The College of Performing Arts welcomes three new music and theatre faculty for fall semester 2021.

Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music

Octavio Cárdenas
Director, Opera Chapman

Octavio Cárdenas is a critically acclaimed opera stage director, having led a wide range of productions in opera venues throughout the United States, including Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Fort Worth Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Minnesota Opera, and UrbanArias in Washington, D.C. He previously served as director of opera for Baylor University. He also served as the head of directing staff at Des Moines Metro Opera and served on the directing staff at Chautauqua Opera.

“I look forward to collaborating with our students, faculty and staff at Chapman,” Cárdenas said. “As a director, I enjoy presenting opera ‘outside the box.’ As an educator, I strive to give the student singer an opportunity to learn the basis of the art form but also to empower them to take chances and be creative. I want to help my students find the connection between the stories told in opera and our everyday lives.”

Cárdenas will direct Opera Chapman’s two productions this year, beginning with the fall scenes production titled “Opera en fuego: a fiery kaleidoscope of Spanish-language operatic scenes,” October 21 – 23 in Salmon Recital Hall. Tickets go on sale September 15, 2021.


Mathieu Girardet
Director, University Wind Symphony

Mathieu Giardet brings his extensive teaching, conducting and performance experience to Chapman, having led courses in performance, music history, and music theory. He has performed in several Southern California ensembles, such as the La Mirada Symphony and Orange County Wind Symphony and conducts the wind symphony at Irvine Valley College.

“I am honored to have been given the opportunity to collaborate with the students and faculty at Chapman University this year,” said Girardet. “I look forward to working with the University Wind Symphony and bringing live music back to our campus!”

Girardet kicks off the fall semester directing Chapman’s University Wind Symphony in a joint concert with The Chapman Orchestra in Musco Center for the Arts on Friday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to the concert, which is billed as “an evening of remembrance and joy,” will be available beginning September 15, 2021.

Department of Theatre

Karole Foreman

An award-winning actor, singer, and playwright, Karole Foreman has a rich career portfolio spanning stage, film, and television. She most recently enjoyed a recurring guest star role as Keisha Williams in Good Trouble (Freeform), as well as a role in the new CBS comedy, Broke, starring Pauley Perrette and Jaime Camil. She also reprised her role as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill with Ebony Rep in Los Angeles. The show made an encore performance after its successful run at International City Theatre in Long Beach, CA.

Ms. Foreman makes her Chapman directorial debut in the Department of Theatre’s fall production of Tartuffe, playwright Molière’s comedic satire on all forms of fraud committed in the name of religion. The performance will be staged in Chapman’s Waltmar Theatre, October 7 – 9 and 14 – 16, with tickets available beginning September 15, 2021.