College Light Opera Company: Where Broadway Comes to Cape Cod


I guess it’s a pretty safe bet to say that what the Cape Cod Baseball League is to the MLB, the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth is to professional theater. Since 1969, CLOC has provided quality entertainment to Cape Cod and brought Broadway to little old Falmouth, Mass. Boasting talented and accomplished alumni, from opera singers to Broadway stars, CLOC is the largest resident theater company in the United States. Each summer, some 32 actors/singers, 18 musicians in the orchestra, and 12 techies work tirelessly around the clock to create nine shows performed at the Highfield Theater in Falmouth.

Before each season even begins, the directors of the company audition well over a thousand applicants to fill just 32 spots. Potential candidates are asked to sing 16 bars of music from a Broadway show: one up-tempo the other a ballad-type. They are also asked to prepare a monologue and a piece from an opera that must be sung in English. These preparations must be made into a video and sent to the company, complete with a headshot and resume, plus two letters of recommendation. Eventually the company, and nine shows, are selected for the season. This particular season has featured both opera and musicals including Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Yeomen of the Guard and (one of my favorites) Guys and Dolls. To make these classic works come to life, the company relies on actors from all over the country—and all over the globe. Some artists come from local colleges such as BU, Harvard, and Emerson while others come all the way from the U.K. and Canada. Of course schools in the U.S. such as Millikin University, Ithaca College, and Carnegie Melon University that boast strong performing arts schools have sent students to the program in recent years.

In addition to a very talented group of young artists, CLOC also has an incredibly accomplished staff to help mold the talents of each individual actor. Each individual show at CLOC has its own individual stage director and its own individual music director, in addition to producers, choreographers, costume designers, set designers, lighting technicians, and stagehands. Like any other theater company, the producers are in charge of deciding the season’s repertoire and making sure that every seat in the house is filled at every single show. Judging by the way the tickets have sold this year, it looks they’ve certainly done their job incredibly well. The stage and music directors are incredibly accomplished. They each boast years in the opera and musical theater world and have performed and taught and lectured all over the world and still managed to spend their summers doing what they love at CLOC this summer on the Cape.

With just a few short weeks before the 2016 season ends, you should definitely check out Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. In fact, readers should stay tuned for my review of Beauty and the Beast coming at the end of the week.

Christian Papadellis is one of CCB’s summer interns for 2016.  He grew-up spending his summers on Cape Cod and is currently entering his junior year at Colby College in Waterville, Maine where he studies English Literature and Art History.    


  1. Maryann Scali says

    A great experience to become a member of the audience.
    What talent!!!

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