Bottom with Titania, Puck, and the fairies in a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream (2014).
About the WWU Opera Studio
Western's nationally-recognized Opera Studio offers students exceptional performing experience in a yearly complete production, in a range of staging formats, including those designed for our state-of-the-art studio space to fully-produced works in collaboration with the WWU Orchestra on the WWU Mainstage. In addition to the opera itself, the studio presents a touring production at elementary schools and libraries in Whatcom County, and a scenes program in which students have the opportunity to take on all production roles including directing and design. The Opera Studio provides valuable experience and many pathways for young singers to grow in the broad range of skills called for in dynamic, exciting performance - from strong musicianship and singing, to acting, movement, and collegiality.
Opera director Dr. Eric Rieger along with music director, Mark Davies, strive to build a supportive environment while maintaining high standards of excellence in performance and production. Along with conductor Ryan Dudenbostel and artistic consultant and coach Jay Rozendaal, they bring an impressive breadth of operatic experience to Western's opera program.
Repertoire is chosen to showcase our talented students, and has included works from Purcell to Britten, from Mozart to Puccini and Bernstein. Works are sung in original language with projected supertitles.
Performance and Directing Opportunities
Our program focuses on the development and success of our undergraduate students. Undergraduate students have the opportunity to perform full leading roles in our main stage operas, along with our touring education program and perform in our annal opera scenes showcase. Additionally, students have the opportunity to audition for community and professional opera companies around the Bellingham and surrounding Seattle area.
Undergraduate students also have the opportunity to direct opera scenes with the guidance and tutelage of Dr. Rieger and other voice faculty.
Auditions, held early in the fall, are open to all students. For more information please email Dr. Rieger.