Explore ground-breaking and genre-defying operatic experiences.

A sign language production? Collaborative operatic improvisation? Our award-winning opera studies program creates musical performance experiences unlike any other. You will combine technique-building workshops with productions with your peers to hone your skills as a singing actor.

Learn about Opera Studies awards and accolades.

The opera ensemble is led by award-winning faculty Copeland Woodruff, Director of Opera Studies and Associate Professor of Music, and Kristin Roach, Assistant Professor of Music.

Discover the many paths open to Conservatory graduates. 

Performers on stage during Mass opera

Opera Studies Experience

With both a focus on building an individual repertoire and crafting a versatile onstage presence with your peers, our opera ensemble aims to develop you into a well-rounded singing actor. The complex emotional and technical demands of opera are mastered through many performance opportunities, including the Mainstage Opera performed annually with a full orchestra.

Students singing during opera performance

Performance Opportunities

In addition to a winter mainstage production, during fall and spring terms, Opera Scenes allow you to explore individual scenes from many operas to gain exposure to a wide variety of operatic repertoire.

reflected light shining on sheet music

The Power of Collaboration

What happens when you combine a world-class conservatory with a world-class college? An unmatched undergraduate musical education. At Lawrence, the Conservatory and College experiences are intertwined. Multiple degree options let you be your own muse by connecting your musical passions with your academic interests. 

Three students rehearse on stage for an opera performance

Award-worthy Performances

Lawrentians have gone on to win major competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition, and more. Our on-campus productions are regularly recognized by prestigious awards like the American Prize.


This is Lawrence - Operatic Sign Language

Exploring Communication Through Opera. Twenty-one members of the Lawrence University Opera Theatre Ensemble spent two weeks over their winter break learning American Sign Language (ASL). Why would opera singers need to know ASL? In a twist on the original production of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, Director of Opera Studies and Associate Professor of Music Copeland Woodruff incorporated a Deaf character into the production, resulting in an exploration of communication breakdowns when opposing sides work to understand each other and move forward together.

On Any Given Day...

...discover an array of opportunities that await you at Lawrence University.

Music & Arts

Micro-Opera | The Lawrence Minute

Student musicians and performers gathered to explore themes ranging from inclusion and diversity to gun awareness in a micro-opera series. 

Bikes on bridge with colorful row houses in background in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Study Off Campus

Amsterdam School of Music

Combine a large conservatory with a bustling global city and take advantage of all the musical opportunities Amsterdam has to offer from classical to contemporary. 

A musical life awaits. Take the next steps by applying and auditioning.

The best way to find out if Lawrence is the university for you is by visiting.

Your virtual tour starts at the Arch but be sure to check out Conservatory, to explore learning and performance spaces.