An unexpected stage

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For professional opera singer Craig Colclough ’04, a diverse liberal arts education set the stage for a surprising career.

Today, Craig Colclough ’04 travels the globe performing world-class opera, but just over a decade ago he was a first-year student who had never considered becoming an opera singer. A cellist initially, Colclough fell in love with musical theater in high school, which eventually brought him to Redlands. When Colclough learned the University no longer offered a musical theater major, he turned to the Johnston Center, which introduced him to wide-ranging disciplines and expanded
his thinking.

Colclough credits a strong liberal arts education with his evolution both at the University and beyond. “I absolutely fell in love with writing my own curriculum and collaborating with professors,” he said. “I also studied world religion and took a sculpture class, I was able to do a lot of cross-disciplinary things that helped form me as an artist and human being.”

After graduation, Colclough stayed at the University to continue studying opera and allow his voice to mature. Colclough and his wife, Amanda Gillette Colclough ’03, were working on their master’s degrees in vocal performance when Colclough was hired by the LA Opera. After performing various roles in Los Angeles, he later joined the Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artist Studio and became a Filene Young Artist at the Wolf Trap Opera Company. Over the years, he’s played the lead in “Don Pasquale” with the Arizona Opera; Jack Rance in “La Fancuilla del West” with the English National Opera; and the title role in “Falstaff” for the San Francisco Opera.

“I love the music and getting to act,” he said. “I enjoy creating and moving and thinking artistically. It’s a full-body experience.”

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