The nationally recognized Ole Miss Opera Theatre provides the opportunity for skill development in music, drama, movement, and design specifically related to opera performance. Fully staged productions include a scenes program or a chamber opera each fall semester and a full-length opera with orchestra each spring. In June, an operetta or musical is produced in conjunction with the Oxford Shakespeare Festival. The UM Opera Theatre's production of The Magic Flute was the first opera to be performed in the Gertrude C. Ford Performing Arts Center in 2003.
The University of Mississippi Opera Theatre Ensemble tours within the state and region and has appeared in regional opera festivals, live radio, and at national conventions of the National Opera Association (NOA). Participation in the ensemble is open to any student enrolled at the University of Mississippi regardless of his or her academic major.
Awards for the ensemble include first place in the NOA Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition in San Antonio, Texas in 2011 and first place in the NOA Opera Video Production Competition in 1998. The UM Opera Theatre presented the American premiere of The Death of the Hired Man by UM alumna Nancy Van de Vate in 1999.