Opera UTEP

Opera Workshop

UTEP Department of Music Vocal Area offers Opera Workshop (or "Opera UTEP") for undergraduate or graduate ensemble credit. Two semesters are required for performance and education majors though many choose to take the course multiple times.

Opera Workshop teaches students the fundamentals of operatic performance. Skills such as body awareness, movement, dance, role preparation, character development, acting, stage combat and audition techniques are among the topics to be explored and practiced in the class.

Repertoire for public performances will be selected to meet the voice types and skill levels of the students and may scenes from include opera and/or musical theater, one-act operas, and/or major works from the operatic repertoire.

The ensemble meets four times a week in the fall and spring semesters with placement auditions occurring during the first week of classes. There are no prerequisites for the course but some prior performance experience is helpful.

The ensemble is directed by Visiting Assistant Professor Cherry Duke.


The fall semester's public performance will be a program of opera scenes. Every student will have a featured role.

¡Pasión! - November 6 & 7 (7:30pm) and 8 (2:30 pm), 2015

Scenes from Operas inspired by Spanish passion!

Scenes include: Don Giovanni by Mozart, The Elixir of Love by Donizetti, Carmen by Bizet, Bohemios by Vives, The Barber of Seville by Rossini and the entire Act 4 finale of The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart.

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Cherry Duke, Visiting Assistant Professor    

American mezzo-soprano Cherry Duke is an acclaimed singing actress, facile in opera, oratorio, recital, cabaret and musical theater. In addition to singing principal roles with opera companies such as New York City Opera, Opera Tampa, Fort Worth Opera and Los Angeles Opera, she is a featured soloist with orchestras in classical and pops concerts, including appearances at CarnegieHall and Avery Fisher Hall.

As a teacher and clinician, Ms. Duke has served on the voice faculty of Bay View Music Festival and as a vocal solo coach for Innovative Music Camps. She has given master classes at Indiana Wesleyan University, Bethany College, Salisbury University and the University of Alabama. She is currently on the voice faculty at the University of Texas at El Paso where she also directs theopera workshop.

Concurrent with her active performing and teaching career, Ms. Duke operated YourType Arts Partners, which she founded in 1998. Specializing in the promotional needs of performing artists and arts organizations, Ms. Duke utilized her keen attention to detail, understanding of user experience and audience connection to craft creative and professional promotional and collateral materials including Websites.

Today, Ms. Duke combines her experience as a professional classical singer and teacher with her marketing acumen and offers consulting and seminars on the business side of the arts. She has lead seminars on the business of music at Bay View Music Festival, University of Iowa, University of Virginia, New York University, University of Texas at El Paso, Webster University and the University of Alabama, to name a few.

A Texas native, Cherry Duke was graduated summa cum laude from Texas Woman’s University. She received her graduate degree in Opera Performance from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. Cherry is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, the American Guild of Musical Artists and Actor’s Equity Association.

Department of Music