Program Information


June 29 - July 31, 2016

Texas State University

San Marcos, TX

10th Anniversary

Touring Children's Opera: The Hiding Tree by Edward Barnes
Double cast, minimum 2 performances each

Musical Theatre Workshop: Revue (selections TBD)
Single cast, 2 performances

Opera Scenes Showcase: selections TBD
Single cast: 2 performances

CONCERTS: Aria Extravaganza Concert, Opera Ambassadors Concert , and more

Click here for the APPLICATION.



1. Residency on the beautiful Texas State University campus in quaint San Marcos, TX
2. Housing and meal plan options
3. A new Musical Theatre Concentration option for opera singers interested in developing crossover skills in addition to operatic repertoire
4. A Student Director Program which gives aspiring stage directors instruction and hands-on experience directing their own scenes, while assistant directing and stage managing full productions

And more!


VIDEO AUDITIONS - Spotlight on Opera accepts video auditions in lieu of in-person auditions from all singers, with no prejudice towards casting. Please provide good quality videos (not exclusively audio) showing your full face and body. You may use performances in which you appear with other singers, such as a school production, but clips must be edited to show only your audition selections. In other words, please do not direct us to a thirty-minute recital or excerpt. Performances must have taken place within the last twelve months.

SKYPE INTERVIEWS - For student director applicants who are unable to attend one of the in-person dates, we will arrange a Skype interview.

Saturday, February 6 - UT Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville
Sunday, February 7 - TX A&M Kingsville
Saturday, February 27 - Austin (location TBA)
Sunday, February 28 - San Antonio (location TBA)
Saturday, March 12 - University of Houston
Saturday, March 19 - Baylor
Saturday, April 2 - Austin (location TBA)
SINGERS ONLY: Video Audition, due via mail or email no later than April 2, 2016
DIRECTORS ONLY: Skype Interview, to occur no later than April 2, 2016
We're working on adding more locations throughout Texas --- check back!


Opera Concentration     Musical Theatre Concentration     Student Directing Program     Housing     Meals
Transportation     Repertoire     About the Campus     Role Breakdown



The Opera Concentration is our traditional program for singers seeking an intensive learning and performing experience.

  • Weekly voice lessons
  • Coachings and musical rehearsals
  • Classes including fitness, The Business of Singing, acting, stage craft, professional image, diction, audition techniques, and more
  • Master classes and workshops with visiting artists
  • Opportunities to perform concerts, opera scenes and full opera roles
  • Video of up to 3 audition arias
  • Eligible for casting in opera roles, scenes, and concerts
  • Not eligible for Student Director Program

Fee: $1750.00. Housing, meals and transportation not included.



This special two week workshop is designed for opera singers who wish to develop crossover skills and learn to belt healthfully. It culminates in a special performance in which all MT Concentration students will participate; for the second two weeks, you will rejoin the Opera Concentration.

  • Weekly voice lessons with our musical theatre teacher and/or opera teacher
  • Coachings and musical rehearsals
  • Classes including fitness, The Business of Singing, acting, stage craft, professional image, diction, audition techniques, and more
  • Special classes targeted towards musical theatre skills and business
  • Master classes and workshops with visiting artists
  • Opportunities to perform musical theatre revue, concerts, and comprimario opera roles and/or chorus
  • Video of up to 3 audition arias or musical theatre songs
  • Not eligible for Student Director Program
  • Participation limited to 10 students.

Fee: $1750.00. Housing, meals and transportation not included.



This new program, under the direction of Samuel Mungo, Spotlight's Artistic Director and Director of Opera Studies and Voice Area Coordinator for Texas State University, is for developing stage directors who want hands-on experience directing opera.

  • Classes including fitness, The Business of Singing, acting, diction, and more
  • Special classes and instruction on stage directing topics
  • May audit master classes and workshops with visiting artists
  • Each student director will direct opera scenes
  • Each student director will assistant direct a show
  • Each student director will stage manage or assistant stage manage a production and/or concert
  • Video of directed scenes
  • Not eligible for Opera or Musical Theatre Concentrations (student directors may not themselves perform)
  • Participation limited to 5 students.

Fee: $1000.00 Housing, meals, and transportation not included.



Optional on-campus housing is available for an additional fee. If you wish to live off-campus, you must find your own housing.

  • Traditional, air-conditioned dorm
  • Co-ed dormitory with separate wings for men and women, with 24-hour visitation
  • Close to the Music Building
  • Double or single occupancy available
  • 6 rooms share a single-sex bathroom
  • Amenities include kitchen facilities with microwave, tv and study lounges, ethernet connections, laundry, pool table, vending machines
  • Rooms are furnished with 2 long twin beds, 2 dressers, 2 desks, 2 chairs, 1 night stand
  • Lofting kits are provided
  • Room size is approximately 10 x 13 with a 75x54 window
  • Linens not provided

Single occupancy: $990/33 nights
Double occupancy: $660/33 nights

You may request your specific roommate (same-sex Spotlight participant) or ask for an assignment.



Meal plans and a la carte dining are available directly from Texas State University. There are two dining halls on campus.

Daily plan: $19.35/day = $638.55/33 days
Breakfast: $5.70
Lunch: $6.20
Dinner: $7.45

On-campus retail dining options are also available at the LBJ Student Center and the Den Food Court, and there are many dining options within walking distance of campus. The Music Building has a student lounge area equipped with microwave ovens.



Students are responsible for all transportation, including airport transfers, and getting to classes, rehearsals and performances. For Spotlight-sponsored out-of-town events, carpools are available and student drivers who take other students are reimbursed for gas. Bobcat Shuttle Bus Service is available on campus and to certain off-campus destinations. The City of San Marcos also has a public transportation system.



Mainstage Operas:

  • Two operas, two performances each
  • Single cast with covers
  • Original language (except where noted) with supertitles
  • Piano accompaniment
  • Fully staged and costumed

Repertoire under consideration (to be determined based on audition results): Susannah, La Boheme, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Albert Herring, La tragedie de Carmen

Touring Children's Opera: The Hiding Tree, by Edward Barnes

  • Double cast
  • Multiple performances for each cast
  • Will tour Central Texas, with performances in public spaces such as libraries and schools

Opera Scenes Showcase:

  • Two performances, single cast.
  • Selections TBD; tailored to the abilities and interests of the performers.
  • Singers are strongly encouraged to suggest repertoire they would like to perform.

Musical Theatre Revue:

  • Two performances, single cast.
  • All Musical Theatre Program students participate and only they are eligible.
  • With piano.
  • Selections TBD based on auditions/interests.

Aria Extravaganza Concert:

  • One-two performances, one aria each.
  • A popular, fun, informal concert.
  • Usually held at the Whole Foods flagship store in downtown Austin.

Opera Ambassadors Concerts

  • Previews of repertoire from other productions
  • Touring Central Texas
  • Locations include vineyards and other high-end locations.
  • At least one performance will be scheduled; possibly more depending on interest & schedule.



Texas State University is situated close to IH35 on 457 acres in the Texas Hill Country town of San Marcos (population: 58,892). President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Grammy-winning country western singer George Strait are two of the university's most famous alumni; and opera singers may know the up-and-coming tenor Rene Barbera, who is also an alumn. It is home to the Center for Texas Music History, the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, and the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, among many other distinguished projects and areas of study.

The campus is heavily wooded and quite hilly. The clear San Marcos River wends through the east side of campus, which abuts Sewell Park, a popular place for sunbathing and swimming. Inner tubing is a popular local activity in the summer.

The Music Building is located on the north side of campus just off Sessom and North LBJ Drive. A brand new, state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center is a few blocks away on the south side of campus. There are many dining and shopping options within walking distance of campus; and there is also shuttle bus service .


SUSANNAH by Carlisle Floyd

Susannah Polk - soprano
Sam Polk - tenor
Olin Blitch - bass-baritone
Little Bat McLean - tenor
Elder McLean - baritone
Elder Gleaton - tenor
Elder Hayes - tenor
Elder Ott - baritone
Mrs. McLean - mezzo-soprano
Mrs. Gleaton - soprano
Mrs. Hayes - soprano
Mrs. Ott - contralto
CHORUS of townspeople

LA BOHEME by Giacomo Puccini

Mimi - soprano
Musetta - soprano
Rodolfo - tenor
Marcello - baritone
Schaunard - baritone
Colline- bass
Benoit/Alcindoro - bass
Parpignol - tenor
Child - treble


Titania - coloratura soprano
Helena - soprano
Hermia - mezzo-soprano
Hippolyta- contralto
Oberon - countertenor (will consider lyric mezzo if no suitable countertenor is available)
Lysander - tenor
Demetrius - baritone
Puck - speaking role
Theseus - bass
Bottom - bass-baritone
Quince - bass
Flute - tenor
Snug - bass
Snout - tenor
Starveling - baritone
Cobweb, Mustardseed, Moth, Peaseblossom - trebles

ALBERT HERRING by Benjamin Britten

Lady Billows, an elderly autocrat - soprano
Florence Pike, her housekeeper - contralto
Miss Wordsworth, a schoolteacher - soprano
Mr. Gedge, the vicar -baritone
Mr. Upfold, the mayor - tenor
Superintendent Budd - bass
Sid, a butcher's assistant -baritone
Albert Herring, from the greengrocer's - tenor
Nancy, from the bakery mezzo-soprano
Mrs. Herring, Albert's mother - mezzo-soprano
Emmie - soprano
Cis -soprano
Harry - treble

LA TRAGEDIE DE CARMEN by Bizet and Peter Brooks

Carmen - mezzo-soprano
Don José - tenor
Micaëla - soprano
Escamillo - bass-baritone
Lillias Pastia - speaking role
Lt. Zuniga - speaking role
Old Woman - speaking role
Garcia, Carmen's husband - speaking role


Little Sister - soprano
Big Sister - mezzo-soprano
Narrator - spoken
The Monster - SATB Quartet


2010 - The Austin Chronicle article
The Austin Chronicle