The California State University, Northridge Opera Theater enjoys a long-standing reputation as one of the finest university opera programs in the U. S. Currently the opera program is under the musical direction of Dr. John Roscigno. Stage directors are frequently rotated in our productions but many of the recent successful productions have been staged by Maurice Godin and Eli Villanueva. The tradition of excellence was set in motion under the 30 year directorship of David Scott and the leadership of David Aks.
The CSUN Opera program puts on two full productions each year. This past season included a highly successful run of Carmen in the state of the art Valley Performing Arts Center and a production of Gian-Carlo Menotti’s The Medium. The 2015-2016 promises to be as exciting as ever with two production in Italian – Gluck’s Orfeo and Euridice and Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
Opera study at CSUN includes classes in studio voice, diction, repertoire, performance techniques, opera scenes, Alexander Technique and of course the full productions. These courses, combined with CSUN's excellent musicianship classes, produce performers who are musically advanced, vocally healthy, physically and emotionally centered and skilled at a naturalistic style of acting that is the hallmark of CSUN's opera productions.
Graduates of the CSUN Opera Theater have gone on to major national and international careers. Prominent alumni include soprano Carol Vaness, mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, soprano Shigemi Matsumoto, tenor Beau Palmer and soprano Sarah Joy Heerema, who recently appeared as Mimi in Baz Luhrmann's Broadway production of La Boheme. CSUN opera students have gone on to study at such institutions as Juilliard, University of Southern California, Boston University and the San Francisco Conservatory.