Opera - University of Houston
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Buck Ross
Edythe Bates Old Professor of Music
Director of Moores Opera Center
Email:  bross@uh.edu  
Phone: 713-743-3162
MSM 184

Welcome to the Moores Opera Center!
We invite   you to discover   why MOC is one of the best university opera production programs in the nation. With four   fully-staged productions   per year, expert faculty, affordable tuition, and a metropolitan arts scene, University of Houston offers comprehensive training in opera performance. While our primary goal is your education, we treat the program like a professional regional company to make sure you are properly prepared to compete once you leave school.   We work very hard and we attract dedicated people, but we also laugh a lot on the way.   Being part of an opera can be a joyous, thrilling, and life-altering experience. Join us!



Moores Opera Center is a nationally recognized opera training program led by founding Artistic Director Buck Ross. Students learn their craft through four fully staged productions with orchestra per year, including one opera written in the last twenty years. With fewer than 100 voice majors, including approximately 25 graduate students, we can ensure that our students get more stage time and experience than their peers in other programs. Our imaginative productions regularly win National Opera Association awards in the most competitive division in the United States. Auditions are heard in April and August of each year and are open to all students.



Get on Stage!

Our program offers extensive opportunities to perform that you won't find at other universities.

  • Four fully staged productions with orchestra per year.
  • State of the art performance venue, Moores Opera House (link to Opera House page).
  • Average graduate student in the Moores Opera Center program finishes their degree having sung two major roles per year.
  • Undergraduates are considered alongside graduate students in casting.
  • Challenging repertoire from different styles and periods.
  • One opera per season that was written in the last twenty years.
  • Auxiliary training in stage directing, coaching, conducting and stage management also available.

Learn from Experts!

You will study and coach with expert faculty in Voice, Opera, Acting and Stage Directing, all of whom have a network of connections to leverage on your behalf once you have graduated. We offer a positive learning environment. Our voice faculty members are collaborative, and input from other teachers on the faculty is always welcomed. Students are encouraged to attend studio classes with different teachers. Our voice professors are professional singers with nationally and internationally recognized careers. This assures that you are being held to real-world performance standards.



Since the University of Houston is a public university, tuition is lower than in private schools. You’ll study in an award-winning opera program without all the debt you would incur at a private university. For nonresident students, merit-based scholarships and graduate assistant positions may make a student eligible to receive a tuition waiver resulting in Texas resident tuition rate. A variety of teaching assistantships is available for qualified graduate students. 



We are located in the fourth-largest city in the U.S., offering access to a bustling arts scene for you to experience and perform in. With internationally renowned companies like Houston Grand Opera and local opera organizations like Opera in the Heights, opportunities abound to learn from and participate in the voice and opera scene here. Houston also has a first-class symphony orchestra, inventive chamber music, two professional early music groups, musical theatre, drama, dance and art museums.


Be Successful!

Moores Opera Center alumni are continually among those who are selected for apprentice programs, win competitions and are cast in roles with leading opera houses around the world. The training you receive and the connections you make in our program will put you on a path to success as a vocalist and performing artist.
If you are interested in learning more, connect with our Moores Student Ambassadors to sit in on an opera rehearsal, music history or theory class and possibly audit a voice studio class!


Auditions for Moores Opera Center productions are open to all UH students and occur in April and August. In the April audition, current students audition for the Fall show, though incoming graduate students are also considered for roles in the opening production based on their entrance auditions. The remainder of the season is cast after an additional audition during the first week of classes in August. For more information about auditions and how to sign up, contact the Director of the Moores Opera Center.

Select Opera Courses

  • Opera Role Performance

    Preparation and performance of a role or chorus as assigned in an opera. Fulfills the large ensemble requirement at the graduate level.
  • Acting for Opera

    Acting instruction includes physical awareness, improvisation, focus, gesture, spoken monologues, dealing with props and much more.
  • Directing for Opera

    Basics of producing and directing an opera, including script/score analysis, research, pre-production planning, casting, set, costume and lighting design, scheduling, surtitles, blocking and rehearsal techniques.
  • Opera Literature

    Survey of opera literature from its Baroque-era beginnings through the present day.



“The Moores Opera Center not only taught me the fundamentals of being an opera singer, but I also received time on stage to apply and refine those skills. I sang eleven roles that were fully staged and orchestrated in a world-class opera house. I received excellent vocal training and the tools to understand how to move on stage, connect with an audience and continually strive for excellence in my craft. I stepped out of the program ready to take on a leading role in a substantial hall and I was challenged in a way that prepared me for the pressures of a career onstage. I am so grateful for the education I received at the Moores Opera Center.“ - Jessica E. Jones, ‘09, MM ‘11