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Opera

UCF is proud of its growing opera program, serving its students and offering opera performances to the greater Orlando public. The principal goals are:

  • to produce quality performances which entertain and educate
  • to prepare UCF students for professional involvement in the opera genre

Events

UCF Opera Presents

Saturday, April 25, 2015; 7:00pm - 9:00pm

UCF Opera Presents

Sunday, April 26, 2015; 1:00pm - 3:00pm

View all upcoming events

Camps & Clinics

Summer Opera Institute

Saturday, June 7, 2014 - Saturday, June 14, 2014

Highlights

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Opera Ensemble

Participation in the Opera program is open to all UCF students through audition. Performances include a Gala Concert each fall, a fully staged production each spring, and a children's opera program touring schools in the area throughout the year.

The Opera Workshop meets Wednesdays and Fridays from 3-5 p.m. The Opera serves as a minor ensemble for music majors, and members receive one hour of academic credit for each semester of successful participation.

Interested students should read about Opera Workshop Ensemble Auditions for requirements and dates.

Outreach

Opera Workshop

Outreach Program

Our Educational Outreach Program in the 2009-10 Season featured performances of Little Red Walking Hood (music by Lehár, adapted by Denise Paige Caraher).

Little Red walks, then runs, right into trouble on her trip through the woods. The wicked Wolf turns on the charm and tries to waltz her away from her common sense, but the stories and advice from the older people in her life pay off in the end. To add to the fun, Granny and her friend Vilia, the fairy wood sprite, get in some high kicks and good licks. As the females unite to subdue the furry felon, Girl Power rules!

The music is from Lehár's The Merry Widow. The duration of our performance is 50 minutes. Contact UCF Opera to discuss having this program in your school.

Opera Faculty and Staff

Meet UCF Opera's professional and academic staff

Thomas Potter

Thomas Potter
Executive Director
UCF Faculty bio

Robin Jensen

Robin Jensen
Artistic Director

Robin is thrilled to be a part of the University of Central Florida Opera Program. After receiving her Bachelor of Music in Piano Pedagogy from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa Robin went on to earn a Master of Music in Piano Performance, also from Drake University. It was while continuing her graduate education in Piano Collaboration at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music that her love of opera and the voice blossomed. She became a vocal/drama coach for the San Francisco Conservatory and for the next couple of years, was a prominent coach for SFCM's vocal upper classmen and graduate students.

Robin was awarded the treasured Martha Ellen Tye full scholarship to attend the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. It was during the next two years, as Assistant Music Director for Minnesota's Opera Touring Company – touring with the company across a nine state region – that she discovered that she had a penchant for opera education. Robin played a crucial part in the first two years of the Des Moines Metro Opera Touring Company, Opera Iowa, where she developed and instigated both its first opera education touring program and its now famous opera workshops. She was also a vocal coach for Des Moines Metro Opera's summer apprentice program.

She came to Orlando Opera as a Production Director for the company and was soon appointed Education and Music Director. During Robin's tenure with Orlando Opera, she developed an education program that was a part of the esteemed Florida State Arts Touring Program. An original education opera of hers, Mystical, Magical, Musical Tour, toured the state of Florida with over 100 performances. She was a vital component in the creation of Orlando Opera's Resident Young Artist Program and she served as a conductor, assistant conductor or stage director in over 50 different Orlando Opera productions. It was during her tenure with the OOC that she created their summer opera camp program and apprentice program.

Since leaving Orlando Opera, Robin has served on the vocal staffs for the University of Vermont, Ithaca College and Cornell University. This is her tenth year as Artistic Director for Camp Madhatter, a summer music/dance/theater program for young people in Minnesota.

Robin returned to Orlando in 2004 and has since been a Music Director with MadCow Theater. She is Director of Musical Studies for New School Preparatory, a private K-8 Prep school in Orlando, and also on the staff of Rollins College's opera program.

She has been Vocal Music Director for several of MadCow's Musical Theater Collaborations with Orlando Philharmonic. Last season, Robin assisted in conducting rehearsals for the newly formed Concert Opera production of Carmen, for which she served as the children's chorus master. She continued as Chorus Master for the Orlando Philharmonic/MadCow's second concert opera collaboration of Porgy and Bess. Her duties there included musically preparing all of the secondary opera roles.

Frank McClain

Frank McClain
Guest Stage Director
Gentlement In Waiting and Captain Lovelock - Spring 2011

Frank McClain is currently Artistic Director of Florida Opera Theatre. He is originally from Dubuque, Iowa where he graduated from Clarke College with a degree in music. Recent directing projects include The Merry Widow for Opera Tampa, Company for Mad Cow Theatre in Orlando, Guy and Dolls and Porgy and Bess both co-productions between the Orlando Philharmonic and Mad Cow Theatre. He was the Resident Stage Director at the former Orlando Opera Company, where he directed Il Trovatore, L’elisir d’amore, Candide and Le nozze di Figaro. He has also directed Don Pasquale for Vero Beach Opera and the Beaumarchais play The Marriage of Figaro at the University of Central Florida. Other favorite directing credits include Bouncers, Mass Appeal, Why We Have A Body and the Pirates of Penzance. He has performed at Walt Disney World and currently performs at Universal Studios Florida.

Frank McClain

Allen McCoy
Guest Stage Director
The Merry Wives Of Windsor - Spring 2012

Allen McCoy is excited to join the UCF Opera Program. He currently teaches Movement for the Actor, Period Movement and Stage Combat for UCF’s Theatre Department. Mr. McCoy has been acting, teaching and directing for over 30 years and has worked with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, The Court Theatre, Indiana Repertory, Drury Lane Theatre, First Stage Milwaukee, Boarshead Theatre, Orlando Repertory, Universal Studios and the Walt Disney World Resort. He has held the Artistic Director position for Circle Theatre Company in Orlando FL and the Timestep Players in Chicago IL. He has also served as Director of Education at both the North Carolina Theatre in Raleigh NC, and the Ocala Civic Theatre in Ocala FL. Allen’s current and most recent projects include Production Management for The Wizard of Oz at the Gateway Center for the Arts, and Circle Theatre’s production of The Music Man at the Orlando Repertory, Movement Specialist for both Vinegar Tom at UCF’s Conservatory Theatre and The Servant of Two Masters at Timbercreek High School. Allen received his MFA from the University of Central Florida and his BFA from Wayne State University. He lives with his wife Tracy, and two daughters, Jesse and Jenna, in Oviedo Florida.

Sarah Purser

Sarah Purser
Education and Outreach Coordinator

Mezzo-soprano Sarah Purser has been singing and teaching music in Central Florida for over ten years. After graduating with a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Central Florida, Sarah spent six years teaching chorus and voice lessons in Orange County Public Schools [2004-2010]. Ms. Purser sang with the Orlando Opera Company every season from 2001 to 2009, and served as the director of OOC's Summer Youth Opera Camps in 2008. She has directed youth programs at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center in Sanford, and was the founder and director of the Girl Scout Chorus of Citrus Council. In the fall of 2010 Sarah decided to return to UCF to pursue her Master of Arts degree in music with a focus on voice and conducting. In addition to all that, and now serving as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for UCF Opera [part of a Graduate Teaching Assistantship in the Music Department within UCF's School of Performing Arts], Ms. Purser is a singer-songwriter and can be heard singing original music in venues around the greater Central Florida area.

Bobbie Demme-San Filippo

Bobbie Demme-San Filippo
Production/Costume Designer

Bobbie Demme-San Filippo is an accomplished visual artist and designer across multiple genres with a special passion for the opera world. She has an ongoing relationship with the UCF Opera Program, both as a Production Designer and as a member of their Opera Advisory Board. Other theatrical design credits feature a long term affiliation with the Orlando Opera Company, and include experience with Vero Beach Opera, Valencia Community College Opera Workshops, Orlando Gilbert and Sullivan Productions, Barrettwerks Dance, and the Trinity Preparatory School Theater Program, as well as independent productions directed by Robert Swedberg. She is also a member of Florida Opera Theatre.

In addition to her varied design work, Ms. Demme-San Filippo is a writer; she is currently collaborating on a new opera as the librettist. She holds a BFA in Art and Design from Miami University of Ohio.

Sandy Jones
Accompanist

Sandy began warming the piano bench at age 4, her mother dreaming of a stage band pianist for popular music and her grandmother encouraging church hymns, so pleasing both led Sandra Lee on her path to Sunday School hymns at both Orlando and St. Petersburg Methodist churches, organ lessons and church choir musician by 14 years. High school placement with a retired opera singer/teacher began formal accompanist training and Finian's Rainbow, Brigadoon, Song of Norway in HS orchestra. An FSU music scholarship as accompanist for FSU Faculty Opera for Rigoletto, Cosi fan tutte, La Traviata, Kiss Me Kate, Bach Mass in Bminor. Marriage to a USN submariner began gypsy life with 40 moves in 40 years. Music experiences with Pearl Harbor Community Chorus, both radio and live performances. Vallejo, CA - Christian Science church organist w/soloist. Charleston, SC Choral Society which transitioned into Charleston Opera: Bartered Bride, Menoti's The Telephone and Amahl & the Night Visitors, L'Elisir d'amore, The Mikado, Tosca while teaching music to Grades 1-8 and Church Organist/Choir Director. New London, CT: ByeBye Birdie, Conn.Symphony Christmas performance. Norfolk, VA Opera Co: "Carousel". Saratoga Sprgs,NY: Skidmore Faculty Music Club: Accompanist for monthly member presentations. Albany Opera Co: Hansel and Gretel. Memphis, TN: Opera Memphis w/Michael Chang: Romeo and Juliette, Don Pasquale. Seattle-Bremerton Opera Co: Hansel and Gretel (child-friendly version) and Aria Tour Concerts w/8 singers throughout the NorthWest. Shawnee, KS: Theater in the Park: 42nd Street, West Side Story, 1776, and Sweeney Todd as High School accompanist. As part of her "pay it forward" belief Sandy has been accompanying UCF Voice and String students for the last 5 years and loves every moment.

Music Department • College of Arts & Humanities at the University of Central Florida
Phone: 407-823-2869 Fax: 407-823-3378 • E-mail: ucfmusic@ucf.edu