For the first time since the pandemic, and in honor of Veterans Day, Cal State San Bernardino’s Opera Theatre will present a live performance – “Opera in the Trenches!” – on Wednesday, Nov. 10, in the Performing Arts Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m.

The CSUSB Opera Theatre will have special guest artists Kevin Blickfeldt, baritone, who was featured in the boy opera band VOX from the TV show America’s Got Talent!, as well as critically acclaimed cellist and continuo player Jennifer Bewerse.

“In addition to these wonderful artists, the Opera Theatre program is honored to have the cadets of the Army ROTC join the students on stage for the final number,” said Stacey Fraser, department chair and professor of music. “We are excited!”

“Opera in the Trenches!” is a program of excerpts from some of the most famous operas and Broadway musicals that revolve round a theme of war and peace. These selections encompass over three centuries of opera and music theatre. They include scenes from Handel’s “Giulio Cesare in Egitto” set in the style of the famous Hollywood production of “Cleopatra, as well as the beloved “I’m gonna wash that man right outa my hair” from Rodger and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific,” and fan favorites from Mozart’s “Cosi fan Tutte,” John Adams’ “Doctor Atomic,” Offenbach’s “The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein,” Donizetti’s “La Fille du Régiment” and the iconic “Bui Doi” from “Miss Saigon.”

Tickets for “Opera in the Trenches!” can be purchased at the CSUSB music department website or at the Box Office, Monday through Friday, noon to 3 p.m.

Although this is the first live performance since the pandemic, the CSUSB Opera Theatre hasn’t slowed down. The opera continued working through the pandemic and was, in fact, one of the only CSU opera programs that met on a regular basis in person throughout the entire 2020-2021 academic year.

The CSUSB Opera Theatre produced two full shows: “Song from the Uproar,” a 72-minute film adaptation of the opera by Grammy-nominated and Pulitzer Prize finalist composer, Missy Mazzoli, available for steaming on the CSUSB YouTube channel, and Kurt Weill’s “Down in the Valley,” available for streaming soon.

“The faculty and students found refuge in being able to be together three times a week to make art and music even with masks on and sanitizer in hand. It was special, and something that we will forever remember,” said Fraser. “I am so happy we have the documentation.”

Stay tuned for news about the Opera Theatre’s upcoming spring production in May 2022: the West Coast premiere of “¡Únicamente La Verdad! (Only the Truth) The Real Story of Camelia La Tejana,” an opera by Gabriela Ortiz with libretto by Rubén Ortiz Torres, a border story composed by one of the LA Phil’s favorite composers.  

CSUSB concerts are currently scheduled to be in person, but are subject to change should the CSUSB COVID-19 guidelines deem it necessary. For more information, contact

Face coverings are required on campus. For the latest guidance, visit the Return of the Pack website.

Online flier for the Opera in the Trenches program