Eric McCluskey is an assistant professor of music at the University of Evansville. He currently teaches applied voice and the vocal diction courses. Prior to coming to the University of Evansville, Dr. McCluskey was an assistant professor of music at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia where he taught applied voice, vocal diction, song literature, and second semester of vocal pedagogy. He holds a doctor of music degree from the Jacobs School of Music where he studied with Distinguished Professor, Timothy Noble. His Masters of Music and Bachelors of Music come from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Additionally, McCluskey received training while participating in the Merola Program with the San Francisco Opera, the Musicians Club of America in Franklin, North Carolina, and at the Chautauqua Institute in New York.
Before beginning a teaching career McCluskey sang professionally and continues to perform as often as his teaching will allow today. His career spans over thirty years and began with Opera Theatre of St. Louis in 1985 singing the role of Fiorello in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Leonard Slatkin, conducting. After completing a Masters degree in 1986 his career began to escalate and by the early 1990’s he had sung with opera companies across the United States. His performances include touring with San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theater and two tours with New York City Opera’s National Company. He has sung side by side with some of the great ladies of opera today including: Susan Graham, Anna Marie Martinez, and Christine Brewer. McCluskey has also worked with some of the leading conductors, coaches, and stage directors including the already mentioned Leonard Slatkin, John Nelson, Donald Palumbo, Stephen Lord and the late Colin Graham.
Dr. McCluskey has sung a few world premieres including: Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Singing Child with the Spoleto Festival USA and Opera Omaha’s performances of Weisgall’s Gardens of Adonis and Casken’s Golem. His career has afforded him some unique performances as one might expect including singing with the Paris Opera Ballet, Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer. McCluskey sang the performance with the orchestra in the pit while the international ballet star, Rudolf Nureyev danced. Dr. McCluskey has also enjoyed performances on board the HMS Sagafjord and Vistafjord on three different occasions. Several awards helped jump start his career including: the William Matheus Sullivan Award, the Richard Gaddes Award from Opera Theater of Saint Louis, the Merola Opera Awards, and the Young Artist Competition from the Women’s Association of the St. Louis Symphony Society. He also credits competitions in which he competed as a finalist in support of his career including: The Bruce Yarnell Competition and the Zachary Competition.
Dr. McCluskey while completing his doctoral degree at the Jacobs School of Music began building a web site for the songs of Gerald Finzi and one can now visit an expanded version of the site at: www.finzisong.com