Vocal Studies and Opera

The George Mason University Opera Theater and Workshop provides serious vocal performance students with in-depth study and performance of operas from Baroque to modern, with opera scenes and productions each semester.

The Opera Theater presents two to three productions annually. Past productions have included Pauline Viardot's opera Cendrillon, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Dream Lovers, Act II of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Mozart’s Magic Flute, Monteverdi’s Coronation of Poppea, Purcell’s Dido & Aeneus, Puccini’s La Bohème and Gianni Schicchi, Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte and one-act operas including Barber’s A Hand of Bridge and Menotti’s Old Maid and the Thief.

George Mason’s vocal performance graduates are currently singing with the Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Kansas City, Colorado (Rocky Mountain), Alaska, Bay Shore, and New England Conservatory Opera Companies. 

3 performers dancing on stage

Mason Opera's exciting Spring 2023 production of Die Fledermaus featured student winners of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Virginia State, Mid-Atlantic Regional, and National Semi-Finalist of the 2023 National Student Auditions, Anissa Clay Zelaya, Rosalinde, Julianne Kim, Adele and Ross Calvin, Eisenstein. 

Photo credit:
Photo credit
John Nash
"A Talent like this Deserves a World Stage
                                        -Professor Patricia Miller, Director of Vocal Studies

Soprano and Mason alumna, Crystal Golden, first discovered her love of opera in middle school. She first sang for Patricia Miller, director of vocal studies and a Distinguished University Professor of Music, in high school when she was 14 years old. ​Her choral teacher recognized her talents and she ultimately went on to earn a bachelor of music from George Mason University. She also received her master’s in music from George Mason in May 2019 and, won first place in the 2019 National Association of Teachers of Singing’s Student Auditions competition (graduate/advanced women category)—an honor that took her to Austria. Read more about Crystal's journey.


Opportunities for Study Abroad

Each summer, students and faculty from the George Mason vocal studies program have the opportunity to travel and study abroad. In the video below, music students traveled to Italy to attend the AAMS ISMI (AAMS International Summer Music Institute), an opera program for emerging singers who wish to study roles abroad. It offers masterclasses, opera productions and concerts. Another student went to Freiberg in Germany for an opera experience, while others attended La Musica Lirica in Novafeltra, Italy, a five-week training program structured for performance artists looking to gain hands-on training and experience, immersed in its environment, as a way to help bridge the gap between college and career. Students also attended the Amalfi Coast International Music Festival in Maiori, Italy.

In the video below, music director and George Mason Professor Joe Walsh introduces Jacques Offenbach's opera Mesdames de la Halle, performed by Mason Opera in December 2019. It was recorded and later presented as part of Mason Arts at Home.