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Drake Opera Theater

Experience Opera, the Drake Way.

Drake Opera Theater (MUS 169) has a distinct mission: Help every student as they find their own unique path in the arts and through life, on and off the stage. This mission guides us as we select repertoire, assign roles, and create learning and development opportunities in our productions and beyond.

Drake Opera Theater has two productions every year; typically a fall scenes program and a full spring production.

Fall scenes present a variety of works from across the repertoire, giving students a chance to learn about both old masterworks and new compositions alike. 

Spring productions are full productions with orchestra, focusing on staple works as well as new compositions. Past productions include Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Cosí fan tutte, Verdi’s Falstaff, Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief and Ned Rorem’s Our Town.

The Drake Voice Department has frequent masterclasses with industry-leading performers, teachers, directors and coaches. Recent clinicians include:

  • Eric Ferring: Metropolitan opera tenor, a former Ryan Center artist and recipient of the George London Award.
  • Allen Periello: Coach/ Pianist/ former head of music at Minnesota Opera, current director of Artist Administration at Des Moines Metropolitan Opera.
  • Melissa Wegner: Executive director of the Lindemann Young Artist program at the Metropolitan Opera
  • Francesca Condeluci: Director of classical at UIA talent agency.

What makes Drake Opera Theater Unique:

  1. Drake has the best of both worlds: quality productions and the chance to gain real experience. Don’t be forced to pick between competing with graduate students and missing out on leading roles or being limited to black box productions with piano. Drake gives you  both quality and accessibility. 
  2. Opera is more than just performing, and the opera ensemble offers learning opportunities that go far beyond performance, including assistant conducting and directing, and aiding and learning about various elements of production. 
  3. Drake Opera Theater is about more than just performing opera. We connect and empower students, the school of music, and the wider Des Moines community through powerful performances and outreach. 

The Drake Opera Theater Team

One of the things we pride ourselves on at Drake Opera is the sense of community and collaboration. We are stronger together, and have turned the Drake Opera Theater into a truly communal effort, dubbing ourselves the Drake Opera Team.

Isaiah Feken- Artistic Director and Principal Conductor
Christine Blanner- Principal Stage Director
Leanne Freeman-Miller- President Emeritus
Cassie Makeeff- Principal Coach/Instructor of Vocal Coaching

Want to learn more or contact us, feel free to click on the links to any of the Drake Opera Theater Team’s Drake University Bio page. There you will find all of our contact information. We would love to hear from you.

Interested in supporting Drake Opera Theater? You can do so online through the link below.

Support Drake Opera Theater

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