Established in 1964, ASU's flagship Lyric Opera Theatre program is distinctive in that it combines training in both opera and musical theatre. Serving approximately 100 undergraduate and graduate opera and musical theatre majors from the School of Music, as well as students from the School of Film, Dance and Theatre, LOT is committed to preparing outstanding operatic and musical theatre performers for professional careers in the 21st Century.
LOT currently produces five fully staged and costumed opera and musical theatre productions each year in its own 450–seat Evelyn Smith Music Theater, all supported with full orchestras from ASU's nationally renowned instrumental ensemble program. It boasts a significant team of faculty directors, conductors, designers, voice teachers, coaches and support staff, along with regular guest artists and other faculty from the School of Music and the School of Film, Dance and Theatre. The program also features formal collaborations and professional performance and study/cover opportunities with Arizona Opera and the Phoenix Theatre.
In addition to productions, LOT offers a comprehensive series of classes in voice, acting and dance, along with new works workshops, opera scenes programs, and two musical theatre showcases each year. The quality and scope of our program is demonstrated by our professionally active faculty, as well as the success of our alumni who are performing in major opera houses, on Broadway, television and film, in national touring companies, regional theaters, and teaching in university programs throughout the United States and the world.
LOT offers four distinct degree programs in Musical Theatre Performance: the Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre, the Master of Music in Musical Theatre, the Master of Music in Opera, and the nation's first program designed to develop the next generation of conductors for the theatre, the Master of Music in Music Direction.
The undergraduate program is designed to hone all the skills necessary for the complete singing actor. Training includes private voice lessons, acting, dance, audition techniques, technical production, repertoire classes, scene study and performance. Students in this degree who wish to focus on opera may choose course options in the junior and senior years, with faculty approval, which prepare them for entrance into master's degree programs in opera performance.
A Master's student in Musical Theater receives ongoing practical training and performance experience to further hone performance skills for professional work as a musical theater singer/actor. In addition to studio voice instruction and advanced work in acting and performance techniques, students study repertoire from the traditional and contemporary musical theatre canon and are required to perform major roles in at least two LOT productions.
The Master of Music degree in opera is designed to prepare students for entry–level career opportunities in in the opera world including young artist training programs, doctoral programs, and other advanced study and emerging artist professional endeavors. In addition to studio voice instruction and advanced work in acting and performance techniques, students study standard and contemporary operatic repertoire and are required to perform major roles in at least two LOT productions.
This is an entry–level degree in conducting with an emphasis in music direction for theatre. The program is geared toward those with strong keyboard/piano skills who are eager to learn the skills necessary for a successful career as a musical director. This competitive program admits only one student per year and includes study of both opera and musical theater repertoire. Since 1991, the graduates of this program have had a remarkable record of success, whether working in the profession, in academia or in pursuing further conducting study.