USD students to perform at National Opera convention

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Eight students from The University of South Dakota will perform scenes from the children’s opera “The Princess and the Pea” at the 56th annual National Opera Association’s national convention in San Antonio, Texas next month.

Amanda Rich of South Sioux City, Neb., Susanne Harmon of Sioux Falls, S.D., Kristin Edwards of Aberdeen, S.D., Ashley Evelyn Mazur of Paullina, Iowa, Ryan Landis of Rapid City, S.D., and Cody Perk, Matt Black and Scott Arens of Yankton, S.D., will perform during a session on “Opera for Young Audiences in the University Opera Workshop Curriculum” under the direction of Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A., assistant professor of voice and opera at the department of music at USD. USD students performed “The Princess and the Pea,” by American composer Mary Carol Warwick last fall during an opera workshop tour for elementary students in southeast South Dakota.

In addition to directing the USD performance at the national convention, Gesteland, was selected by audition to perform as a featured soloist in the National Opera Association’s cabaret performance of “It’s a Grand Night for Singing: The Music of Richard Rodgers.”

Founded in 1955 under the auspices of the National Music Council, the National Opera Association seeks to promote a greater appreciation of opera and music theatre, to enhance pedagogy and performing activities and to increase performance opportunities by supporting projects that improve the score and quality of opera. The 2011 convention, which is Jan. 5-9, includes sessions on voice, acting, movement, collaborative piano, master classes and a keynote address by Darren Keith Woods of the Fort Worth Opera.