Associate Professor of Voice, Director of Opera Workshop
Rebecca L. Renfro is an Associate Professor and the Director of Opera Workshop at Sam Houston State University. She currently holds degrees in music from Sam Houston State University (B.M.), The New England Conservatory of Music (M.M.), and The University of Connecticut (D.M.A.). As an undergraduate at Sam Houston State University, Dr. Renfro also earned a degree in Accounting (B.B.A.), and worked for four years in the oil and gas industry before returning to music full time.
Dr. Renfro possesses a versatile artistry that spans from teaching to directing to performing. Her directing credits include productions with Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Lone Star Lyric Opera, Greater Worcester Opera, Lone Star College Cy Fair, Opera del West, University of Connecticut Opera Theater, and Sam Houston State University. Under Dr. Renfro’s leadership, SHSU Opera has become a nationally recognized program, having been selected as a National Opera Association Opera Scenes Competition finalist each year from 2011 to 2017. The ensemble won second place in both 2015 and 2018 in the NOA Music Theater Division. The ensemble was awarded a 2012 Production Competition prize from the National Opera Association, and was honored with the American Prize in Collegiate Opera in the fall of both 2014 and 2015. In 2018, Renfro accompanied the ensemble to Japan, where she co-produced Dido and Aeneas at Kobe College with a team of faculty and staff from both universities. This production made national headlines in Japan and was presented to sold-out audiences.
Critically acclaimed as a singer possessing "clear-toned elegance and dignity," Dr. Renfro’s stage credits include leading roles in Die Fledermaus, Le nozze di Figaro, Impressario, Dido and Aeneas, Don Giovanni, Trial by Jury, Gianni Schicchi, L'enfant et les sortileges, A Game of Chance, L'Europe Galante and La Vera Costanza. As a sought-after oratorio soloist, Dr. Renfro has been featured in such works as Mendelssohn's St. Paul, Haydn’s Creation, Mozart Mass in C Minor, Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem, Bach's Cantata 51, Gasparini's L'oraculo del Fato, Handel's Laudate Pueri, Faure's Requiem and Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb. Recent engagements include recital performances for the FACE concert series at the Centrum Performing Arts Center in Houston, and the Vianden Music Festival in Luxembourg.
Dr. Renfro’s scholarship focus is early music opera pedagogy, undergraduate opera pedagogy, and the dynamics of opera collaboration among artistic organizations, having presented numerous sessions for the National Opera Association and TEXOMA Regional NATS conventions. She has also published various articles in the Opera Journal.
Dr. Renfro is the co-founder of Opera del West, a regional opera company based in the Boston area, and an executive board member of Greater Worcester Opera, also in the Boston area.