University Opera

Mimmi Fulmer, Professor of Voice and Opera
Thomas Kasdorf, Opera and Vocal Coach
Oriol Sans, Assistant Professor, Music Director and Conductor
David Ronis, Karen K. Bishop Director of University Opera

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

Mission Statement

University Opera is a cultural service of the Mead Witter School of Music at the University of Wisconsin–Madison whose mission is to provide comprehensive operatic training and performance opportunities for our students and operatic programming to the community. Students sing principal, supporting, and chorus roles in main stage productions, one-act operas, and programs of opera scenes. In addition, we offer training for directors, conductors, and pianists, and, when possible, provide opportunities for student designers, actors, and dancers. Showcases for faculty, alumni, and guest artists are presented when appropriate.

About University Opera

Since 2015, UW-Madison’s University Opera has been the proud recipient of four National Opera Association Opera Production Competition Awards (Albert Herring, Le nozze di Figaro, Transformations, and The Turn of the Screw) as well as Honorable Mention in 2018 for The American Prize (Falstaff). University Opera welcomes students of all levels and degree programs, from doctoral candidates to freshman music education majors, to participate in operatic classes and performances. We present an annual season of two fully staged operas, as well as evenings of opera scenes and one-act operas. In recent seasons, repertoire has also included La bohème, L’incoronazione di Poppea, Into the Woods, Die Zauberflöte, The Magic Flute, A Kurt Weill Cabaret, Don Giovanni, Ariodante and Béatrice et Bénédict.

In addition to main stage presentations, University Opera offers Opera Workshop, a course dedicated to the study of operatic staging skills and opera repertoire, culminating each semester in performances of scenes and one-act operas, as well as Acting for Singers, a two-semester sequence focusing on acting techniques specific to the operatic stage. Students have the opportunity to perform around the state for outreach programs in schools and arts centers. University Opera frequently hosts prestigious guest artists in concerts and master classes. Recent guests include Ben Heppner, Dawn Upshaw, Brenda Rae, Brenda Harris, Gary Thor Wedow, Daniel Belcher, Nathaniel Stampley, and Barbara Bonney.  For 2020, we are proud to present a master class taught by Renée Fleming in the newly opened Collins Recital Hall.

2019–2020 UNIVERSITY OPERA PRODUCTIONS

Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
David Ronis, director
Oriol Sans, conductor
Friday, November 15, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
All performances in Music Hall, 925 Bascom Mall
Adults $25, 
seniors $20, students $10

Mozart’s’s Cosi fan tutte
David Ronis, director
Oriol Sans, conductor
Friday, February 28, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday March 1, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
All performances in Music Hall, 925 Bascom Mall
Adults $25, seniors $20, students $10

For more information, please visit our calendar of events.
Click here for tickets.

Opera Scenes
Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at 7:30 p.m., Music Hall
Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 7:30 p.m., Music Hall
Free admission


The Karen K. Bishop Fund for Voice and Opera raises funds to support the opera and voice programs. Learn more here.


University Opera’s season is made possible by the support of alumni, friends, and community organizations. Due to the significant costs of producing opera, the university can fund only a small fraction of our budget. Generous donors have helped underwrite productions and support students who would not otherwise have been able to attend UW–Madison.

We are deeply grateful for the assistance of The Karen K. Bishop Fund for Voice and Opera, The Ann Crow Fund for Voice and Opera, and to The Dara Elizabeth Welty Fund for helping make a high-quality season available to our students and audiences. Our goal is an endowed annual operating fund to provide infrastructure for recruiting, training, and performance opportunities to our singers. We welcome your inquiries about becoming part of our family of donors. To find out more, please contact Rebekah Sherman at the University of Wisconsin Foundation at (608) 572-2077 or Rebekah.Sherman@supportuw.org.