Opera Stage Direction Certificate Program

Produced By:

Ithaca College School of Graduate & Professional Studies


Online: Jan 27 - May 1 2025
In Person: May 20-June 8, 2025


14 Pre-Recorded Directing Technique Sessions and
14 Live Discussions Via ZOOM
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 27 – May 1, 2025. 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 One Consists of:

  • 14 Pre-Recorded Two Hour Directing Technique Sessions created and presented by Chuck Hudson that you will access on Canvas and can watch as often as you like on your own time throughout the term of the program—stopping and starting as much as you like in the moment to make notes and formulate questions for discussion.
  • 14 Two-Hour Live Discussion Sessions around those techniques with Chuck Hudson the week after each Technique Session video is released. Participants will be able to ask Chuck questions, discuss concepts, and present assigned exercises for critique as a group. We will also record these discussion sessions and make them available to you on Canvas throughout the program. 

    Live Discussion Sessions go far in exploring the concepts and cementing understanding.
  • 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. Dates for the In-Person Workshop in Ithaca, NY are May 20 through June 8, 2025.

Applications for the 2025 program will be available in September 2024.

Applications are due by November 29

Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis.
Space is limited so early application is strongly recommended.

APPLY NOW on the Ithaca College Website.

Past Participants and Certificate holders may AUDIT both sessions of the program. Find out more here.

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. Certificate 2022

“I want to reiterate how fantastic I’ve been finding it and how grateful I am that you’ve set up this certificate pathway. I know it must be a huge amount of unseen work to create something totally new in the opera landscape. 
For me, it’s been an exceptional curriculum and learning experience
and I’ll be out there telling everyone I can to come do it!”

—Helen Banner: Stage Director, Dramaturg. Certificate 2023