Loyola Opera Theatre

Two singers of the opera chorus dancing and smiling

History of the Loyola Opera Program

The University’s Opera Workshop was established in 1954 by baritone Arthur Cosenza, who headed the program until 1984. Cosenza subsequently became the Resident Stage Director and eventually General Director of the New Orleans Opera Association (NOOA) until his retirement in 1996. The Loyola opera department has since maintained a strong connection with the professional company. David Morelock, who directed over 50 productions for NOOA, brought strong leadership to Loyola Opera Theatre from 1994 to 2009.

About the Director

Carol Rausch, who became director of Loyola Opera Theatre after Morelock’s retirement, is also currently the Chorus Master/Music Administrator for the New Orleans Opera Assocation.

Partnership with the New Orleans Opera Association

Many Loyola vocal majors are hired as choristers for New Orleans Opera Assocation productions, and are also cast in comprimario roles or cover main stage artists. Student vocalists also help create visibility for the art form at the company’s popular casual concert series, “Opera on Tap.” During both the Fall and Spring Semesters NOOA principal artists offer master classes for all Loyola singers.


Recent Loyola Opera productions have included:

  • 2019: Cendrillon
  • 2018: Dialogues of the Carmelites
  • 2017: Street Scene
  • 2016: Roméo et Juliette
  • Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi
  • Candide
  • The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein
  • Les Mamelles de Tirésias
  • Susannah
  • L’Enfant et les sortilèges
  • The Pirates of Penzance
  • Dido and Aeneas
  • Orpheus in the Underworld.

Each year, in addition to the annual fully staged Loyola production with orchestra, opera students present a piano-accompanied scenes program, as well as frequent chamber operas.

Dramatic Voice Symposium

In fall 2017 Loyola launched the first annual Dramatic Voice Symposium, with master classes and a final performance by Melanie Helton, Brenda Harris, Tyler Smith, Greer Grimsley, and Luretta Bybee with pianists Keith Chambers and Carol Rausch.

Learn more about the Loyola Dramatic Voice Symposium >>


Loyola Opera has a proud record of graduates who have gone on to national international careers, including