Fresno State Opera Theatre

Dr. Anthony P. Radford, Director

opera players

Fresno State Opera Theatre educates young singers in the art of opera through a program of classes in body awareness, stage techniques and acting. Under the direction of Dr. Anthony P. Radford it has quickly become the top ensemble in the Central Valley for training the next generation of opera singers through a comprehensive program within the Vocal Performance option in the Bachelor of Arts Degree. Students have the opportunity to perform in opera scenes and full productions with orchestra. Recent productions include, Carmen directed by Theatre and Dance Professor Ruth Griffin and La Boheme with the Fresno State Symphony Orchestra, Amahl and the Night Visitors with chamber orchestra and Pizza con Funghi and Elixir of Love in full production with piano. Yearly scenes programs explore various themes in the operatic literature. Recent themes were “Opera in the Country”, “French Opera Scenes”, “Opera Favorites” and an entire show of great opera finales.

2013 saw the first year of Fresno State Opera Theatre’s participation in Fresno Opera and Orchestra Academy with a performance of the trio from Der Rosenkavalier in Disney Hall and a performance at Fresno State of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci.

The Opera Theatre also provides students with other exciting opportunities such as exploring new works and working with guest artists. In 2014 the Fresno State Opera Theatre mounted the world premiere of The Secret of Luca, a new opera by Evan Mack and Joshua Mcguire. Fresno State Opera Theatre also commissioned a work by students Carlos Gamboa and Sharon Rogers titled “Mother, please”. In the Spring of 2017 FSOT will premiere a new work by Fresno State composer Kenneth Froelich titled “Jefferson” an opera about the short lived Northern California secession movement.

Guests Artists have included author and director David Ostwald, director Yefim Maizel, soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, and soprano Ellen Shade.

In 2013/14 Fresno State Opera Theatre collaborated with the San Jose State Opera Theatre in an exchange with each opera program visiting the other to work on and perform opera scenes.

Keeping with our tradition of performing a full opera every year, in the Fall of 2015 we will perform Benjamin Britten's opera Albert Herring. In 2016 we will begin an exciting collaboration with Fresno Grand Opera and the Composition Studio at Fresno State which will include visits from acclaimed opera composers Jake Heggie and Ricky Ian Gordon.

Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena

The winners of the Central Valley Community Foundation's 2016 Arts and Culture granting cycle were announced this week and the Fresno State Opera Theatre was awarded $10,000 to commission and produce a newly composed children's opera titled Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena by composer Evan Mack and librettist Joshua McGuire. This is the first grant to be awarded to Fresno State in the area of opera for young audiences.

See more on the Fresno State Children's Opera here.

Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena

Joshua McGuire (seated) and Evan Mack (at the piano) work on their new opera Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena with Fresno State graduate students Alejandra Tejeda and Ed Olivarez during their week long residency at Fresno State. March 28 2016

Watch our world premiere of Evan Mack and Joshua McGuire’s The Secret of Luca below:

To watch our Spring 2015 production of Carmen visit:

Friday Cast

Sunday Cast

Read Anthony P. Radford's review of "Dream of the Red Chamber" here