USD Opera bridges departments merges talent for Dido Aeneas
“Dido and Aeneas, ” presented by the USD Opera in conjunction with the USD Theatre, USD Chamber Singers and USD Chamber Orchestra, features a mythic queen, her lover and an evil Sorceress bent on revenge.
“This opera is our largest-scale production to date,” noted USD Opera Director Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A., assistant professor of music-voice/opera. “Modern audiences will enjoy our updated adaptation of Henry Purcell’s classic dramatic masterpiece. This production relays the story of the opera not only with beautiful singing, but also through the use of ballet and modern dance to enhance the narrative.”
The plot begins as young Queen Dido of Carthage, played by Natalie Campbell of Sioux Falls, S.D., mourns her late husband and is pursued by the Trojan Prince, Aeneas, played by Cody Perk of Yankton, S.D. In wooing Dido, Aeneas spurns the affections of the Sorceress, played by Laura Kuschel of St. Paul, Minn., resulting in dire consequences.
With choreography by sophomore music major Rebecca Hebda of Yankton, S.D., the opera also features Marissa Morris from Rapid City, S.D. as Ballet Dido, Kenneth Granle from Mantorville, Minn., as Ballet Aeneas, and Chaya Gordon-Bland, assistant professor of theatre, in the role of Ballet Sorceress.
In addition to combining the forces of voice and dance, USD Opera is blazing forward in new partnerships with the USD Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Marie-Elaine Gagnon, D.M.A., and Eunho Kim, D.M.A., both assistant professors of music at USD, as well as the USD Chamber Singers, directed by David Holdhusen, Ph.D., assistant professor of music. In addition to preparing the Chamber Singers to serve as the opera chorus, Holdhusen will also conduct the orchestra for this performance. The production will also feature scenic elements created by the USD Theatre Department.
“The collaboration between USD Opera, the Chamber Singers and the Chamber Orchestra is an excellent opportunity to provide useful and invaluable experience to the student musicians within each ensemble,” added Gesteland.
General admission tickets for “Dido & Aeneas” will be sold at the door ($10 adults/$5 students with I.D.). The hour-long opera is performed in English and includes supertitles for ease-of-understanding. The production also contains mature themes that are not intended for children. For more information, please contact the USD Department of Music at (605) 677-5274, email email@example.com or visit the department’s website at www.usd.edu/music.
You May Also Like
AUSTIN, Texas — South Dakota senior guard Ciara Duffy was one of five Division I women's basketball players selected to the Academic All-America first team selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Duffy earns Academic All-America honors for the third consecutive season.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — All five South Dakota starters scored in double-figures and the Coyotes completed perhaps the greatest regular season in Summit League history with a 63-58 win against rival and second-seeded South Dakota State in the tournament championship game Tuesday inside the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
VERMILLION, S.D. – Two University of South Dakota faculty members are partnering with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Sioux Falls agency Call to Freedom to better understand what sex trafficking survivors think about the services they receive — and to learn what services they find most helpful.