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Department of Music

Opera CNU

Please contact Dr. John McGuire, Dr. Ben Corbin or J. Lynn Thompson for questions or additional information.

General Rehearsal / Performance Schedule

General Rehearsal / Performance Schedule (subject to change)

September, October, November
MWF, 3 - 5 p.m.

T-TH, 7 - 9:00 p.m.

October 31 - November 5
Tech Week and Performances (Evenings)

Friday, November 4, 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 5, 8 p.m.

Please contact Dr. John McGuire at or Prof. J. Lynn Thompson at for questions or additional information.


John McGuire

Dr. John A. McGuire is an active teacher, director and performer. He received his doctor of musical arts degree in vocal performance with a concentration in opera directing from the University of Texas. He joined Christopher Newport University in August 2015.

Dr. McGuire has performed with several opera companies and orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. Some of his leading operatic roles include Tamino in "The Magic Flute," Idomeneo in "Idomeneo," Sultan in "Zaide," Pedrillo in "The Abduction from the Seraglio," Lippo in "Street Scene," Martin in "The Tender Land," Ferrando in "Cosi fan tutte," Don José in "Carmen" and Rodolfo in "La Bohème."

Dr. McGuire has directed countless opera scenes and full productions for universities and opera companies. Most recently, he directed "The Old Maid and the Thief" for OperaCNU’s production in fall 2015. In the summer of 2015, he directed "The Marriage of Figaro" for the Franco American Vocal Academy in Salzburg, Austria, where he is a faculty member. Other directing credits include:

  • "Les Contes D’Hoffmann"
  • "La belle Hélène"
  • "La Périchole"
  • "Leçons de Francais Au Étudiants Américains"
  • "The Impresario"
  • "Cosi fan tutte"
  • "The Counsel"

He has taught voice at the University of Texas, Northwestern University and also maintains a private voice studio.

Ben Corbin

Dr. Ben Corbin is director of keyboard studies and collaborative arts at Christopher Newport. He earned the bachelor of music and master of music degrees in piano performance from the University of Oregon where he studied with Dean Kramer. He earned a second master of music and the doctorate in musical arts degrees in collaborative piano from The University of Texas, studying with Anne Epperson. Dr. Corbin was the first pianist at the University of Oregon to win the three highest performance awards at one time: Outstanding Undergraduate Performer, Keyboardist and Collaborative Pianist in 2009, as well as the Outstanding Collaborative Pianist award in 2012. He also was the recipient of the Mary Elizabeth Sherrill Presidential Endowed Award in Music from 2014-16.

Competition prizes include top prize in the Phi Beta Music Competition (2007), first place in the OMTA Piano Competition (2009), and second place in the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Young Artist’s Competition (2011). Dr. Corbin has been a featured soloist with the University of Oregon Symphony Orchestra and has served as principal keyboardist with the Oregon Mozart Players. He has held positions with the Eugene Symphony, Eugene Opera, the John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts, and Meadowmount School of Music in Westport, New York.

J. Lynn Thompson

J. Lynn Thompson's successful career in music and theater includes more than 40 years as conductor, artistic leader, recording artist, performer and educator. He spent 27 seasons with Atlanta Lyric Theatre, a company he assisted in founding in 1980 where he served as music director/conductor for 27 years and as artistic director for 17 years. Thompson was honored with the title Artistic Director Emeritus in 2007.

A native of North Carolina and raised in Tennessee, Thompson came to Atlanta at the invitation of the late Robert Shaw, longtime conductor of the Atlanta Symphony and Chorus. Hired as a featured soloist for Shaw’s production of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass in 1976, Thompson’s career blossomed under the care and tutelage of Shaw and others in the national orchestral, music theater and light opera worlds.

Students under his instruction have gone on to outstanding institutions such as The Juilliard School, Indiana School of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Oberlin, Northwestern, Florida State and the Curtis Institute. Many such as Jasmine Guy, Andres Diaz, Carmen Thomas and Joseph Wise have achieved stardom, and others boast careers as international solo artists, Metropolitan Opera performers, and as members of the New World Symphony, the Houston Symphony and the Atlanta Symphony.

Thompson attended the University of Tennessee, graduated from Georgia State University receiving his undergraduate degree in music education and master's in orchestral conducting, and has studied with Robert Shaw, Robert Ward, Donald Neuen and Samuel Jones. In 2005, Maestro Thompson conducted the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize winning composer Robert Ward’s ‘Friend of Napoleon’ with the Ohio Light Opera where he has served as music director for 27 seasons.

His own background as singer and performer has served him well; critics note his particular sensitivity and artistry on the podium and in recordings. Mr. Thompson has 18 recordings with The Ohio Light Opera on the Newport Classics and Albany labels.

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