Closer ties between University's Opera and Nevada Opera

8/26/2010 | By: Krystal Pyatt  |

Nevada Opera announced that University of Nevada, Reno director of Nevada Chamber Opera and music professor Damon Stevens has been appointed new chorus master and director of education.

"By forging closer ties with Reno's professional opera company, I hope to really benefit the University’s opera students by having them sing in the Nevada Opera Chorus, audition for smaller comprimario roles and create internships with Nevada Opera that deal with the business side of music administration,” Stevens said. “It’s a win-win situation for both programs. Our students get professional experience with a very fine regional opera company, Nevada Opera gets an infusion of talent and energy from the best and brightest students the University has to offer.”

Since becoming director of the University’s Nevada Chamber Opera in 2008, Stevens has continuously sought closer ties with Nevada Opera. One of the first things he did was change the University’s opera company name from “Lyric Opera Theatre” to “Nevada Chamber Opera.”

“I really see our program as a feeder – a sort of younger sibling – for Nevada Opera,” Stevens said. “I’m hoping both programs will benefit from this appointment.”

This synergy is already evident in the opera companies’ programming. This fall, Nevada Opera is performing Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Trial by Jury” while Nevada Chamber Opera is doing Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance.” In the spring, both opera companies will be doing operas by Wolfgang A. Mozart. Nevada Chamber Opera will be performing “The Magic Flute” April 22-24.

“The similarity in programming is accidental but demonstrates that we’re already on the same wavelength,” Stevens said. “Hopefully audiences will flock to all our performances when they realize great things are starting to happen in both our programs.”

Nevada Chamber Opera is holding auditions for this fall’s performance of “The Pirates of Penzance” Wednesday, Aug. 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Church Fine Arts Building, Room 110 on campus. The production will be held Nov. 12-14 in Nightingale Hall.

For more information about Nevada Chamber Opera, auditions or performances, click here or contact Damon Stevens at (775) 682-9022 or


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