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In cooperation with the university's policy regarding the recent health risk, "The Gondoliers," scheduled for May 2 & 3, has been canceled. Thank you for your understanding during this time.

The Gondoliers graphic

The USD Opera presents "The Gondoliers" Saturday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 3 at 3 p.m. in Aalfs Auditorium inside Slagle Hall on USD's campus.

Gilbert & Sullivan’s "The Gondoliers" is the story of two charming Venetian gondoliers, Giuseppe and Marco, who are informed that due to an error of identity when they were young boys, one of them is the heir to the throne of Barataria. Matters are complicated when the Duke and Duchess of Plaza Toro reveal that their beautiful daughter, Casilda, was married to the future king as an infant. The problem? Giuseppe and Marco are both newly married to the contadine Tessa and Gianetta, and Casilda is in love with her father’s attendant, Luiz. Since its premiere in 1889, the operetta has delighted audiences with its memorable score by Sullivan, and its political satire, cleverly tucked into Gilbert’s witty plotline.

General admission tickets are available for credit card purchase online or at the door one hour before curtain (cash or check only):

  • $15 Adults
  • $12 Senior Citizens (62+)
  • $5 USD Students with I.D.
  • $5 Youth (K-12) 

Give to USD Opera

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!

View Photos of Past Performances


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 2019-2020:

  • "Many Moons" (A fantasy children’s opera) – Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 24 at 3 p.m. Colton Recital Hall (in the Lee Center for the Fine Arts). Directed by Nicholas Provenzale, D.M.A.
  • Gilbert & Sullivan’s "The Gondoliers" – May 2 at 7:30 p.m. and May 3 at 3 p.m. Aalfs Auditorium (inside Slagle Hall). Directed by Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A.

For questions or more information, please contact:

Name Department & Office Contact
Tracelyn Gesteland
  • Professor, Voice/Opera
W M Lee Center for Fine Arts 127

The USD Opera has won national awards and received recognition every year since 2011:

National Awards

 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