Joseph Levitt

Director of Opera Theatre

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MU 111b  Phone: 765-285-5563  

School of Music
Hargreaves Music Building (MU) 203
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Developing an opera department of substance and quality has been “priority one” for Joseph Levitt since he assumed leadership of the BSU Opera Theatre in 2006. The Opera Theatre’s success is due in no small part to his devotion to the operatic art form. The BSU Opera Theatre presents two full productions per season: the spring main stage production is performed in the original language and the fall Pocket Opera, christened in 2009, is a chamber opera performed either in the original English or in translation.

His productions include: Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte and The Impresario, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Händel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto, Menotti’s The Medium, Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz and Puccini’s Suor Angelica. Levitt has written and directed his own version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute; a children’s version entitled: Papageno plays the Magic Flute. This opera was commissioned by Opera Illinois. He is also a sought-after guest director, having staged productions with Opera Illinois, Mississippi Opera and Western Plains Opera. 

In both an international and national career of opera, oratorio and recitals, Levitt has sung over 40 leading tenor roles in more than 1,500 performances, including the New York City Opera National Company, where he was heard as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème. Other roles include Hoffmann, Belmonte, Tamino and Pinkerton, in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, which he has performed with Opera Illinois and the Opernair Festspiel in Vienna, Austria. 

He created the role of Kaufmann in the American premiere of Jakob Lenz by Wolfgang Rihm; Mr. Broucek in the opera of the same name, and Stewa in Jenufa by Janacek. 

With conductor and composer Lukas Foss, he sang the American premiere of Gian Carlo Menotti’s one-act opera The Egg, along with the world premiere of John Eaton’s opera, The Cry of Clytemnestra

Levitt has sung with the Indianapolis Opera Company, and was heard in Robert Ward’s The Crucible with the Toledo Opera, and as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Illinois. He was also guest tenor soloist with The Champaign-Urbana Symphony in Penderecki’s Credo. Also on this continent, he has sung Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra and the title character in Berlioz’ La damnation de Faust with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra. 

Other solo engagements have included the Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, and Theater im Revier, Gelsenkirchen. Roles he performed include Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Graf Zedlau in Wienerblut and The Italian Singer in Capriccio. Equally at home in light opera, Levitt has performed the works of Strauss, Lehàr and Kalman in many of the historic opera houses in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. 

His vocal education includes bachelor and master’s degrees from the Indiana University School of Music. He also received the prestigious Performer’s Certificate, for “Outstanding Musical Performance in Voice”. 

Levitt has sung with many famous conductors and coaches such as Bryan Balkwill, Tibor Kozma, Fiora Contino, Lukas Foss, Mignon Dunn, Kurt Adler, Donald Neuen, John Wustman, Günter Neuhold, Wolfgang Vacano and Ks. Sena Jurinac. 

As the Director of the BSU Opera Theatre, his productions include Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte and The Impresario; Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Händel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto, Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. In 2009 he founded the Pocket Opera, an offshoot of the main opera program, dedicated to performing one-act and chamber operas in English and without charge to the public. Productions have included: Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium and Puccini’s Suor Angelica

As a freelance stage director, Levitt has staged productions with Opera Illinois, Mississippi Opera and Western Plains Opera. 

Ever expanding his career as a recitalist, Levitt has appeared at Steinway Hall, Brooklyn College, SMU, Oberlin College, Interlochen and other venues across the nation.

Related Link
BSU Opera Theatre Web site

Course Schedule
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School of Music
Hargreaves Music Building (MU) 203
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Phone: 765-285-5400
Fax: 765-285-5401
View E-mail Address