VCU Opera

Six opera singers perform a scene from Gianni Schicchi

Spring 2023 Opera Announcement

Poster designed by Madeline Walter

We hope you’ll mark your calendars, because award-winning VCU Opera, together with the VCU Symphony, will present this classic fairy-tale opera on FRIDAY, APRIL 28 at 7 pm and SUNDAY, APRIL 30 at 4 pm. Due to the pandemic, VCU Music has been offering all departmental ensemble concerts for FREE with OPEN SEATING—-so there is NO need for TICKETS! Just come out and let us transport you far away from your everyday worries for two hours!

One of the greatest operas ever written, Mozart’s timeless classic The Magic Flute concerns the search for truth and reason, love and enlightenment. As an allegory or fairy tale, this thoroughly delightful opera follows the adventures of Prince Tamino and the bird-catcher Papageno on their quest to rescue Pamina. With an intriguing mixture of ancient Egypt combined with symbolism from Freemasonry, Mozart’s masterpiece thrills us with childlike simplicity, emotional complexity, dark foreboding and hilarious comedy! We promise to take you on a wonderful journey as you experience the talents of our terrific music students and some VCU Music alumni as well.


Founded in 1950 by L. Wayne Batty, VCU Opera has been directed by Melanie Kohn Day since 1983. In 2008, Dr. Kenneth Wood joined the VCU Voice faculty and assumed duties as Co-Director/Stage Director.

VCU Opera has the longest running tradition of annual full-scale productions in the state of Virginia. Each year there is a fully-staged and costumed production of opera scenes and arias as well as a full-scale production with scenery and costumes presented in collaboration with the VCU Symphony. VCU Opera is proud of its ongoing relationship with Virginia Opera, which includes regular field trips, workshops and master classes with staff and artists.

With an emphasis on the holistic training of the complete “singer-actor,” VCU Opera has prepared students for scholarships to: the Manhattan School of Music; Peabody Conservatory; Eastman School of Music; New England Conservatory; Northwestern University; The Curtis Institute of Music; The University of Maryland; Boston University and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. VCU Opera graduates have been selected for positions with the Virginia Opera Emerging Artists Program, and many have been selected for young artist programs with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, Wolftrap Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Operafestival di Roma, AIMS-Graz, Brevard Music Festival, Lake George Opera, Pittsburgh Opera and Sarasota Opera.

If you would like to know more about award-winning VCU Opera, please be sure to watch our recent two-hour virtual production of favorite scenes from the past 10 years.  This production was livestreamed on April 25, 2021 at 4:00pm. 

Viva l’Opera! first half of gala production

Exploring these scenes will give you an idea of the high quality of our musical preparation, of our orchestra,  and of our production values in terms of scenery, costumes, and lighting.  The presentation was narrated to enhance your enjoyment.

Viva l’Opera second half of gala production

Are you a current VCU Student wishing to audition for VCU Opera? For more information please visit the VCU Opera audition page.

We are proud of the many VCU Opera alumni who enjoy active careers performing in major international opera houses. VCU Opera offers an outstanding and intensive undergraduate opera training experience. Our students have ample opportunities to perform for guest artists in master classes in addition to bi-annual fully staged productions.