The USD Opera offers students the opportunity to bring music and drama to life on the stage. The multiple national award-winning program trains performers to become believable and compelling singing-actors in operatic literature from the Baroque period through the contemporary lyric theater.
Every year, USD Opera produces a minimum of two productions. The fall production consists of a children’s opera, one-act or scenes program and includes outreach opportunities in the region. In the spring, USD Opera produces a full main stage opera with orchestra.
Opera students find out who they are as artists as they receive individual attention and personalized guidance from dedicated, highly skilled and acclaimed faculty. Find your voice, unlock your potential and discover your passion for a lifetime.
Step into the spotlight!
Auditions for the fall production occur in the first week of classes in the fall semester. Spring production auditions take place in early December. For most of the auditions, an aria or song of your choice is requested and a pianist is provided. Audition information is posted in the Fine Arts building, but the auditions are open to all students. If cast, students must register for 1 credit of Opera Workshop (MUEN 107/307/707).
Rehearsals take place from 2 - 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, however, for some roles, M-W-F or T-Th availability may be acceptable at the discretion of the director. Additional rehearsals may be required in the evening and on weekends, particularly in the spring semester.
Upcoming Productions 2020-2021:
- "CoOPERAtion COVID-19,” a virtual original comedy featuring the music of Mozart, Puccini, Menotti and more – Saturday, November 21st at 7:30 PM only at www.usd.edu/livemusic
Directed by Dana Carlson-Kottke, M.M.
- Annual Opera Gala, a virtual program featuring USD Opera students, alumni, and faculty – Saturday, January 23rd at 7:30 PM on www.youtube.com/live
Sponsored by the Friends of USD Opera
- “Zoom Speed Dating Tonight,” a virtual comedy composed by Michael Ching – Saturday, May 1st at 7:30 PM only at www.usd.edu/livemusic
Directed by Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A.
- Opera Pop-Ups, live outreach performances of arias and duets outdoors in Vermillion and the surrounding area – Friday, April 30 through Wednesday, May 5: Exact dates, times and locations TBD
For questions or more information, please contact:
The USD Opera has won national awards and received recognition every year since 2011:
|2019||The Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music||Finalist|
|2019||The American Prize in Opera Performance||Semifinalist|
|2018||The American Prize in Opera Performance||Semifinalist|
|2017||The American Prize in Opera Performance||Honorable Mention|
|2016||The American Prize in Opera Performance||Second Place|
|2015||The American Prize in Opera Performance||Semifinalist|
|2014||The American Prize in Opera Performance||Finalist|
|2013||The American Prize in Opera Performance||Second Place|
|2012||National Opera Association||Third Place|
|2011||National Opera Association’s national convention||Featured Performers|