Jordan College of Fine Arts
School of Music

Butler Opera Theater

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Butler Opera Theater presents fully staged, full-length productions of music theatre in its varied forms: opera, musical theatre, cabaret and review. One full-length production is offered each year, with scenes from operas and musical theatre offered on alternating semesters. This integrated forum provides the singing/actor with opportunities to analyze characters, explore subtext, determine motivation and effectively portray a musical character to an audience. Exercises, assignments, and performance experiences expose students to the practices of different eras and genres, while expert vocal coaching acquaints students with appropriate style and presentation. Students will have access to master classes given by guest artists and will work with visiting professional directors, choreographers and designers.

Recent productions include: Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim, H.M.S. Pinafore by Arthur Sullivan, The Magin Flute by W.A. Mozart, The Medium by Gian-Carlos Menotti, and Quilters by Barbara Damashek.

Current production: The Old Maid and the Thief by Gian-Carlos Menotti. Interested in hosting this traveling production at your school?  Check out the details here.

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Thomas StudebakerMeet the Director: Thomas Studebaker 

Thomas Studebaker is an Assistant Professor of Voice and Director of the Lyric Theater Program at Butler University. Mr. Studebaker earned a Master of Music in Opera from Curtis Institute of Music and a Bachelor of Music in Voice from Illinois State University.

A member of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program from 1996 to 1999 at the Met, Mr. Studebaker had his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1997, in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos. Since then, he has sung over 60 performances with the company. He has also held countless other roles at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Chile, L'Opéra de Montréal, Sarasota Opera Association, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Lake George Opera Festival,Opera Australia, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Pittsburgh Opera, Knoxville Opera and the Peoria Civic Opera.

In addition, he has enjoyed a successful concert career, having performed with the New York Philharmonic, Westdeutscher Rundfunks Orchester, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Breckenridge Music Institute Orchestra, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Orchestra of New York, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Symphony Orchestra, Hunstville Symphony, Nagoya Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Symphonica d'Italia.

He has sung under the baton of such distinguished conductors as Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, James Levine, Sir Charles Mackerras, Kent Nagano, Roberto Abbado and Jesús López-Cobos to name only a few. In recognition of his outstanding performance ability, he was given a career grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, the Kirsten Flagstad Memorial Award from the George London Foundation, and the Wagner Award from the Liederkranz Foundation. In 1996 he was awarded the Robert M. Jacobson Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. He can also be heard with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in a Vaughan Williams performance on the Telarc label.

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