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Maryland Opera Studio Wins National Production Award

By Jessica Weiss ’05

The UMD School of Music’s Maryland Opera Studio was named a first-place winner in the National Opera Association 2021–22 Opera Production Competition for its spring production of John Musto and Mark Campbell’s “Later the Same Evening.” The awards recognize “creative, high-quality” opera productions at academic institutions and music conservatories across the country.

Co-commissioned by the UMD School of Music and The Clarice and premiered in 2007, “Later the Same Evening” is inspired by five paintings by American painter Edward Hopper. The opera imagines the lives of the figures in the paintings and connects them as characters—both directly and tangentially—on one evening in New York City in 1932.

For the Spring 2022 performance, Maryland Opera Studio collaborated with the UMD Symphony Orchestra, the UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, as well as production staff in The Clarice, for a final result that judges praised for its professional quality across all areas. The production featured designs from M.F.A. students in scenic design, costume design, lighting design and media design, which Maryland Opera Studio Director Craig Kier said helped tell the story “in a whole new, fresh way.”

“This is a wonderful endorsement of the creative spirit that is cultivated at UMD,” Kier said. “This work reached across countless areas of the arts to tell a vividly compelling story—with high musical values, clear storytelling and courageous performing. To be recognized for that gives a real sense of pride in our program.”

The National Opera Association awarded a total of 17 prizes, representing productions at the undergraduate and graduate levels and divided into divisions according to size and budget.

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