New Faculty Member Q&A: Ryan Prendergast, Lecturer, Opera Production

Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Ryan Prendergast, Lecturer, Opera Production

Ryan Prendergast, Lecturer

Tell us about the classes you’ll be teaching this year.

This fall, I will be teaching an interdisciplinary course on opera production history for students in the Department of Theatre and Dance and the Butler School of Music. I will also be a co-instructor for the introductory Performance as Public Practice course and the opera studio class at Butler. I am also looking forward to teaching Musicals on Stage and Screen in the spring of 2022.

What attracted you to the College of Fine Arts and The University of Texas at Austin?

UT Austin is an incredible place to start a career, thanks to the international prestige and caliber of the students and faculty in the College of Fine Arts. The institution's robust portfolio of activities and accomplishments amid the pandemic evinces a strength and resourcefulness essential for higher education in these challenging times. 

Your focus is musicology. Can you tell us more about how your professional pathway led to this focus?

My interest in opera production history demands that I keep feet in multiple camps, but it also shows the importance of interdisciplinary knowledge and experience for both study and practice. I studied stage directing and stage management as an undergraduate, musicology as a master's student, theatre studies for my doctoral degree, and I interned with theatre and opera companies. These experiences provide a unique perspective for my ongoing work and collaborations with artists and other scholars. 

What’s something that students and colleagues should know about you?

I lived in Germany on a year-long dissertation research fellowship until the pandemic accelerated in March 2020. 

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not teaching/researching/working?

Hiking. It does the academic body good.

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