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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Opera Ensemble Takes First in Division

The award-winning UM Opera Theatre at the University of Mississippi received another top prize—first place in the Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition Division I (performers ages 18-22) at the National Opera Association’s convention held in San Antonio in January.  Finalists were selected to perform at the national convention by review of recorded performances.

“We picked a scene from Giacomo Puccini’s opera ‘Gianni Schicchi,’” said Julia Aubrey, director and associate professor of music. “We did two performances, one in English and one in Italian, to be more competitive. At the final, we competed against two other groups and won first place.”

Aubrey provided stage and voice direction for the nine-member winning ensemble, and Amanda Johnston, assistant professor of music, served as voice coach and accompanist.

The nationally recognized UM Opera Theatre provides the opportunity for skill development in music, drama, movement and design specifically related to opera performance. Fully staged productions include scenes and chamber opera each fall and a full-length opera with orchestra each spring. In June, an operetta or musical is produced in conjunction with the UM Shakespeare Festival. The ensemble tours extensively throughout the state and region. Participation is open to any student enrolled at the university.

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Julia Aubrey, Associate Professor of Music, and Amanda Johnston, Assistant Professor of Music, describe the award-winning UM Opera Theatre performance.  Video created by UM student, Lauryn Duvalle.