The Opera Theatre of Yale College (OTYC) is the undergraduate opera company of Yale University, one of the most unique learning laboratories imaginable for young artists and administrators. Our goal is to provide undergraduates with the chance to perform, produce, and enjoy opera presented by their peers. Because the organization is entirely student-run each show offers members the opportunity to learn firsthand the mechanics not only of an opera, but of an opera production, from start to finish. This immersive extra-curricular experience prepares young artists and administrators for professional life after Yale.
This past season was our most ambitious yet, with Jean-Philippe Rameau’s 1737 tragedy Castor et Pollux as our mainstage. More than 70 undergraduates worked together to put on a fully staged, costumed and orchestrated presentation of this three-hour French baroque opera, a co-production with Yale’s undergraduate ballet company (http://yaleballetco.wordpress.com/) in the beautiful Co-Op High School Theater. Students explored the French baroque through OTYC-arranged masterclasses in period performance and took to it like lightning. At every turn in the production process we at OTYC were met with staggering generosity and enthusiasm on the part of students, faculty, staff, and community members alike.
I am now at the outset of my second year managing this company. I cannot begin to describe what I have gained during my four years with OTYC, though I can certainly say it has afforded me more artistic instruction and life skills than any Yale courses. And personally, in my role in mounting operas on the Yale community stage for an audience primarily of undergraduates I fulfill the duty that is also every opera lover’s greatest privilege: sharing it with newcomers.
So join me in ringing in the new year, as OTYC prepares to mount Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro! With OTYC’s incredible student talent and drive, I can only imagine what the future holds for undergraduate opera at Yale.
Managing Director 2013-2014