About Us

Comet Opera provides the musical community at UT Dallas with opportunities to experience and perform opera on their own campus. Pre-professional singers grow their stagecraft, broaden their repertoires, and build their resumes by performing well-known music that prepares them for future roles.

The company is student- and volunteer-run. You can support Comet Opera by donating your skills, sponsoring a production or season, or providing a venue.

Comet Opera has weekly rehearsals Thursdays at 7pm and Saturday at 10am, with a week of tech evenings preceding the two weekend performances of each production.

Creative Team

Advisor

Dr. Kathryn Evans

Dr. Evans is the head of the Vocal division of the School of Arts and Humanities at UTD, where she teaches vocal instruction and a variety of music history courses, as well as general arts education courses. She directed the most successful theatrical production in the history of UTD, Side Show the Musical, as well as the annual Best of Broadway show (2008-2016) and productions of the musicals I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (2011); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (2012); Red, Hot and Cole (2013); Songs for a New World (2014), and Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music (2015). She produced the first fully-staged opera at UTD, The Marriage of Figaro, in 2017.

President/Treasurer

Patricia Balconi-Lamica

Patricia Balconi-Lamica is a graduate student working on her Master's in Biotechnology. She has been in many productions at UT Dallas, including The Marriage of Figaro (Countess Almaviva) and Much Ado About Nothing (Beatrice). She has developed her talent for singing with mentors including Dr. Kathryn Evans and Michael McVay.

Vice President/Music Director

Ivey Barr

Ivey Barr debuted as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro (2017) and immediately fell in love with opera. In the 2017-2018 season, she helped develop Comet Opera as an organization and designed the pastiche operetta Much Ado About Nothing for the club's performers. Since 2015, she has appeared as a soloist with the UTD Chamber Singers, as a featured performer in the Best of Broadway shows, and in opera and Shakespeare workshops on campus. She currently studies with Dr. Evans and with bass-baritone Edward Crafts.

Secretary

Bradley Ritschel

Bradley Ritschel is a baritone from Whippany, NJ, majoring in electrical engineering at UT Dallas. He made his Comet debut as Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro (2017) and went on to set the student opera club in action, managing performer outreach, finances, and its student organization status. Brad trains with operatic bass Jared Schwartz and has also performed along the east coast with The Whiptones Doo Wop quartet.