About the Program

New Directions in Opera

After so many years with the wonderful Paula Homer at the helm, UNT Opera welcomes Jonathan Eaton as new director. Jonathan has a combined career of professional stage directing and teaching. He says: "I have been so fortunate in my life to be able to work in this fantastic art form, and am thrilled to be working now at UNT. The college has a proud tradition in opera going back many years, and boasts world-class music faculty with coach Willem van Schalkwyk and Music Director Stephanie Rhodes Russell. And perhaps most important of all: the students are fabulous. I feel privileged to able to help pass on the torch to new generations!"

Jonathan has worked in many of the great opera houses in the world as a stage director. In North America these include Chicago Lyric, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Philadelphia Opera, New York City Opera (with productions broadcast nationwide on Great Performances Live from Lincoln Center) and our own Dallas Opera. In Europe he has directed at The Royal Opera Covent Garden, English and Welsh National Operas, Dutch National Opera, the operas of Lyons, Nantes and Nancy, and a number of German opera houses. He was Professor of Opera at CCM in Cincinnati, at Carnegie Mellon University and Cleveland Institute of Music. He retains his summer position as Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Festival Opera. 

UNT Vocal Studies

With acclaimed faculty and accomplished students, the UNT Division of Vocal Studies is a thriving educational setting. Opportunities to perform include opera, concert, and recital, both on campus and across the dynamic Dallas-Fort Woth metroplex. Current faculty includes nine full time members, three adjunct, and eight graduate teaching assistants. Over 75 students are pursing Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in vocal performance. To discover more, please visit the UNT Vocal Studies page. 

Mainstage Productions

UNT Opera presents three full productions each year, accompanied by the UNT orchestras, in the intimate setting of the Lyric Theater. Productions are carefully selected with the goal of exposing our students to a wide variety of literature in a broad range of musical and theatrical styles. Students are given opportunities for solo or ensemble roles that complement their education both vocally and dramatically (productions are usually double-cast). Preparation for every production emphasizes process as well as product. Through consistent, individualized training, students achieve the highest standards of performing excellence. The ultimate goal of UNT Opera's program is to develop free, expressive, integrated, “full-spectrum” performers.


Recent productions include:

  • 2022: Britten's The Rape of Lucretia; Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore
  • 2021: Smetana's The Bartered Bride; Musto's Later the Same Evening; Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice
  • 2020: Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor; Blitzstein's Regina
  • 2019: Roussel's Le testament de la tante Caroline; Puccini's Gianni Schicchi"IF I Loved you..." A New Rodgers and Hammerstein Revue; Mozart's Don Giovanni
  • 2018: Weill's Street Scene; Gounod's Faust; Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen
  • 2017: Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites; Sondheim's A Little Night Music; Mozart's Die Zauberflöte
  • 2016: Virgil Thompson's The Mother of Us All 
  • 2015: Mozart's Don Giovanni;  Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann
  • 2014: Lehár's The Merry Widow;  Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia;  Puccini's Gianni Schicchi;  Sondheim's Sweeney Todd
  • 2013: Massenet's Cendrillon;  Rousseau’s Le Devin du Village;  Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance  
  • 2012: Gounod's Roméo et Juliette;  Weill’s The Threepenny Opera;  Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor

Special Projects

Typically, we offer one to two additional productions each year, often concert operas featuring smaller orchestral forces, or interdepartmental collaborations. Examples of recent special projects include:

  • Concert operas:  Bizet's Carmen (2020 - canceled due to COVID), Mozart's Così fan tutte (2019), The Complete Works of Tom Cipullo (2018), Verdi's La Traviata (2017), Puccini's Madama Butterfly (2017) 
  • Baroque operas: Handel's Alcina (2018), new edition premiere of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (2016), Cavalli’s L’Egisto (2007), and Rousseau's Le Devin du Village (2013) in conjunction with UNT’s award-winning early music program
  • Chamber operas, using reduced or chamber orchestration: productions of Gounod's Faust (2018); Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges (2002); Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (2003); Britten’s Albert Herring (2005); Verdi’s La traviata (Concert for Hope—2009)
  • Workshop productions, using piano accompaniment: Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (2002 and 2005); and Puccini’s Suor Angelica (2008)
  • Musicals, in collaboration with the UNT Department of Dance and Theatre: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel (2002) and Sondheim’s A Little Night Music (2004)
  • The world premiere of Hans Schaeuble’s Dorian Gray (2004) in collaboration with the department of Theory, History and Ethnomusicology in the College of Music

Scenes programs each semester include both undergraduate and graduate students presenting varied scenes from operatice repertoire. 

Outreach Performances

UNT Opera provides numerous opportunities to perform for local audiences throughout the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex. Recent performances include:
Dallas Public Library; Dallas Arboretum; Puccini Society of Dallas; Denton Women’s Club; Greater Denton Arts Council; Robson Ranch