UNT Opera honored with National Opera Association award

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - 08:03

DENTON (UNT), Texas — The University of North Texas Opera has once again received a top honor from the National Opera Association.

UNT Opera’s Fall 2019 production of Don Giovanni took second place in the graduate level division VI category of NOA’s 2019-2020 Opera Production Competition for the best college production in America.

Under the direction of Jonathan Eaton, professor and Margot and Bill Winspear Chair in Opera Studies, College of Music students translated the classic tale for a modern audience by incorporating current social and political contexts, such as the #MeToo movement against sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

Don Giovanni brought together students and faculty from across the university, as well as alumni and industry partners. Fashion design students and alumni from Assistant Professor Barbara Trippeer’s wearable technology course in the College of Visual Arts and Design used the latest digital fabrication technology to craft costumes and accessories for Don Giovanni’s principal cast with fabrics donated by local couturier and UNT alumnus Michael Faircloth and leather specialist Fossil. Donna Marquet, a senior lecturer in scenic design in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Department of Dance and Theatre, also designed the opera’s set.

“Don Giovanni was a wonderfully collaborated project and a great example of how experts across disciplines can enrich the overall stage production,” Eaton said. “I’m honored this work has been recognized in the highest awards available in America for collegiate opera.”

NOA’s annual Opera Production Competition recognizes creative, high-quality opera productions at academic institutions and music conservatories. The latest awards program focused on operas presented between June 1, 2019 and June 15, 2020. They were judged by a panel of opera professionals on musicianship, singing quality, diction, dramatic credibility and characterization, production quality, as well as production concept, staging and execution.

Last year, UNT Opera received NOA awards for its productions of The Cunning Little Vixen, Gianni Schicchi and Le Testament de la Tante Caroline.


The College of Music is the largest public university music program in the U.S. and one of the most globally respected. Faculty include internationally acclaimed artists and scholars in composition, conducting, ethnomusicology, music education, music entrepreneurship, music history, music theory, performance and performing arts health. With nearly 1,100 music events annually, you can experience world-class music anytime.

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