National Opera Association Member Newsletter
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NOA Notes Newsletter
Vol. 39, No. 5
November 2016

In This Issue

From the President
From the President-Elect
From the Vice-President of Conventions
From the Vice President for Regions
From the Finance Committee
Sacred in Opera  


Convention Registration
NOTE: LATE registration begins December 1

View the Convention Schedule

From the President

Reg Pittman

Professor of Music Chair, Voice Division
School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
Kansas State University

Dear NOA Colleagues,

As the cold air starts to move into most of the country, I for sure will be looking forward to escaping to warm Santa Barbara.  As I’m writing this column, I’m receiving emails from our Board of Directors as they continue to secure details toward an outstanding national convention.  It’s amazing to witness the dedication and effort our colleagues provide to ensure a successful convention for everyone who attends.  I encourage you to take a look at the most recent updates of the NOA website.  You will see where you can register for the convention, renew your membership and peruse the convention grid.
In this edition of NOTES you have the opportunity to get an early look at the preparation for the convention.

From the President-Elect

Paul Houghtaling

Associate Professor of Voice
Director of Opera Theatre Director
The Druid City Opera Workshop
University of Alabama School of Music

Hello everyone!  As this is the last NOTES edition before our fantastic Santa Barbara convention,

I wanted to take just a minute to make the following offer: if you bring a friend to the convention as a potential new member -- a colleague new to NOA, a graduate student seeking to get involved, a former student beginning their teaching career who would benefit from the discussions on opera workshop pedagogy, or anyone interested in the teaching of our craft and the nourishment of young artists -- I will be delighted to buy you a beverage of your choice, be it of the adult nature or of the Starbucks variety.  Seriously!  Take me up on this.

Come and experience all the meaningful opportunities our conventions have come to be known for--unique competitions, stimulating sessions, forward thinking, creative outlooks, fresh approaches, and the pursuit of joyful excellence. Bring yourself and a friend to NOA and let's have coffee or a cabernet.  Regardless, you and your guest will thank me, if not for the coffee then at least for the experience!  Hope to see you in Santa Barbara!

From the Vice-President for Conventions

Carleen Graham

Distinguished Professor of Music
The Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam

Dear Colleagues,

As we rapidly approach the holiday season, I hope you will make your plans now to attend the 2017 convention.  I am thrilled to be able to travel to Santa Barbara, California (in January!) for what will be a memorable week of  sharing of ideas, exciting performances, and a chance to catch up with old friends. 

Please take time to read through the conference schedule.  We have an impressive list of plenary and breakout session focused on the theme, Fostering Change: Performance and Pedagogy in Opera’s New Millennium.  Our plenary sessions range from discussions on the redefining the opera workshop model, working with the variety of musical styles of contemporary American opera, promoting social justice through student engagement, rehearsal strategies based on cognitive neuroscience research and challenging gender norms in opera performance.

In addition, you can choose from one of three Santa Barbara Experience excursions: a trip to the Historic Santa Barbara Mission, a walk through the Monarch Butterfly Refuge or, for the really adventurous, learn how to surf! I would personally like to challenge Kirk Severtson to the surfing excursion. Kirk, the ball is in your court. [Ed. note: Game on, Carleen!]  I encourage others to instigate their own challenges  :)

Looking forward to seeing all of you in January!


From the Vice-President for Regions

Samuel Mungo

Director of Opera Studies and Coordinator of the Voice Area
Texas State University

Hello my NOA Colleagues!

Things are happening Regionally in the Association!  In early October Southeastern Region Governor Dawn Neely brought together University of West Georgia, Georgia State, Jacksonville State, and Alabama in a Scene Swap.  A Scene Swap is when schools bring a scene and it gets directed by a director from another school.  Great work by all the students and directors.

In a variation on that theme, in early November Texhoma Regional Governor Barbara Hill-Moore led a session at the Texhoma NATS Convention on Opera in English, featuring Michael Ching and Dean Anthony’s Speed Dating Tonight!  Students from Abilene Christian, West Texas A&M, Texas State, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, Southern Methodist, UT-Tyler, Texas Wesleyan, and UTSA (Whew!) all prepared “dates” for the session, and after 30 minutes with a director from another school, improvised their performances in real time - just like an actual speed dating night!  After the performance, composer Michael Ching joined the directors in a panel discussion on the work, the experience, and working in English.  Such a great experience for everyone!
Finally, Facebook pages have been established for each Region. Just go to and search for:
NOA Cal-Western Region
NOA Central Region
NOA Eastern Region
NOA Great Lakes Region
NOA Mid-Atlantic Region
NOA Mid-South Region
NOA New England Region
NOA Northwestern Region
NOA North Central Region
NOA South Region
NOA Southeastern Region
NOA Texhoma Region
NOA West Central Region
Use these pages however you wish - share ideas; post websites with good prices on supplies, props, materials; share your prop lists, so local colleagues can borrow; post your shows- anything!
What are you doing in your region?  Let me know, I’d love to hear you brag about yourself. And remember- we are better together!


From the Finance Committee

Carol Ann Modesitt, treasurer

Chair, Finance Committee
Chair 2016 Annual Campaign

Music Department
Southern Utah University

From the Finance Committee
There is still time to contribute to the NOA 2016 Annual Campaign before our conference in Santa Barbara if you have not done so already. To those who have contributed, a heartfelt thank you.  You can have a tax deduction on your 2016 Taxes, and if you haven’t contributed you can still donate and deduct it on your 2016 Taxes.  NOA sponsors many projects.  Just a reminder about what NOA does sponsor: the Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Collegiate Vocal Competition and the Young Artist Competition, the annual Opera Video Competition, the annual Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition. Chamber Opera Competition, Scholarly Paper Competition, and Dissertation Competition.  If you are not interested in competitions, what about the Stage Director Internship or the Sacred in Opera Program?  NOA has proven to be a great organization for networking and exchanging valuable insights and information about the world of singing and opera.  I look forward to seeing you in Santa Barbara in January.
Carol Ann Modesitt, Treasurer and Chair of the 2016 Annual Campaign

Sacred in Opera

Call for submission to Sacred in Opera Newsletter

Dear friends of the SIO Initiative,

Ruth Dobson and I are beginning to plan the release of the Sacred in Opera Initiative December Newsletter.  I have asked Robert Hanson to disseminate Call for Submissions in the next NOA E-Blast.

In the meantime, please forward the following information below to colleagues and friends interested and involved in SIO related projects and conversations.  


Jess Munoz

Call for Submissions:  The Sacred in Opera Initiative Online Newsletter of the National Opera Association welcomes contributions of reviews and articles year-round.  Subject matter may focus on any aspect of performance and pedagogy related to the mission of The Sacred in Opera that as an interfaith support project, gathers those interested and involved in the dynamic interplay of opera and theology for exchange of ideas, study, performance and camaraderie. Deadline for the December 2016 release is November 1st.  Full submission guidelines may be viewed at:

Articles should be submitted to the editor preferably via email at:
Ruth Dobson, Editor of the SIO Newsletter


Results of the 2015-16 NOA Opera Production Competition:

Division I

1. Jackie O, Oklahoma City University, David Herendeen, Director, Chuck Koslowski, Conductor
2. Trial by Jury/The Beautiful Bridegroom, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Linda Lister, Director, Faustino Solis/Linda Lister, Conductors
3. (tie) Expressions of Acceptance, Lawrence University, Copeland Woodruff, Director, Hal France, Conductor
3. (tie) Postcard from Morocco, San Jose State University, Layna Chianakas, Director, Fred Cohen, Conductor

Division II

1. Cosi fan tutte, Western Washington University, Amber Suddeth Bone, Director, Jay Rozendaal, Conductor
2.(tie) The Blue Forest, Oregon State University, Marc Callahan, Director, Lauren Servias, Conductor
2. (tie) The Tender Land, Messiah College, Damian Saviano, Director, Timothy Dixon, Conductor
3. The Gondoliers, University of Montana, Anne Basinski, Director, David Cody, Conductor

Division III

1. Transformations, University of Wisconsin, David Ronis, Director, Kyle Knox, Conductor
2. Don Pasquale, Oklahoma City University, David Herendeen, Director, Jan McDaniel, Conductor
3. L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, University of Mississippi, Julia Aubrey, Director, Selim Giray, Conductor

Division IV

1. A Room with a View, Michigan State University, Melanie Helton, Director, Marcello Cormio, Conductor
2. Le nozze di Figaro, University of Wisconsin, David Ronis, Director, James Smith, Conductor
3. Evita, Oklahoma City University, David Herendeen, Director, Jan McDaniel, conductor

Division V

1. La Tragédie de Carmen, Fletcher Opera Institute (University of North Carolina School of the Arts), Director Nicholas Muni, Conductor Neal Goren
2. Anna Karenina, Moores Opera Center (University of Houston), Buck Ross, Director, Raymond Harvey, Conductor
3. Lady Bird, Texas State University, Samuel Mungo, Director, Carolyn Watson, Conductor

Division VI

1. The Beggar’s Opera, Lawrence University, Copeland Woodruff, Director, Hal France, Conductor
2. La Cenerentola, Bob Jones University, Jeffrey Stegall, Director, Michael Moore, Conductor
3. (tie) Higglety-Pigglety Pop/The Magic Flute, Bard College, Nicholas Muni, Director, James Bagwell, Conductor
3. (tie) The Crucible, State University of New York at Purchase, Jacque Trussel, Director, Hugh Murphy, Conductor
Copyright © 2016 National Opera Association, All rights reserved.

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