The UH production of “Anna Karenina,” staged by the Moores Opera Center in April of this year, was awarded second prize in the top category of the distinguished National Opera Association’s (NOA) 2016 Opera Production Competition. This is the Moores Opera Center’s sixth consecutive win, with awards from the NOA pouring in since 2011—the first year UH entered the competition.
Based on Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel, the opera tells the story of the title character’s moral dilemma as she is pulled between two love interests. The production—one of UH’s four major productions of the 2015-2016 season—was directed by Buck Ross, founder and director of the Moores Opera Center, and conducted by Raymond Harvey, Music Director at UH.
“The story itself is very operatic,” said Ross in an interview with the University of Houston. “It feels like a traditional opera yet it bows to the modern structure of contemporary works that are more cinematic.”
He added that this award speaks to the caliber of students at the UH College of the Arts.
“We consistently recruit top students,” he said, citing the quality of faculty and the opportunities for hands on, practical experience in the program. He also stressed that the Moores Opera Center strives to provide a positive working environment to encourage students’ growth and creative development.
In addition to the big win, UH also had a secondary reason to celebrate this year. Michigan State University’s production of “A Room with a View,” which featured music by former UH faculty member Robert Nelson and libretto by Ross, won first place in the second-highest division of the competition.
UH will be presented with the award at the 2017 NOA Convention in Santa Barbara, California from January 4—8.