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USD Opera Awarded Honorable Mention in National Competition

USD opera company USD Opera presents "The Marriage of Figaro"

VERMILLION, S.D. – USD Opera's production of "The Marriage of Figaro" was awarded an honorable mention for the American Prize in Opera Performance on June 21. The American Prize is a series of national competitions that recognizes professional, university-level and community performances.

USD Opera's previous accolades include being awarded second place in opera performance in 2016 and 2013 at the collegiate level, as well as a third place award for collegiate opera production from the National Opera Association in 2012.

The production's artistic team included stage and music director Tracelyn Gesteland, conductor David Holdhusen, technical director and designer Brian Adams and stage manager Josh Rolling.

“It is truly exciting for USD Opera to receive national recognition for the seventh year in a row," Gesteland said. “I am honored and humbled for our opera program and for my work as a director to be included in the company of some major operatic powerhouses across the country. That inclusion speaks highly of our music students and their dedication to their art. I am very proud of all associated with this production.”

In addition, Gesteland was awarded honorable mention in the stage direction category of the American Prize for her direction of "The Marriage of Figaro."

View the full list of winners

About USD Opera

USD Opera is a multiple national award-winning program. Through the program, training and performance opportunities for students interested in the art of opera are available. Every semester, students enrolled in opera workshop have the opportunity to study and perform operatic literature from the common practice period as well as contemporary lyric theater.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


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