The Professional Portfolio of Anthony Offerle

The professional portfolio of Anthony Offerle

Creative research performances

Creative research narrative

Since appointment to The University of Florida faculty in 2004:


Performances

My research and creative activities are focused on two areas. The primary field of concentration is in the development and subsequent performance of operatic and concert works as a solo vocal artist. This includes professional engagements as an oratorio, opera, and art-song literature bass-baritone. I have enjoyed a wide range of stage and concert work since coming to the University of Florida. Research for a large role may take as much as six months to a year to fully prepare. This includes the examination of the full score, language diction, text translations, and historical background information as well a detailed character analysis. One of the most stimulating elements is the technical vocal preparation and memorization of recitatives, arias and ensemble pieces. It is a common practice among professionals also to rehearse upcoming roles and concert pieces with a well-respected performance coach.

Internationally, I have sung both opera and oratorio including Don Bartolo in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with the Opera Estate in Italy and in Mozart’s Requiem with the Orchestra Mozart Sinfonietta at the historic Chiesa di San Ignazio in Rome. Future international contracts include Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte also with the Opera Estate in 2008. On a national level, I have sung numerous recitals, concerts, and operatic roles from New York to California. Highlights include:

On the regional and off-campus local level performance highlights include:

As the Director of Opera, it is difficult to be away from my institutional responsibilities for periods of more than a few weeks. Therefore, my opera performances are normally reserved for the summer and the academic year is dedicated mostly to oratorio and concert works with orchestra which require less time away from my students. I was offered several opera roles, during the academic years, which were declined. They were: Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with the Ashville Lyric Opera, Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the San Jose Lyric Opera, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola with the Pacific Repertoire Opera and the title role in Don Giovanni with the Townsend Opera (Calf.). Frequent faculty solo and collaborative concerts are part of my research each semester.

Productions

The second area of my research is focused on creating opera, musical theatre, and opera outreach productions and conducting. One of the major tasks I was given, as an incoming faculty member, was the re-institution of the opera program at the University of Florida. It had been many years since a program existed at UF so the process, for all intents and purposes, began with our first opera workshop scenes program in 2004. Since that initial stage work with piano accompaniment, the program has steadily grown and we now perform numerous scenes and full-scale productions with orchestra including La Traviata (2007), The Mikado (2008), and are in preparation for a fully produced scenes event titled Myth and Magic and a grand scale production of Puccini’s Tosca (2009).

To create a program from its initial stages takes a great deal of cooperation from many areas of the university. One of the aspects of the opera program of which I am most proud is the outstanding working relationship that has been built between the School of Theatre and Dance and the School of Music - Opera Theatre Workshop. The School of Music has a limited number of performance and rehearsal facilities. Through inter-departmental cooperation and mutual support, joint projects such as West Side Story and La Traviata have been both critical and financial successes.

My research activities in this area include stage directing, producing, and performing many of the creative roles of an artistic director. I have directed/produced and collaborated as musical director/orchestra conductor on eight major productions and several smaller performances, since 2004. The large productions include:

Other scholarly activities include invited master classes in Florida, the Southeast and Midwestern states, and the release of the Anthology with CD Serenader: Songs and A Sonata by Celius Dougherty (G. Schirmer 2004) on which I was a featured soloist.

Prior to 2004:

I have been active as a creative artist since the mid-1980s when I performed in summer stock theatres and small opera companies. As my skills grew and I completed my advanced academic training, I found larger performance engagements and research opportunities both nationally and in Europe. It was a distinct privilege to train with some very well respected teachers and coaches. These including Andrew White at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), Italo Tajo and Lorenzo Malfatti also at CCM and Joan Dornemann and Deborah Birnbaum in New York, to name a few. I have sung opera roles under the batons of conductors such as Anton Coppola, Francesco Carotenuto, Scott Bergeson, and Chris Nance and worked with numerous distinguished stage directors, two of whom were my mentors, James de Blasis and Carl Gerbrandt.

Upon accepting my first university teaching position in 1993, I made the choice to continue my primary creative research in the area of performance but also find an outlet in opera directing as well. I assisted with the opera scenes workshop in my first position as a visiting assistant professor in Indiana and in the two tenure-track positions I held from 1994 – 2004, I created programs as an assistant professor at Eastern New Mexico University and as an associate professor at the Charleston Southern University - Horton School of Music. My creative activities there included opera scenes, musicals, one-act operas and touring productions.