Lyric Theatre @ Illinois
A vibrant community that embraces a wide range of opera and musical theater.
Nathan Gunn, co-director, LTI
Julie Jordan Gunn, co-director, LTI
Sarah Wigley, resident stage director, contemporary voice specialist, BMA faculty advisor
Michael Tilley, vocal coaching and accompanying, head of music staff
Dawn Harris, resident stage director, classical voice
To audition for a production, or to learn more about our program, visit Lyric Theatre@Illinois.
Lyric Theatre @ Illinois is a comprehensive program embracing a broad continuum of opera and musical theatre to reflect the artistic demands of the 21st-century musical stage, on which performers must exhibit the highest standards of singing, acting and movement.
The Lyric Theatre program mounts three fully staged productions of musical theatre and opera each year, performed in our outstanding opera house at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, the Tryon Festival Theatre, and several studio, scenes, and workshop programs.
Students have additional performance opportunities in Lyric Studio class where scenes and shorter works are presented to teach acting, movement, and role preparation. Lyric Studio offers performance opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students, in a wide range of styles, from classical musical theatre to bel canto opera, from contemporary to Baroque. We emphasize vocal and physical health. Champaign-Urbana is home to many practitioners of the Alexander Technique, in which dancers, actors, and musicians are taught individually and in groups.
Illinois boasts one of the best performing arts libraries in the world, superb academic resources, and the world-class Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, which has hosted dozens of internationally renowned performers, including Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, and Frederica von Stade. The School of Music is proud to have hosted many world-class artists, teachers, and opera directors for master classes and residencies. They include Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano; Daniel Catán, composer; Richard Croft, tenor; Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano; Brian Dickie, Chicago Opera Theater; Elizabeth Futral, soprano; Ricky Ian Gordon, composer; Nancy Gustafson, Castleton Festival; Jake Heggie, composer; Ursula K. Le Guin, novelist; Matthew Polenzani, tenor; Caroline Woodfield, Opus 3 Artists' Management; Isabel Leonard, Lucy Shaufer, and Francesca Zambello, Washington National Opera and Glimmerglass Opera.
University of Illinois Alumni include Nathan Gunn, Jerry Hadley, Erie Mills, Kallen Esperian, Eric Halfvarson, Craig Rutenberg, and current members of the young artists' programs at San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and more.