The award-winning Crane Opera Ensemble is a significant source for opera and music theatre in the North Country region of New York State. The ensemble provides exciting opportunities for students to experience all facets of opera performance and production through rehearsals, coachings and classes related to performance practices and production techniques.
Two fully-staged productions are produced each year (one with orchestra and one with a chamber instrumental group or piano). In addition, an Opera Scenes Workshop provides students the opportunity to study a partial role and perform it in an informal venue. The ensemble enjoys a collaborative relationship with the Department of Theatre & Dance, producing a musical theatre production every three years.
The Crane Opera Ensemble is proud to host the Domenic J. Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize, which was founded by Dr. Gary C. Jaquay ’67 to honor his life partner, Domenic J. Pellicciotti, an ardent fan of opera. The award seeks to encourage and acknowledge the creation of new opera works that explore themes related to tolerance, inclusion or the celebration of diversity. Awarded every four years, a panel of distinguished opera professionals awards a $25,000 commission and full production to a composer/librettist team. Tom Cipullo is the recipient of the 2018 Domenic J. Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize, for his work, Mayo, which received its premiere by the Crane Opera Ensemble in November 2018.
The Crane Opera Ensemble is proud of its opera education outreach program. North Country school children experience opera and engage in post-performance workshops with cast members and faculty. To date, over 6,000 children have participated, many experiencing opera for the first time.
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Recent Awards and Honors
- First-place winner of the 2017-18 National Opera Association's Division 2 Production Competition
- Third-place winner of the 2017-18 American Prize in Opera Performance, College/University Division
- First-place winner of the 2014-15 National Opera Association's Division 3 Production Competition
- Second-place winner of the 2011-12 National Opera Association's Division 3 Production Competition
- First-place winner of the 2012 American Prize in Opera Performance, College/University Division
- First-place winner of the 2011 American Prize in Opera Performance, College/University Division
- First-place winner of the 2008-09 National Opera Association's Division 2 Production Competition
- First-place winner of the 2002-03 National Opera Association's Division 3 Production Competition
Opera: Le Nozze di Figaro
Led by Dr. Joshua Miller—the new director for the Crane Opera Ensemble at The Crane School of Music—staged Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s comic opera “Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)” at Sara M. Snell Music Theater from Nov. 8 to 9, 2019. Join us for a visual tour of the rehearsals leading up to the performances!