LSU's Turner-Fischer Center for Opera is doing its part to put a national spotlight on the purple and gold.

The program has taken top honors in collegiate opera competitions in the last two years, with the most recent set of awards rolling in Jan. 9 at the National Opera Association Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.

LSU Opera earned first-place honors in the Division II Collegiate Opera Scene Competition for its live scene performance from the fall production of "Two Remain."

"This was LSU's third such win in a row, following its previous triumphs for 'Dog Days' and 'Eugene Onegin' in 2019," said Dugg McDonough, director of LSU Opera.

These honors follow several awards from last year, culminating with McDonough's winning the American Prize in Directing — Charles Nelson Reilly Prize in August for his direction of David T. Little's groundbreaking American opera, "Dog Days."

The prize is the highest honor that can be awarded to a director of a nonprofit opera company.

The LSU Opera performed "Dog Days" in January 2018 in the Reilly Theatre on LSU's campus. 

"It was unlike anything we've ever done," McDonough said. "It's also part of what we do in our program. I know a lot of our audiences want us to perform classic operas, but we're also a teaching institution, and by performing contemporary operas, we're exposing our students to these works. They play an indelible part on our students as artists, and it's exciting to see the excitement in them."

LSU Opera's "Dog Days" also picked up a second place American Prize in Opera Performance in the college/university division for 2018-19, a first place in Division VII in the 2018-19 National Opera Association Opera Production Competition and a first place in the National Opera Association's Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition (Graduate Level) in 2018.

Other honors include:

  • First place in Division VII of 2018-2019 NOA Opera Production Competition for “Elizabeth Cree”
  • Second place in Division VIII of 2018-2019 NOA Opera Production Competition for “The Cunning Little Vixen”
  • First place in NOA Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition (Graduate Level) 2019 for “Eugene Onegin”
  • Finalist for NOA Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition 2020 (performed in finals competition at NOA National Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, in January) for “Two Remain”

Email Robin Miller at romiller@theadvocate.com