UM Receives High Honors at Collegiate Opera Competition

November 26, 2018

UM’s production “Julius Caesar” featuring Nancy Greger, dancer; Kayla Marie Mudgett as Cleopatra; Jax Hassler as Ptolomey; and Emily Slike, dancer, won third place in the National Opera Association Collegiate Opera Competition.MISSOULA – The University of Montana Opera Theater and UM Symphony Orchestra continued their winning tradition at the National Opera Association Collegiate Opera Competition recently.

UM’s production of “Julius Caesar” won third place in Division III of the competition, which compared productions from multiple collegiate programs of comparable sizes and budgets and evaluated them on musicianship, singing attributes, production concept, execution and overall quality.

“We are extraordinarily proud of, and grateful for, the National Opera Association’s recognition of our productions,” said UM Opera Theater Director Anne Basinski. “We are proud to be nationally recognized for our advocacy and representation of the beautiful musical theater form that is opera.”

Over the past 10 years, UM Opera Theater has received recognition in the NOA competition, including third place for “The Gondoliers” in 2016, first place for “The Legend of Orpheus” in 2014, first place in the Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition in 2013 and first place for “The Marriage of Figaro” in 2006.

“This award is a tribute to the artistry and tireless work of many – a true labor of love involving faculty, our outstanding guest designers and technicians, and, most of all, our wonderfully gifted student singer-actors and orchestral musicians,” Basinski said.

The artistic team from UM included Basinski as stage director and translator, Professor David Cody as music director, Luis Millàn as conductor, Barbara Blegen as rehearsal pianist and continuo and Heather Adams as choreographer. The production team from MCT, Inc. comprised Theresa K. Jenson, scenic designer; Linda Muth, costumer designer; Daniel Norton, lighting designer; Lesley Washburn, properties designer; and Phil Stempin, projections designer.

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Contact: Anne Basinski, director, UM Opera Theater, 406-544-2991, anne.basinski@umontana.edu; David Cody, music director, UM Opera Theater, 406-544-2297, david.cody@umontana.edu.