The Wortham Opera Theatre, located inside Alice Pratt Brown Hall, is a traditional black-box theatre. In contrast to the monumental proportions and decor of grand opera houses, flexibility and intimacy are the goals here, with the seats very close to the stage and with different stage configurations possible.
The compromises inherent in trying to convert an orchestra hall into an opera house can thus be avoided. Shepherd School Opera productions and Opera Scenes recitals, with both piano and orchestra, are presented here throughout the academic year.
This theatre seats approximately 200 and provides an intimate and permanent home for the opera program. Its small size ensures that everyone is close to the action, and the dedicated nature of the space allows rehearsals and technical work to go on without conflicting with other Shepherd School performances. A three-foot deep pit allows a small orchestra to be visible but without blocking sight lines.
The Shepherd School Opera Program has had finalists in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for the past two years. Additionally, the school has had winners in the Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers, the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition and the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition.
Singers annually represent the school in various summer programs such as San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program, the Wolf Trap Opera Program, the Central City Opera Apprentice Program and Chautauqua Opera Apprentice Program. In addition, recent alumni are members of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Program and the Houston Grand Opera Studio.