Moores Opera Center - University of Houston
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Keith Chambers, DMA
Music Director
MSM 172

Kathleen Belcher
Artistic Director
MSM 184

Moores Opera Center is recognized as one of the leading opera training programs in the country. Founded by Buck Ross in 1985, the Moores Opera Center has earned a national reputation for preparing singers for professional careers, with alumni performing on stages across the globe. The program is now led by Kathleen Belcher, who is now in her 20th year as a member of the directing staff at the Metropolitan Opera, and Keith Chambers, founder of New Amsterdam Opera in New York.

Students learn their craft through a robust curriculum that is designed to prepare artists for the realities of a professional career, combined with the opportunity to perform in multiple fully staged productions with orchestra each year in the state-of-the art Moores Opera House.


2023 - 2024 Season






Underwrite an entire or partial production! Sets, props, scholarships, orchestra costs, projections, publicity, stage hands, accompanists, makeup, or wigs, the list is endless and so is the need. Every donation is appreciated. 

Join Moores Society to connect with others who support the Moores Opera Center through programs and events that benefit scholarships, special projects and educational opportunities for music students at the University of Houston.


Production History

Our productions have consistently won awards with the National Opera Association since we started entering in 2011. Notable contemporary productions have included Dominick Argento’s Miss Havisham’s Fire and Casanova’s Homecoming, Conrad Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons, Christopher Theofandis’ The Thirteen Clocks, Robert Nelson’s The School for Scandal and A Room with a View and Jonathan Dove’s Flight. We were the first university to produce Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath, Robert Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry, and Daron Hagen’s Amelia, John Musto’s The Inspector, David Carlson’s Anna Karenina, and Thomas Pasatieri’s Frau Margot.

Composer Daniel Catán was so impressed by our production of his opera Florencia en el Amazonas that he asked us to do the second U.S. production of his new opera Il Postino right after its premiere in Los Angeles with Placido Domingo. We continue with a project to produce all of Mr. Catán’s operas. 

In addition to the expected standard operatic repertory, other memorable Houston premieres included Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges, Weber’s Der Freischütz, Barber’s Vanessa, Massenet’s Chérubin, Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims, Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Mozart’s Lucio Silla, Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki, Mechem’s Tartuffe, and Rota’s The Italian Straw Hat. 

Alumni News

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. Our graduates have gone on to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Minnesota Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Virginia Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Austin Opera, Opera Colorado, Des Moines Metro Opera, and many other American houses, as well as European houses such as La Scala, Teatro San Carlo, the Vienna State Opera, and the Bavarian State Opera. Our alumni do great things!


The 800 seat Moores Opera House is arguably the finest university opera production facility in the country. The opening 1997 season included our first production of John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, putting us on the national opera radar! The Opera House was designed to emulate the acoustic space of an old European opera house while providing the modern equipment demanded in today’s world. Boasting an enormous orchestra pit, full fly capacity and state of the art sound equipment, it allows performances of the largest operas while still maintaining a sense of intimacy. It gives young voices a chance to develop properly by not subjecting them to the demands of an acoustically unforgiving large hall. Featuring a movable, flexible-size orchestra shell, it also serves as the performance space for our orchestra, wind ensembles, choral groups, and chamber music. Visually it is dominated by a spectacular installation by artist Frank Stella that attracts visitors from around the globe.