    La finta giardiniera

    Opera Scenes



    Fall 2016

    The Boy who Grew too Fast

    Interactive Disney Cabaret



    Spring 2016

    Songs for a New World

    La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall’Isola d’Alcina

    Jason Robert Brown

    Francesca Caccini

    Fall 2015

    The Raspberry War

    Trial by Jury

    Robert Boury

    Gilbert & Sullivan

    Spring 2015

    Help! Help!, The Globolinks


    Fall 2014

    Songs of Love & Loss


    Spring 2014

    The Merry Wives of Windsor


    Spring 2013

    Die Fledermaus


    Fall 2012


    Spring 2012

    The Pirates of Penzance


    Radio Soap Opera

    Gilbert & Sullivan; a collaboration with USU Theatre Department

     The Old Maid & The Thief and other Menotti excerpts

    Spring 2011

    Giulio Cesare

    The Magic Flute



    Fall 2010


    Flaherty; a collaboration with USU Theatre Department

    Spring 2010

    Gianni Schicchi

    Scenes from The Merry Wives of Windsor


    Albert Herring




    Benjamin Britten

    Fall 2009


    The Wolf and Seven Kids

    Scenes from Cosi Fan Tutte

    Sweeney Todd


    Shane Mickelson (USU student)


    Sondheim & Wheeler; a collaboration with USU Theatre Department

    Spring 2009

    La Rondine


    Fall 2008



    Spring 2008

    Luisa Fernanda


    Fall 2007

    Amahl and the Night Visitors

    Hansel and Gretel



    Spring 2007

    L’Elisir d’Amore


    Fall 2006

    The Tender Land


    Spring 2006

    The Ballad of Baby Doe


    Fall 2005

    The Bartered Bride


    Spring 2005

    Riders to the Sea

    Trial By Jury


    Gilbert and Sullivan

    Fall 2004

    La Vida Breve

    de Falla

    Spring 2004

    L’enfant et les sortilèges

    The Old Maid and the Thief



    Fall 2003

    Signor Deluso

    Suor Angelica




    Images from past productions: 


    Photo Credits: Andrew McAllister, Caine College of the Arts photographer


    Thanks to the generosity of the Marie Eccles Caine-Russell Family, Utah State Opera is able to offer four scholarships for outstanding voice performance majors to be part of the USU Opera Outreach Quartet. As their primary responsibility, the Quartet presents a mini opera or musical at high schools throughout northern Utah and southern Idaho. If you would like to schedule a performance at your school, please contact Kiah Spjute, the quartet student manager.


    The Quartet recently presented excerpts of The Sun Dance Opera by William Hanson and Zitkala-Sa as part of the Museum + Music series. Premiered in Vernal, Utah, in 1903, the piece presents a unique peek into the intersection of cultures in Utah in the early 20th-century. Stay tuned for future projects!


    Recipients for the 2017-18 school year are Megan Warburton, soprano; Kiah Brown, mezzo-soprano; Andrew Taylor, tenor; and Benjamin Krutsch, tenor.


    Opera Outreach Quartet 

    2017-18 Opera Outreach Quartet: (L to R) Andrew Taylor, Kiah Spjute, Megan Warburton, and Benjamin Krutsch.

    Photo courtesy of Andrew McAllister.


    Quartet Member Bios


    Kiah Brown is a junior in the vocal performance program from Blackfoot, Idaho. She has been involved in many different performing groups since her childhood. Her love of music and performing extends deeply into the musical theater and opera worlds, with roles such as Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Maria in The Sound of Music, and as a part of Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial by Jury.


    Megan Warburton, soprano, is a sophomore vocal performance major from Bountiful, Utah. She recently appeared in Utah State’s production of Help, Help, the Globolinks! as Emily. She was awarded 2014 Sterling Scholar in Vocal Performance, and has received superior ratings at State Solo and Ensemble Festivals and other awards in vocal competitions. Megan has also performed as Praskovia in Lehar’s The Merry Widow, Janet Van de Graff in The Drowsy Chaperone, and Kim MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie. Megan is a University Ambassador and enjoys all the opportunities Utah State has to offer.


    Benjamin Krutsch, tenor, is a senior vocal performance major from Springville, UT. Benjamin recently appeared as Don Anchise in USU’s production of Mozart's La finta giardiniera. Benjamin has also worked as an artist with the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre appearing in their main stage productions of Madama Butterfly and The Pirates of Penzance. He has been a featured soloist with the USU Chamber Singers and recordings featuring him have aired on National Public Radio. Benjamin was also the winner of the 2016 USU Orchestra Concerto Competition.


    Andrew Taylor, tenor, is a senior in the Vocal Performance program from Cody, Wyoming. Andrew has been involved in music from a young age, and has a musical background ranging from rock music to opera. Most recently, he performed with the USU Chamber Singers, where he was a featured soloist for the Xi’an International Choral Festival. He also performed the role of the Count Belfiore in Utah State’s 2017 production of La finita giardiniera.