Opera Stage Direction Certificate Program

Produced By:

Ithaca College School of Graduate & Professional Studies


Online: Jan - April 2023
In Person: June 2023


Wednesdays 6PM-8PM
(Eastern Time)


See Link to Ithaca Website Below


Live & Asynchronous Video
In Person Residency

Frustrated with the lack of programs specifically tailored to train Opera Directors? Tired of learning this important craft as “additional” information when studying the direction of a play?  How do you become an accomplished operatic stage director?

“It seems to be an elusive pathway for some – imagined to be an innate talent that evolves through experience. I believe it is a skill that can be learned and developed so I have created a complete curriculum program that will offer you the skills you need to develop your vision and direct with confidence. The Ithaca College Opera Direction Certificate provides you with a focused way to develop your opera direction technical skills and aims to support you in becoming a confident, successful opera stage director.”                                         -Chuck Hudson, Stage Director

Ithaca College is thrilled to be working with Stage Director and Master Teacher Chuck Hudson to bring you a top-level curriculum leading to a non-credit bearing professional certification. The certificate is earned by completing a hybrid program involving two levels:

  • Level One is completed during the spring as a virtual, online course in stage direction. The course occurs on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, and involves both synchronous and asynchronous interaction. It requires approximately two hours of work per week for 14 weeks. This session will operate from January 23 – April 26, 2023. The Level One curriculum will cover the essential practical skills required for each stage of the Directing Process specifically tailored to Stage Direction for Opera, including:

Pre-Production and Preparation

Such as analyzing a score for character and action, developing an individual directorial vision based on a theme, collaborating with designers to fulfill your vision, creating an efficient rehearsal schedule, etc

Staging Rehearsals

Such as working with the Stage Management Team and Music Staff, various types of staging rehearsals, directing singers versus telling them what to do, giving and taking criticism, navigating production paperwork and company expectations, Production Meetings, etc.

The transition into the theatre for Technical Rehearsals and Performance

Such as Tech Rehearsals / Dress Rehearsals / Orchestra Rehearsals, Lighting Sessions, Spike Setting, Shift Rehearsals, working with singers’ needs during tech, supratitles and projections, Fight Calls and Dance Calls, In-House Production Meetings, etc.

Postproduction review.

A personal post-mortem to review what worked and what did not to prepare for a future production of the same work, etc.

  • Level Two is completed as a 10-day in-person summer residential workshop on the Ithaca College campus located in beautiful Ithaca, NY. Participants must complete Level One before participating in Level Two, and both Levels must be completed to earn the non-credit bearing professional certificate. During the workshop, Mr. Hudson works one-on-one with directors to implement their creative visions and practice their directing skills with accomplished opera singers and rehearsal pianists. This workshop will occur from May 29 through June 12, 2023 in Ithaca, NY.

I participated in this program last year and learned more than I could have possibly imagined. 
Chuck Hudson is an incredible artist, powerful director, and deeply inspiring teacher.
If you are interested in opera direction, THIS is for you!”

I was able to participate last season while teaching a full load at Ithaca College.
Frankly, it was a refreshing and inspiring part of my week to be in the seat of the learner!”             

—Dawn Pierce: Mezzo-Soprano, Voice Instructor

The application process is CLOSED for the 2023 season.

Applications are due by December 1 with admissions decisions made on a rolling basis.
Space is limited to early application is strongly recommended. 

Find out more on the Ithaca College Website.