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A Community of Artists and Audience

Opera connects performers and audiences in a shared emotional experience; both are equally important. The Peabody Opera Theatre Program brings singers together into a community of artists, where the ability to communicate with an audience is a simple extension of the act of sharing with one another.

Mission Statement

To define the future of opera from two angles: provide training of the whole opera artist, and provide our community with socially aware productions of significant repertoire, standard and contemporary.

Introduction to the Peabody Opera Theatre Program

The Peabody Opera Theatre Program serves the educational needs of students in the conservatory, while offering a variety of operatic performances to audiences in the Baltimore and Mid-Atlantic region. Whether onstage or in the studio, we believe our work reflects what we consider our most valuable quality: that sense of community which creates a close collaboration between students and teachers in the classroom, and brings a tight-knit spirit of ensemble to the stage.

Our public offerings each year range from the two major productions of the Peabody Opera Theatre to the numerous outreach performances of the Opera in Action program, which brings children’s opera to schools all across Maryland and socially conscious opera to the community at large. In addition, Peabody Opera presents performances of baroque opera, contemporary opera, and musical theater in a variety of venues such as the Walters Art Gallery and Baltimore’s Theatre Project, besides those in our own auditorium, for a total of 6-7 productions and around 40 performances annually.

Educationally, the Peabody Opera Theatre Program has two goals: to provide some experience in opera to all interested voice majors in the school, and to offer the professional training to advanced students that will enable them to find continuing employment when they graduate. Although Peabody has had its share of competition winners (including the Metropolitan, McCallum, and the Moscow Tchaikovsky Competitions), our prime emphasis is less upon the individual star than on working professionals: singers whose preparation and collegiality will win them return engagements after the first are over.

Such singers will have acquired from their voice teachers a solid and flexible technique, musical expressiveness, and vocal stamina. They will be consummate musicians able to read with ease and learn music accurately and quickly. They will have command of at least the principal languages in which operas are sung. They will have the physical and emotional tools in their tool belt to create true and honest characters. They will have learned to perform not only on the big stage, but also in conditions where the audience is almost close enough to touch. They will have come to regard opera as a living medium, not only through singing contemporary music but in many cases also collaborating in the creation of new works. Above all, they will have learned to handle themselves responsibly as professionals, in many cases gaining professional experience while still in school.


Garnett Bruce

Garnett Bruce has had an active directing career at national opera houses including Chicago Lyric, Cleveland, Houston, Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Wolf Trap, and also abroad in Vancouver and the Teatro San Carlo in Naples.

Eileen Cornett

Eileen Cornett is director of the graduate Vocal Accompanying Program in Collaborative Piano at the Peabody Conservatory and is currently enjoying her twentieth year as a principal faculty coach with the Peabody Opera Theatre Program.

Alison Moritz

Alison Moritz, stage director, is quickly garnering a reputation for her incisive takes on contemporary American opera and her innovative interpretations of the classic repertoire.