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The Opera Theatre presents one fully-staged operatic production each semester. For more than 30 years under the direction of Professor Vern Sutton, this ensemble has won notable prizes and has produced singers who now perform on major stages across the US and Europe. The Opera Theatre provides students with the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of fully staged opera productions. Admission is by audition only.

2017-2018 Season

FALL 2017
University Opera Theatre presents W.A. Mozart’s Idomeneo​

Giovanni Battista Varesco, librettist. David Walsh, director. Sung in Italian.

Thursday, November 16 at 7:30 pm
Friday, November 17 at 7:30 pm       
Saturday, November 18 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 19 1:30 pm

Ted Mann Concert Hall
Ticket information to be announced
tickets.umn.edu or 612-624-2345

SPRING 2018
University Opera Theatre presents Jacques Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld​

Book by Hector Crémieux and Ludovic Halévy. David Walsh, director. Sung in French.

Thursday, April 26 at 7:30 pm
Friday. April 27 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 28 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 29 at 1:30 pm

Ted Mann Concert Hall
Ticket information to be announced
tickets.umn.edu or 612-624-2345

  • Group of women in purple dresses singing together in Lady in the Dark
    Kurt Weill’s Lady in the Dark (Spring 2016), photo by Les Koob
  • Woman in a wedding dress singing on a podium with several women surrounding her
    Kurt Weill’s Lady in the Dark (Spring 2016), photo by Les Koob
  • Ringleader man on a red bucket with several people dancing around him
    Kurt Weill’s Lady in the Dark (Spring 2016), photo by Les Koob
  • Several people with their arms up in a circus setting
    Kurt Weill’s Lady in the Dark (Spring 2016), photo by Les Koob
  • One woman singing with her arms out and a man standing behind her with his arms crossed
    Kurt Weill’s Lady in the Dark (Spring 2016), photo by Les Koob
  • A woman singing on a stage with a cross in the background
    Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah (Fall 2015), photo by Les Koob
  • Woman pointing a gun at onlookers while singing
    Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah (Fall 2015), photo by Les Koob
  • Group of people singing with violin player in the center on stairs
    Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah (Fall 2015), photo by Les Koob
  • One kneeling man and a woman singing
    Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah (Fall 2015), photo by Les Koob
  • Several people watching a man sing on a set of stairs
    Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah (Fall 2015), photo by Les Koob
  • Man kneeling and a woman on a stage turning away from him
    Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah (Fall 2015), photo by Les Koob
  • A man fallen in front of a cross with a woman holding him
    Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah (Fall 2015), photo by Les Koob
  • People dancing on stage with a cross in the background
    Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah (Fall 2015), photo by Les Koob
  • Group of people in Victorian dress singing
    W.A. Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (Spring 2016), photo by Les Koob
  • Woman dressed as a maid singing with an elderly woman in Victorian dress
    W.A. Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (Spring 2016), photo by Les Koob
  • Several people in Victorian dress exiting a door
    W.A. Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (Spring 2016), photo by Les Koob
  • A woman holding a gun and a sword with two men in suits next to her
    W.A. Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (Spring 2016), photo by Les Koob
  • A man and a woman getting married with onlookers in Victorian dress
    W.A. Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (Spring 2016), photo by Les Koob
  • Four people on stage with dark lighting singing
    W.A. Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (Spring 2016), photo by Les Koob
  • A vixen (woman dressed as a fox) tied up to a tree stump
    Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (Fall 2014), photo by Les Koob
  • A family of foxes talking
    Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (Fall 2014), photo by Les Koob
  • Fox woman fighting with two men
    Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (Fall 2014), photo by Les Koob
  • Fox woman hunting hens
    Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (Fall 2014), photo by Les Koob
  • Vixen standing triumphantly after killing chickens
    Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (Fall 2014), photo by Les Koob
  • Group of women in purple dresses singing together in Lady in the Dark
  • Woman in a wedding dress singing on a podium with several women surrounding her
  • Ringleader man on a red bucket with several people dancing around him
  • Several people with their arms up in a circus setting
  • One woman singing with her arms out and a man standing behind her with his arms crossed
  • A woman singing on a stage with a cross in the background
  • Woman pointing a gun at onlookers while singing
  • Group of people singing with violin player in the center on stairs
  • One kneeling man and a woman singing
  • Several people watching a man sing on a set of stairs
  • Man kneeling and a woman on a stage turning away from him
  • A man fallen in front of a cross with a woman holding him
  • People dancing on stage with a cross in the background
  • Group of people in Victorian dress singing
  • Woman dressed as a maid singing with an elderly woman in Victorian dress
  • Several people in Victorian dress exiting a door
  • A woman holding a gun and a sword with two men in suits next to her
  • A man and a woman getting married with onlookers in Victorian dress
  • Four people on stage with dark lighting singing
  • A vixen (woman dressed as a fox) tied up to a tree stump
  • A family of foxes talking
  • Fox woman fighting with two men
  • Fox woman hunting hens
  • Vixen standing triumphantly after killing chickens


About the Director

David Walsh Portrait
David Walsh, associate professor of opera, is the director of University Opera Theatre. After graduating in political science and economics, he studied theatre science at the University of Toronto. His career has taken him to such opera houses as the Paris Opera (Fidelio: Ozawa, Behrens, Vickers), the Royal Opera House, London, and the Netherlands Opera, Amsterdam. He has been a resident stage director with Scottish Opera, Frankfurt Opera, and Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf. Walsh has directed opera in North America, Europe, China, Japan, and Israel. With a professional career spanning more than 25 years and two continents, Walsh has successfully combined the artistic flair expected of a director and teacher with the organizational and management abilities required of an administrator.


Past Opera Theatre Seasons

  • Spring 2017: Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi
  • Fall 2016: Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia
  • Spring 2016: Kurt Weill's Lady in the Dark
  • Fall 2015: Carlisle Floyd's Susannah
  • Spring 2015: WA Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro
  • Fall 2014: Georges Bizet's La Tragedie de Carmen
  • Spring 2014: Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (The Adventures of Vixen Sharp Ears)
  • Fall 2013: Bedřich Smetana’s The Bartered Bride
  • Spring 2013: Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Nights Dream
  • Fall 2012: Giuseppe Verdi's Falstaff
  • Spring 2012: Robert Aldridge's Parables
  • Fall 2011: WA Mozart's Così fan tutte
  • Spring 2011: Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus
  • Fall 2010: Robert Aldridge's Elmer Gantry
  • Spring 2010: WA Mozart's Die Zauberflöte
  • Fall 2009: Stravinsky in Paris: Le Renard (The Fox), Mavra, and Le Rossignol
  • Spring 2009: Leoš Janáček's Jenůfa
  • Fall 2008: Benjamin Britten's Rape of Lucretia
  • Spring 2008: Claudio Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea
  • Fall 2007: Kurt Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins and Giacomo Puccini's Suor Angelica
  • Spring 2007: Kurt Weill's Street Scene
  • Fall 2006: WA Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro
  • Spring 2006: Giacomo Puccini's La Bohéme
  • Fall 2005: Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw
  • Spring 2005: WA Mozart's Don Giovanni
  • Fall 2004: Francis Poulenc's La Voix Humaine and Giacomo Puccini's Gianni Schicchi
  • Spring 2004: Jacques Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffman
  • Fall 2003: Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring
  • Spring 2003: Conrad Susa's The Dangerous Liaisons
  • Fall 2002: Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos

Learn more about the Vocal Arts at the University of Minnesota.