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American Prize Awards USD Opera Second Place

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota won second place from the American Prize in Opera Performance 2016-2017 for its rendition of Aaron Copland’s “The Tender Land.”

“It is a tremendous honor for our opera program to be recognized by The American Prize. I am extremely proud of our cast, orchestra, and crew,” said Tracelyn Gesteland, USD voice professor. “The fact that we are able to compete with powerhouses such as the University of Michigan, SUNY-Purchase, and Florida State among others, speaks volumes about the talent and level of commitment that we have here at USD. I am confident that this award will help to further USD Opera’s growing reputation as the collegiate opera hub of the Dakotas.”

The American Prize is a non-profit organization hosting national competitions in the performing arts. Runner-up to the University of Michigan, USD Opera was a finalist in 2014 and second in 2013 for the American Prize in Opera Performance. It also won third place in division three of the National Opera Association’s Opera Production Competition in 2012.

USD Opera performs Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus April 29-30. For more information, please visit USD Opera.


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 84 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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News