Opera Goes to College — and Plans an April Concert with Valencia Students

Orlando, FL – Nothing’s better than learning from the pros. And that’s exactly what Opera Orlando and Valencia College have in store for the college’s voice students this spring. Two of Opera Orlando’s stars from their upcoming production of Rossini’s “Cinderella” — baritone Craig Irvin and soprano Samantha Barnes Daniel — will teach master classes at Valencia College during March and then return to the college in April for a joint recital with their students.

The joint concert, “Opera Goes to College,” will be held on Sunday, April 8 at 2 p.m. in Valencia’s Performing Arts Center, which is located on Valencia’s East Campus, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando.

Tickets are $25 for general admission and $50 for VIP admission, which includes a “meet the artists” reception after the concert in Valencia’s new School of Arts & Entertainment. Guests at the VIP reception will also receive a guided tour of the new facility.

Proceeds from the concert will support future arts programming for Opera Orlando and Valencia College. For information or tickets, please email boxoffice@valenciacollege.edu or call 407-582-2900.

About the artists:

Samantha Barnes Daniel earned degrees in vocal performance, french horn and English literature at the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Samantha Barnes Daniel of Opera Orlando

Barnes Daniel studied at Chautauqua Opera, and joined the Pullin Opera Studio as a resident artist at Arizona Opera in 2010. She was a member of the Opera Tampa Singers from 2012-14.

She has twice won first place at the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions for regional competitions – and both years she continued on to the national semifinals on the Metropolitan Opera Stage.

Her recent roles include several roles with Florida Opera Theater and the Orlando Philharmonic, including Mrs. Gobineau in “The Medium,” Ciesca in “Gianni Schicchi,” Flora in “La Traviata,” and First Lady in “The Magic Flute.” Roles with Opera Orlando include Clorinda in “Cinderella” and Maya in their upcoming Orlando Fringe opera, “Three Way.”


Craig Irvin completed his undergraduate study at Simpson College in Iowa, under the tutelage of Dr. Robert L. Larsen.

He served for two years as an artist in residence with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he performed as Zuniga in “Carmen,” Theseus in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Sam in “A Masked Ball,” Imperial Commissioner in “Madama Butterfly,” Doctor/Professor in Lulu, and Ashby in “La fanciulla del West.”

Craig Irvin of Opera Orlando

A winner of the Heinz Rehfuss Singing Actor Award sponsored by Orlando Opera, Mr. Irvin spent a season with the company as a resident artist, and then stayed on with the company a second year as a main stage artist.  During his tenure there with Orlando Opera, he was featured as the Pirate King in “Pirates of Penzance,” Abimelech in “Samson et Dalilah,” Figaro in “Le nozze di Figaro,” Elder Ott in “Susannah” and “Angelotti” in Tosca.  While in Orlando, Irvin also sang the role of Gaston in more than 700 performances of Beauty and the Beast at Walt Disney World.

Irvin has also performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wolf Trap Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, the Los Angeles Opera, Minnesota Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Cincinnati Opera, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and the Nashville Opera.