Queen new LSU music, drama department dean

Todd Queen’s opera background strikes the perfect balance between music and theater.

That’s important as he begins the fall semester as the new dean of LSU’s College of Music and Dramatic Arts.

Queen landed the job in May and won final approval from the LSU Board of Supervisors on July 1. He and wife Kelin spent part of the summer making the move from Colorado to Baton Rouge with their three children, son Cory, 18; and daughters Abigail, 11, and Madison, 5.

Now it’s time for school, LSU-style.

“I’ve known about LSU’s storied tradition in music and dramatic arts for a number of years,” Queen says, then adds, “Go Tigers!”

But he’s more specific than that.

“I spell it right — g-e-a-u-x,” Queen says, laughing.

Queen comes to LSU from Colorado State University, where he was a professor of voice and chaired the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance in the College of Liberal Arts. And though he is a first-time resident of Baton Rouge, he’s no stranger to Louisiana.

Queen’s wife grew up in Pearl River in southeast Louisiana, where she graduated from Pearl River High School. He’s visited his wife’s family numerous times.

“This is a homecoming for her,” Queen says. “But it’s a big change for me. Coming to LSU means being at a flagship institution. LSU values the arts, and a dean’s position here is very attractive. There’s so much history and tradition in its music and theater programs, and my goal is for the college to become one of the top 10 performing arts programs in the nation.”

As for his education, Queen earned his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and his master’s and doctorate degrees from the Eastman School of Music in New York. In addition to Colorado State, he has held faculty positions at Alfred University, Houghton College, Syracuse University, North Dakota State University and Operafestival di Roma.

Queen has been a member at Colorado State since 2001. He joined the university’s voice faculty as director of Colorado State Opera Theatre. Queen’s voice students have been selected for young artist programs in the United States and abroad.

Queen also served as artistic director of Opera Fort Collins from 2004 to 2011 and is co-founder of Opera Orvieto, a three-week summer intensive Italian operatic experience, where he served as artistic and stage director. He has produced and directed more than 50 opera and musical theater productions during his career.

Queen also keeps his own performing career active with faculty and guest recitals, master classes and solo engagements with international and regional opera companies, orchestras, choruses and concert series. He has performed with East China Normal University, Operafestival di Roma, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Sacramento Opera, Portland Opera Repertory Theatre, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, The Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra, Opera Fort Collins and Longmont Symphony.

“My opera experience translates well into this administration,” he says. “All parts of music and dramatic arts make up opera, and as a director, my job was to bring it all together to create a beautiful production. And being dean is similar to that — bringing it together to produce top programs.”