Operafestival di Roma
May 15 - June 6, 2022
The Operafestival di Roma brings current voice students a complete resume-building performance opportunity unmatched by any other summer opera program, combining over 20 years of experience with the incredible settings of central Italy. The program, hosted in collaboration with several other higher education institutions, is based in Orvieto - with performance tours to Rome - and boasts fully staged productions which are accompanied by a professional orchestra.
Housing the program in Orvieto presents an incredible opportunity to perform in the magnificent Teatro Mancinelli, built in 1838 and recently restored to its original historic beauty by a comprehensive renovation.
“You will be captured by the richness of the decorations in the foyer and even more stunned, in the stalls area, by the four tiers of finely decorated boxes, by the marvellous Danza delle Ore on the ceiling, and [the Three Muses] on the arco armonico each with her respective symbols, all valuable frescoes by Cesare Fracassini.” - Vivi Orvieto
What Is Offered
- A three-week program
- Multiple Casts
- Multiple performances with a professional orchestra
- Aria & Scenes concerts
- Two meals per day (in the United States) and breakfast (in Italy) provided
- Voice lessons / coachings
- Networking with internationally-renowned directors, coaches, and teachers
- Authentic European living in the hamlet of Orvieto
- Opportunities to experience Rome, a city with unparalleled history and charm
- Plus master classes, area excursions, and more
2022 Season Repertoire
Il Flauto Magico (with limited German dialogue and orchestra)
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Italian Opera Gala Concert (with orchestra)
Suor Angelica (with orchestra)
by Giacomo Puccini
Total tuition costs for the Summer 2022 Festival Program are $4800.
Tuition includes on-campus LSU housing during the Baton Rouge residency, including breakfasts and lunches. Tuition also covers apartment housing and breakfasts during the Italian residency. Please be aware, however, that tuition does NOT include your personal airfare to Italy or any travel within the United States.
- May 15 through May 20 - Baton Rouge Residency (for those flying into New Orleans, you will be picked up)
- May 21 - Everyone flies to Italy
- May 22 - May 30 - Orvieto Residency
- May 31 - June 6 - Rome Residency
We recommend prospective participants develop a personal fund-raising plan to help defray costs, and, if applicable, seek out grants or other funding opportunities from your higher education institution. Airlines commonly increase ticket prices closer to the actual date of travel, so it would be financially beneficial for you to book your flights as early as possible.
If you would like to submit an application for consideration, please have your resume / curriculum vitæ prepared, and include it with the application form.
In addition to providing basic information, applicants must also either audition in-person at one of several sites in the continental United States or submit a video audition via YouTube or Dropbox.
If auditioning by video, please ensure your recording is of good visual and audio quality, and recorded within the last six months.
Audition Repertoire Requirements
For a lead role:
Please prepare two arias: one (1) from the specific role for which you are auditioning and one (1) other aria in Italian.
For a supporting role:
Please prepare two arias or art songs in any language of your choice.
Dr. Todd Queen was recently appointed as Dean of the College of Music at Florida State University. Queen comes to Florida State from the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts, where he served as Dean and Penniman Family Professor of Music, a position he held from 2014 - 2021. His unique combination of teaching, directing, and performing experience has allowed him to travel the world as an educator, stage director, singer, and arts leader.
During his time at LSU, Queen worked with the faculty to modernize the undergraduate curriculum to meet the needs of the 21st century artist. New courses included instruction in technology, marketing, entrepreneurship, and arts leadership. An avid fundraiser, Queen led the college in a $60 million fundraising campaign, which included a $4M gift in 2018, the largest gift in the college’s history. Additional significant gifts included two new endowed chairs, the lead gift for a recital hall renovation, and the naming of the John G. Turner and Jerry G. Fischer Center for Opera. Queen is also a strong advocate for international study and has traveled to Asia on multiple occasions to forge a partnership with East China Normal University in Shanghai, where he was named Visiting Professor. He has spent over a dozen summers in Italy, working with Opera Orvieto and Operafestival di Roma, where he currently serves as Executive Director.
Prior to his appointment at LSU, he served as Professor of Voice and Chair of the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance in the College of Liberal Arts at Colorado State University. In 2012, Queen was the catalyst for the formation of the LEAP (Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Arts Advocacy and the Public) Institute for the Arts at Colorado State, an interdisciplinary academic unit that houses both an undergraduate minor and graduate program in Arts Leadership and Administration. During his time at CSU, Queen established ten new endowed scholarships for the department and formed the Charles and Reta Ralph Opera Center at CSU, one of a handful of named opera programs in the United States. Queen joined the CSU voice faculty in 2001 as Assistant Professor of Voice and Director of Colorado State Opera Theatre.
Dr. Queen earned the DMA and MM degrees from the Eastman School of Music after completing his undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University. Dr. Queen’s voice students have been selected for competitive young artist programs in the United States and abroad. Former students are currently attending top-tier conservatories and graduate schools and have placed in the district and regional finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. Queen served as Artistic Director of Opera Fort Collins from 2004-2011. Under his leadership, the company tripled the number of season productions, significantly increased fundraising efforts, and brought in high-level artists from around the world to sing in Fort Collins.
Throughout his professional career, Queen has produced and directed more than 60 opera and musical theatre productions. His performing career included faculty and guest recitals, master classes, and solo engagements with international and regional opera companies, orchestras, choruses, and concert series. He has sung with East China Normal University, Operafestival di Roma, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Sacramento Opera, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, The Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, Opera Fort Collins, and Fort Collins Symphony.
Baritone Dennis Jesse has performed in a wide range of styles from grand opera, operetta and musical theater. He has appeared in numerous productions with New Orleans Opera Association, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opéra Louisiane, Arizona Opera, Opera Orlando, Eugene Opera, Knoxville Opera, Nevada Opera, Sacramento Opera, Pensacola Opera, Opera Idaho, Da Corneto Opera, Triangle Opera Theater, Amarillo Opera, Metro Lyric Opera, El Paso Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Southwest, Ohio Light Opera, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Opera Lenawee, National Opera Company and Jefferson Performing Arts Society. His operatic credits include the roles of Rigoletto, Scarpia, Amonasro, Giorgio Germont, Don Giovanni, Gianni Schicchi, as well as lead roles in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, I Pagliacci, Madama Butterfly, Faust, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, La Bohème, Cavalleria Rusticana, Carmen, Romèo et Juliette, Così fan tutte, L’Italiana in Algeri, L’elisir d’amore, and The Crucible.
An experienced concert performer, he has sung Elijah, The Messiah, Carmina Burana, Ein deutsches Requiem, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Sea Symphony, The St. Matthew Passion, Haydn’s The Creation and had a Carnegie Hall performance of Schubert’s Mass in G and Mozart’s Te Deum and Regina Coeli.
Students who have studied with Professor Jesse have gone on to appear at: Houston Grand Opera, Florentine Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Ohio Light Opera, Opéra Louisiane, New Orleans Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, San Diego Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Dayton Opera, Opera Memphis, Glimmerglass Opera, Central City Opera, Opera in the Ozarks, Opera in the Heights, and Brevard Music Festival.
Mr. Jesse joined the faculty of Louisiana State University in 2005, and is a Galante Associate Professor of Voice.
American conductor and pianist MICHAEL BOROWITZ is currently in his thirteenth year as Associate Professor and Music Director of the Turner-Fischer Center for Opera at LSU, where this season he conducted performances of Mozart's Così fan tutte, Hagen's Orson Rehearsed, and Glass' Orphée. In his role as Artistic Director with Opéra Louisiane, he led performances of Bolcom/Campbell's Lucrezia, Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Offenbach’s Les contes d'Hoffmann. His recordings on the Albany label include Offenbach’s Bluebeard, Kern’s The Cabaret Girl, Herbert’s Mlle. Modiste (also released on DVD by Operetta Archives), and Gilbert & Sullivan’s Ruddigore and Patience, and a DVD on Operetta Archives of Kálmán's The Duchess of Chicago. He was Artistic Director of Nevada Opera for nine years and Music Director for Ohio Light Opera for five. He has been guest conductor for Asheville Lyric Opera, Baltimore Concert Opera, Opera Delaware, Des Moines Metro Opera, Pensacola Opera, AVA Ballet, Opera Southwest, and Opera Columbus, as well as assistant conductor with The Metropolitan Opera, Indianapolis Opera, and Cleveland Opera.
Dr. Sam Savage is a tenor whose varied performance experience includes opera, oratorio, musical theater and recitals. He has over twenty roles in his repertoire and has appeared with the, New York City Opera's national tour, the Operafestival di Roma, the Virginia Opera, the Sarasota Opera, the Maryland Opera Studio, and the Western Plains Opera and The Metropolitan Opera Chorus. As a young artist, Savage performed with the Pittsburgh Opera Center and Glimmerglass Opera. Savage made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1996 performing the tenor solos in works by Leonard Bernstein and Adolphus Hailstork. Dr. Savage’s awards include the Virginia Music Teachers Concerto Competition, the A. Eli and Esther Nisenfeld Award for Outstanding Tenor, and a finalist in the Richard Tauber International Competition for Tenors.
Dr. Savage, a Pi Kappa Lambda Scholar, received his DMA degree from the University of Maryland at College Park in 2002. Dr. Savage's previous teachers include the late Maestro Franco Corelli, Vladimir Chernov, David Jones, Linda Mabbs and Dr. Kenneth Bowles.
Currently, Dr. Savage, Coordinator of Studio Voice at Indiana University- Purdue University Fort Wayne, teaches private voice, vocal pedagogy, vocal literature and directs the opera ensemble. His previous teaching appointments include The University of Texas at Arlington, The University of Virginia, the Operafestival di Roma, Longwood University and the University of Richmond.
Students who have studied with Dr. Savage have appeared on and off-broadway, in film and television, leading regional opera houses, national and international summer festivals, and major apprentice programs. They have been winners of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions and regional finalists as well as winners and the recipients of the highest awards at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competitions and regional finalists. Some of these same students have been the highest recruits at prestigious graduate programs such the Eastman School of Music, The University of Michigan, The University of Maryland at College Park, Baylor University and Texas Christian University.
American soprano Sandra Moon made her professional debut in the role of Frasquita in Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's staging of Carmen with Placido Domingo at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Her first engagement in Europe was at the Stadttheater in Aachen where she sang such roles as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Pamina, Susanna, Oscar and Norina.
From 1992-1997 she was engaged at the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe where her repertoire was extended to such roles as Mimì, Liu, Manon, Donna Anna, Adina, Fiordiligi and Maria Stuarda. At Munich's Gärtnerplatz Theater, where she was engaged from 1997 until 2012, some of her roles included Violetta, Butterfly, Giovanna d'arco, Amalia in I Masnadieri, Martha, Agathe and Alice Ford. Her extensive repertoire of over 100 roles has led her to other cities including Düsseldorf, Cologne, Berlin, Dresden, Paris, Warsaw, Mallorca, Zürich and Vienna.
Ms. Moon made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the role of Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos with James Levine conducting. She has since sung at the Met in roles such as Cleopatra in Händel’s Giulio Cesare, Flower Maiden in Parsifal, and Zdenka next to Renee Fleming’s Arabella. In 2005 she made her Carnegie Hall debut with the role of Ännchen in Der Freischütz under the baton of Eve Queler and the Opera Orchestra of New York.
She has sung with the New York City Opera (Pamina, and Rose in Street Scene), Glimmerglass Opera (Marzelline in Fidelio), Portland Opera (Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor), Florentine Opera (Musetta and Antonia), Opera Columbus (Musetta, Countess, and Donna Anna), Cleveland Opera (Cleopatra and Gilda), and Adina and Nedda at the Lake George Opera Festival.
While working in Europe, she was able to focus on baroque repertoire, singing in the Händel Festivals of Karlsruhe and Halle, as well as the Dresden Music Festival. Some of her baroque repertoire includes the Bach Passions, as well as the roles of Asteria in Tamerlano, Onoria in Amadigi, Fulvia in Ezio, and Emilia in Ferrandini’s Catone in Utica which has been released on Oehms Classic CD.
Sandra Moon is a native of Dayton, Ohio and received her musical training from the Cincinnati-Conservatory of Music as well as being in the young artist programs of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Sante Fe Opera.
She is currently Assistant Professor of Voice at Louisiana State University, and she recently tackled the massive role of Maria Callas in Terrence McNally’s Master Class.
Dugg McDonough, Mary Barrett Fruehan Associate Professor of Opera and Artistic Director of the Turner-Fischer Center for Opera at LSU, is a three-time winner of The American Prize in Directing. For his achievements with LSU's opera program, McDonough garnered first place in 2019 (Dog Days), second place in 2020 (Elizabeth Cree), and third place in 2021 (Two Remain). In addition to these personal accolades, his opera productions have collected numerous first and second place awards from both The American Prize and the National Opera Association, the latter having awarded LSU first place for four consecutive years in its annual Opera Scenes Competition.
Since coming to LSU in 2002, McDonough has staged over 60 mainstage opera productions, including 2007's highly acclaimed performances of Carlisle Floyd's Willie Stark, which were filmed by Newport Classic for international commercial DVD release. Another video highlight came with David Amram's Twelfth Night in 2010, again recorded by Newport Classic and included in a documentary celebrating the composer's 80th birthday.
As a still-active professional director, McDonough has staged a wide variety of operas, operettas, and musicals for companies ranging from the New York City Opera to the Taipei International Arts Festival. Highlights in recent years have included the workshop premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's Out of Darkness for Pensacola Opera; Elektra, Susannah, Dialogues of the Carmelites, La rondine, and Le tragédie de Carmen for Des Moines Metro Opera; Madama Butterfly and Amahl and the Night Visitors for Opéra Louisiane; Turandot and Madama Butterfly for Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra; Little Women, La cenerentola, La tragédie de Carmen, and The Medium for Pensacola Opera; and Tristan und Isolde for commercial CD release from Sofia, Bulgaria. Recent successes also include Le nozze di Figaro and La cenerentola for Operafestival di Roma, Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte for Land of Enchantment Opera, and The Face on the Barroom Floor for Rose Rock Opera Institute.
Among his additional credits, McDonough served four seasons as Staff Stage Director for the New York City Opera, under the leadership of Beverly Sills, and he spent two summers on the production staff of The Santa Fe Opera (beginning his professional career as Assistant Director on the American Premiere of the complete, three-act version of Berg's Lulu). For two years, he was Production Manager and Artistic Consultant for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, collaborating with such notable stage directors as Colin Graham, Frank Corsaro, and Jonathan Miller. A librettist as well, McDonough authored Ordinary People, a three-act opera, which received its premiere workshop staging at the Maryland Opera Studio in 2008.
As a specialist in working with emerging performers, McDonough served for 20 years (1993-2012) as Co-Director of the Apprentice Artist Program of Des Moines Metro Opera. He has also stage directed for The Santa Fe Opera's Apprentice Program, the San Diego Opera Center, the Young Artist Program of Florida Grand (formerly Greater Miami) Opera, and the National Company and Education Department of the New York City Opera. As an adjudicator of vocal competitions, he has acted as judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions, as well as the Charles A. Lynam Vocal Competition. In 2021, McDonough was honored to join the prestigious faculty of OperaFest Sewanee at the long-standing Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Tennessee.
McDonough's academic resume includes, in addition to his years at LSU, a 1985-2002 tenure as Associate Professor and Director of Opera Theater at Temple University's Boyer College, and other university teaching and directing credits at the University of Tennessee, the University of Oklahoma, the Shepherd School of Music of Rice University, and Loyola University New Orleans. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Duke University, a Master of Arts in Dramatic Art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, along with extensive post-graduate credits in theater and opera history and literature and stage direction for opera at Indiana University.
A native of Miami, Florida, Anthony Offerle’s credits include performances with the OperaEstate in Rome, Cincinnati Opera, International Chamber Orchestra, Dayton Opera, Wyoming Opera, Charleston Symphony, Savannah Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic, and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. He has sung over 30 leading roles including title roles in Don Giovanni and Don Pasquale, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, and Bartolo in both Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Le nozze di Figaro. Equally at home with musical theater repertoire, he has performed the Major General in The Pirates of Penzance, Sir Despard Murgtroyd in Ruddigore, Riff in West Side Story, and Curly in Oklahoma. An active concert performer, he served as guest soloist in London’s Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral as well as St. Giles Cathedral in Scotland. He is represented by Richard Realmuto Artists Management of New York: www.realmutoartists.com.
Offerle is a two-time Metropolitan Opera auditions district winner and regional finalist, a national winner of the Federation of Music Clubs vocal competition, and one of only ten Americans selected to compete in the quadrennial Marian Anderson International Vocal Competition. He has studied with such renowned teachers as Italo Tajo and Andrew B. White at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Mollie Rich at the Stetson University School of Music.
Dr. Offerle earned the Doctor of Arts degree in vocal performance and opera stage directing from the University of Northern Colorado, the Master of Music degree in vocal performance from Converse College, and the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Stetson University.
Currently, Dr. Offerle is teaching studio voice, directing the opera workshop program, and is the instrumental/vocal ensemble director for the fall musical. Before coming to the University of Florida, Dr. Offerle spent four years as head of the voice area at the Charleston Southern University - Horton School of Music where he taught voice, diction classes, vocal pedagogy, and directed the Opera/Musical Theatre program and the Men’s Chorus. Prior to his time in Charleston, he spent five years as an assistant professor of voice at the Eastern New Mexico University – School of Music and one year as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Evansville - School of Music.
He is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and a former NATS state president. He also is a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), The American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and MENC: The National Association for Music Education.
For more information about Operafestival di Roma, please contact:
Operafestival di Roma
c/o Dennis Jesse
Louisiana State University
102 New Music Building
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Tel: (225) 578-2642
Fax: (225) 578-2562
In Loving Memory of Louisa Panou, Founder and Founding Artistic Director