Presented by The U’s Department of Music and co-sponsored by First Bank & Trust, the festival, co-directed by USD voice professors Tracelyn Gesteland and Rick Piersall, is an exciting new training program for young artists. Participants in this first-ever event were selected by audition and include high school students from the quad-state area as well as singers pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in music.

Daily activities scheduled are voice lessons, acting and movement workshops, master classes, seminars in music business, and scene work. The festival will culminate in two performances of staged scenes from some of the world’s most famous operas, operettas and musicals. These performances are at 2 p.m. on Friday, July 31 and Saturday, Aug. 1 at Colton Recital Hall, which is located at Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts. Friday’s performance will be an abridged presentation of lighthearted scenes geared toward an audience of children while the Aug. 1 show will feature scenes from Mozart to Broadway. Both shows are free to the public.

For more information about the festival, including biographies of Gesteland and Piersall, please visit the Vocal Arts Festival Web site at

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