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USD Opera presents two performances of ‘The Medium’

VERMILLION, S.D. -- University of South Dakota Opera will present the classic Menotti opera, “The Medium,” with 7:30 p.m. performances on Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20 at Aalfs Auditorium in Slagle Hall.

A psychological thriller, the opera features a con-woman posing as a medium with her daughter and a mute gypsy boy to extract money from bereaved parents seeking to connect with the spirits of their children. At a séance, the woman panics when she feels a pair of hands on her throat.

Friday cast members are Katie Pacza of Holstein, Iowa as Baba/Madame Flora, Laura Bertschinger of Creighton, Neb. as Monica, Kenneth Granle of Mantorville, Minn. as Toby, Hannah Lambertz of Yankton, S.D. as Mrs. Gobineau, Brian Rasmussen of Sioux City, Iowa as Mr. Gobineau, and Kristen Sage of Sioux Falls, S.D. as Mrs. Nolan. Saturday's cast features Pacza as Baba/Madame Flora, Natalie Campbell of Sioux Falls as Monica, Cody Perk of Yankton as Toby, Ashley Hogarth of Sioux Falls as Mrs. Gobineau, Zach Rohlwing of Des Moines, Iowa, and Jordyn Bangasser of Sioux Falls as Mrs. Nolan. The opera orchestra includes 14 USD students and faculty and members of the community.

“Since winning third prize in last year’s National Opera Association’s Collegiate Opera Production Competition, the students are highly motivated to make this production the best one yet,” said Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A., assistant professor of music, stage and music director for “The Medium.”

David Holdhusen, Ph.D., director of choral activities at USD, is the musical conductor for the production while Jared Mogen of Sioux Falls, S.D. is assistant conductor. Choreographer is Rebecca Hebda of Yankton and the stage manager is Joshua Rolling of Merrill, Iowa.

General admission tickets for “The Medium” will be sold at the door ($10 adults/$5 students with ID). The hour-long opera is performed In English and includes supertitles for ease-of-understanding. The performance contains mature themes not suitable for children. For more information, please contact the USD Department of Music at (605) 677-5274, email or visit the department's website at


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News