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USD Opera to perform ‘Too Many Sopranos’ on May 3-4

VERMILLION, S.D. -- University of South Dakota Opera will present “Too Many Sopranos” with a 7:30 p.m. performance on Saturday, May 3 and a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday, May 4 at Aalfs Auditorium in Slagle Hall.

“Too Many Sopranos” tells the story of four singers that arrive at the gates of heaven to learn that there’s only room for one soprano in the heavenly choir. Each singer represents a traditional operatic type – the Wagnerian powerhouse, the flirty ingénue, the sweet but dimwitted singer and the grave grand dame. St. Peter tells the sopranos that if there were more tenors and basses in the choir, all of them would be welcome. But in order for them to be able to enter heaven, the sopranos must first journey to hell to redeem the men and bring them back. The family-friendly show is a great way to introduce young or new opera fans to the genre and seasoned opera aficionados will enjoy Penhorwood’s humorous take on operatic tropes and stereotypes.

Cast members are Brian Rasmussen of Sioux City, Iowa as St. Peter; Josh Rolling of Le Mars, Iowa as Gabriel; Hannah Lambertz of Yankton, S.D. as Miss Titmouse; Jordyn Bangasser of Sioux Falls, S.D. as Madame Pompous;  Mickey McGrann of Sioux Falls as Dame Doleful; Ashley Ballou-Bonnema of Sioux Falls as Just Jeanette; James Cooper of Lake Ozark, Mo. As Nelson Deadly; Seth Pierce of Sioux Falls as Enrico Carouser; Brody Krogman of Sioux Falls as Unnamed Bass; Laura Bertschinger of Creighton, Neb. as Sandman and Sam Schroeder of Le Mars, Iowa as Orson. The opera orchestra includes 13 USD students and faculty members.

“After producing dramas for the past two years, we are very excited to return to comedy,” said Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A., assistant professor of music, stage and music director for “Too Many Sopranos. “This show is hilarious – jam-packed with jokes, pop culture references, sight gags, and physical comedy. There is definitely something for everyone.”

General admission tickets for “Too Many Sopranos” will be sold at the door ($10 adults/$5 students with I.D.). The 90 minute opera is performed in English and includes supertitles for ease-of-understanding. 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, Knudson 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