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Posted by on Dec 9, 2011 in News | 0 comments

UNT wins 1st place in National Opera Association competition

DENTON (UNT), Texas — The University of North Texas Opera program earned first place in the National Opera Association’s Opera Production Competition in Division V – the highest division among conservatory and university programs – for its production of Marc Blitzstein’s Regina.

The award will be presented at the gala banquet of the national convention Jan. 7 (Saturday) in Memphis.

“We were already very proud of our casts, orchestra, studio teachers, designers and crews who brought this challenging masterpiece to life on our stage, but to receive this very high recognition for our creative efforts nationally acknowledges the top quality training that our College of Music provides its students,” said Paula Homer, director of UNT Opera.

UNT Opera performed Regina, based on playwright Lillian Hellman’s masterpiece The Little Foxes, in February and March 2011. The production incorporated a mix of styles – from opera to musical theatre, jazz, Dixieland and blues.

“Working on Regina was a labor of love for all involved,” said Stephen Dubberly, UNT Opera’s music director and conductor for the production. “I can’t say enough about Paula Homer’s committed, inspiring leadership. At every step in the process, we were conscious of the great privilege of producing a theatrical and musical masterpiece which is so beautiful, so hauntingly personal, so compelling dramatically, and so relevant socially and politically. What a joy to be recognized for our collective efforts on a project that truly changed our lives and the lives of the audience members. The students in Concert Orchestra deserve special mention for the enthusiasm, professionalism and skill they brought to this endeavor.”

Entries in the competition were judged in a videotaped performance and were broken into five categories based on production budget, size of program and level of vocal training of the cast members.

Last year, the UNT Opera program earned third place from the National Opera Association’s Opera Production Competition for its performance of Smetana’s Prodaná nevesta (The Bartered Bride), which was the first opera to be presented in Czech at UNT. UNT also won awards from the National Opera Association in previous years for Argento’s Postcard from Morocco and Britten’s Albert Herring.

About UNT Opera

UNT Opera offers intensive training and performance opportunities to talented undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Music. The opera program offers two full productions each year in the intimate Lyric Theater of the Murchison Performing Arts Center, as well as a biennial gala concert of operatic excerpts and opportunities to perform across the country.

About the UNT College of Music

The highly comprehensive programs of the UNT College of Music enroll the largest number of music majors of any university in the country. The UNT College of Music is the choice of more than 1,600 music majors from all over the world who are pursuing a wide variety of specializations, including classical music performance, jazz studies, music education, composition, musicology, theory and ethnomusicology. The college provides a rich musical environment with 100 full-time faculty members, 200 adjuncts and graduate assistants, a vast music library, and more than 40 student ensembles. UNT music alumni populate every corner of the profession in this country and abroad.

About the National Opera Association

Founded in 1955 under the auspices of the National Music Council, the National Opera Association seeks to promote a greater appreciation of opera and music theatre, to enhance pedagogy and performing activities and to increase performance opportunities by supporting projects that improve the scope and quality of opera.

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