Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

UA hosts opera workshop

The third annual Druid City Opera Workshop, hosted by the University of Alabama School of Music, will conclude today with a final performance.

The workshop focuses on intensive opera training for young artists and performance opportunities for singers, pianists and directors.

“The voice faculty, particularly Dr. Susan Fleming, wanted a summer program because a lot of other schools have them,” artistic director Paul Houghtaling said. “I’ve sung and taught in other programs around the country, and for this program, we wanted to focus on the experience.”

Participants are selected for the program through an application process of sending in resumes, headshot photos and recording information. The top sixteen voices are then chosen from the applications and many of the selected students are from out of state.

“It is one of the highlights of my career to establish a program like this,” Houghtaling said. “We have been featured in a national magazine and are on the map now.”

During the nine-day workshop, the students perform with piano accompaniment, daily coaching and rehearsals of assigned repertoire, classes featuring improvisation and acting for singers, movement, stage combat and audition techniques, as well as special sessions focusing on body mapping, yoga for singers, diction for singers and master classes.

“Many students have never had the experience before coming here,” Houghtaling said. “It’s an exciting recruiting process, as some of the students audition for the UA graduate program after this.”

Houghtaling said the workshop days last from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. with lunch brought in so that students can also participate in lunch seminars detailing areas such as the business of singing.

Ryan Landis, a graduate assistant in opera, said the intensive workshop training is very similar to what a student would receive during a year at the University’s opera program.

“This is my first year involved with the workshop, but students have gone through in the past and gone on to other companies,” Landis said. “It’s definitely been a successful week.”

The workshop staff is comprised of UA faculty, guest artists and clinicians including participants from Iowa, Texas, and even Las Vegas.

A final performance will be held this evening highlighting what the students have learned throughout the week. The event will be held in the Choral Opera Room of the Moody Music Building at 7 p.m. and is free to the public.

“Watching the students come in nervous and come out as budding artists is one of the most rewarding parts,” Houghtaling said. “It makes me very proud to offer something so important to these students.”

More to Discover