The Flora L. Thornton Opera Program at Pepperdine has developed a reputation as one of the nation's leading undergraduate vocal programs. It features an annual fully-staged opera, a biennial summer intensive in Heidelberg, Germany, and master classes with top industry professionals.
Recent opera productions, designed and supervised by an award-winning resident professional staff, have included Mozart's Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, and Così fan Tutte; as well as Puccini's La Boheme, Marc Adamo's Little Women, and Robert Ward's The Crucible, all in their original languages. Vocal majors also frequently perform leading roles in the annual musical due to close cooperation between the theater and music programs. Recent theater productions featuring music majors include Gershwin's Crazy for You, Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific, and Sondheim's Into the Woods.
Because the Pepperdine music program is comprised entirely of undergraduates, our students enter graduate schools with a wealth of on-stage experience behind them. Pepperdine graduates have won scholarships to many of the nation's most prestigious graduate programs, including The Juilliard School, Yale Graduate Opera Program, Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, Northwestern University, Rice University, and USC. Pepperdine graduates are now gracing the rosters of America's leading opera companies, including The Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Santa Fe Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Seattle Opera.
A one million dollar endowment from Flora Laney Thornton, one of Southern California's most beloved and honored arts philanthropists, ensures high-quality productions and often contributes scholarship aid for the summer opera program abroad. Since 1993, the opera program at Pepperdine has been led by Henry Price, a former leading tenor of the New York City Opera Company.
2017 First Place Undergraduate Opera Scenes Competition Director, Henry Price Life Time Achievement Recipient