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USD Opera Production to Focus on Plight of Refugees for Spring Production

VERMILLION, SD – The struggle of freedom from persecution for refugees amid the maddening nature of an unrelenting bureaucracy will be the focal point of USD Opera’s spring production of “The Consul” at the end of this month in Aalfs Auditorium.

The politically charged thriller follows Magda, a refugee pleading for a visa to save her persecuted family, who is confronted with the consular bureaucracy where “your name is a number,” and “your story is a case.” The drama won both the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical and the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Prior to the show there will be discussions led by representatives from the Mary J. Treglia Community House of Sioux City, which will focus on themes featured in the opera, including the struggle for freedom from persecution as seen through the lens of the experiences of immigrant families now living in the Siouxland area within the context of the global refugee crisis.

Tracelyn Gesteland, the director of the production, said the cast includes 14 students and the orchestra consists of 14 players.

“It is truly an honor to work on a production of this magnitude with such an incredibly talented cast at a time when the universal themes of this opera are sadly relevant to today’s world,” she said. “This opera will definitely touch people's’ hearts and hopefully, make them think long after the curtain has closed.”

Show info:
The Consul by Gian Carlo Menotti (sung in English with supertitles)
Saturday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 29 at 3 p.m.
Aalfs Auditorium in Slagle Hall
Tickets available by cash or check at the door:  $12 Adults/ $6 for students with I.D.

Pre-show discussion info:
Saturday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 29 at 2 p.m.
Room 312 in Slagle Hall

About USD Opera
USD Opera is a multiple national award-winning program, most recently winning 2nd place for The American Prize in Opera Performance in 2017. 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