Skip to Content

School of Music


  •  Il Barbiere di Siviglia

    Il Barbiere di Siviglia: Gioachino Rossini

  • La Périchole: Jacques Offenbach

    La Périchole: Jacques Offenbach

  • Candide cast and set

    Candide: Leonard Bernstein

  • Elixir

    L'elisir d'amore: Gaetano Donizetti

  • Stomp your Foot

    The Tender Land: Aaron Copland

Opera at USC

Opera at USC offers a truly comprehensive program for both graduate and undergraduate students, covering every facet of opera production, both on stage and behind the scenes.

Purchase Tickets

Adults: $25; seniors/USC faculty & staff/military: $20; students with ID: $7
Purchase tickets online, call 803-777-5369, or purchase at the door.
Please note that online and phone sales end at 3 p.m. on opening day. After that you may purchase at the door one hour before show.


2016-2017 Season Announced

(dates, times and repertoire subject to change)

Sunday in the Park with George (Sondheim)

Fri. and Sat., November 4, 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 6 at 3:00 p.m.
Drayton Hall Theater
“My favorite musical of all time.” – Stephen Colbert
Inspired by Georges Seurat’s famous painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical depicts the journey, the joy and the heartbreak of an artist committed to realizing his vision. Considered a masterpiece of Sondheim and Lapine, Sunday in the Park with George merges past and present into beautiful, poignant truths about life, love and the creation of art. One of the most acclaimed musicals of our time, this moving study of the enigmatic painter won a Pulitzer Prize and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical.

Sunday in the Park with George is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI, 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019.

Later The Same Evening (Musto)

Fri. and Sat., February 24, 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 26 at 3:00 p.m.
Drayton Hall Theater
“It’s a lullaby to New York, the music is that late night, New York...lamp-shining-in-a-dark-street...that kind of atmosphere.” - John Musto on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday
Later the Same Evening
imagines the lives of the people in five Edward Hopper paintings on one evening in New York. Composer John Musto and librettist Mark Campbell turn the paintings into a re-creation of the stark realism of Hopper’s New York cityscapes in the wake of the Great Depression. The story follows the characters who find themselves colliding in a chance encounter at a Broadway musical.

The Lanny and Sidney Palmer One Act Series

Bon Appétit! (Hoiby)

Featuring Janet Hopkins
A comic culinary extravaganza that taps the wit and antics of one of America’s best-loved television personalities, the (almost) inimitable Julia Child.
and

The Impresario (Mozart)

April 15, 16, 2017
School of Music Recital Hall – Free
An impresario and his assistant audition two actresses for a new theatrical company. Hilarity ensues as the two sopranos try to outdo each other in high notes, a tenor intervenes by way of a trio, and in the end a quartet sings “Every artist strives for glory.”


Opera at USC offers a truly comprehensive program for both graduate and undergraduate students, covering every facet of opera production, both on stage and behind the scenes. Singers, directors, pianists, conductors, marketing and public relations students and theatrical technicians get expert teaching and intensive hands-on experience in their respective crafts.

Opera at USC is one of only a handful of colleges and universities nationwide that offers special training and practice for aspiring opera stage directors. You can gain abundant practical stage experience by participating in the operas either onstage or off.

Opera at USC presents two fully staged operas with orchestra each year and also presents an evening of One-Act Operas, often with a graduate stage director. Roles are open to undergraduates and graduates.

Master classes conducted by international opera singers, conductors, coaches and directors are held each semester.

Voice faculty and the choral department work closely together with Opera at USC on many projects. Learn more about the choral ensembles and the vocal studies area.


See photos from our past seasons.


Opera Faculty

Ellen Douglas Schlaefer

Ellen Douglas Schlaefer

Ellen Douglas Schlaefer is director of Opera Studies. She has worked with some of the world’s top opera companies and directors, including the Washington Opera and Francesca Zambello. She has staged productions across the U.S. and throughout South Carolina.

Neil Casey

Neil Casey

Neil Casey is the assistant director of orchestras and teaches conducting, violin and chamber music. He also is conductor of the Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra in Savannah, Ga. Casey conducts Opera at USC and the USC Campus Orchestra, an ensemble he created.

Lynn Kompass

Lynn Kompass

Lynn Kompass is vocal coach and associate professor. She provides musical preparation for all productions performed by Opera at USC and teaches courses in song literature and advanced diction for singers.

Michael LaRoche

Michael LaRoche

Michael LaRoche serves as the technical director for Opera at USC and is the information technology support consultant for the School of Music. He is a doctorate of musical arts candidate in voice performance (baritone).

Laury Christie

Laury Christie

Laury Christie is a member of the voice faculty (soprano) and is certified in the Alexander technique. She has performed with orchestras the U.S. and at Spoleto Festival USA, Alice Tully Hall in New York City and on Public Radio.

Walter Cuttino

Walter Cuttino

Walter Cuttino chairs the voice faculty and is an associate professor (tenor). He has more than 1,500 operatic and concert performances to his credit, including a tour with the late Leonard Bernstein. He is artistic director of the Palmetto Opera.

Janet Hopkins

Janet Hopkins

Janet Hopkins is assistant professor of voice (mezzo-soprano). She has presented master classes throughout the U.S. and performed Beethoven's 9th in Kentucky and El Amor Brujo (Falla) with the S.C. Philharmonic.

Tina Milhorn Stallard

Tina Milhorn Stallard

Tina Milhorn Stallard is associate professor of voice (soprano) and teaches vocal pedagogy. She performed Vivaldi’s “Gloria” with the Shanghai Philharmonic as part of the cultural prelude to the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Jacob Will

Jacob Will

Jacob Will is a member of the voice faculty (bass-baritone). He made his New York Philharmonic debut as soloist in the American premiere of the “Messa per Rossini,” in a performance televised live nationwide.

don gray

Don Gray

Donald Gray has been a voice faculty member since 1972 and has performed all around the world. He has been a Metropolitan Opera audition winner and won the second annual Mario Lanza Competition.

Opera Events

View the Calendar