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Members from the 2008 Johanna Meier Opera Theater Institute take part in an operatic performance. The opera is the only summer opera program in the region, attracts students and instructors from around the world.

Several operatic events, performances, and lectures will be held at Black Hills State University in June during the annual Black Hills Summer Institute of the Arts.

The June performances begin Friday, June 12 with the Young Performers Competition at 7 p.m. in the Clare and Josef Meier Recital Hall. There will be two competitions: one for ages 9-14 and the second for ages 15-20. Tickets for this public performance are $5.

Twenty students from 13 states are registered for the Johanna Meier Opera Theater Institute that is held every summer on the BHSU campus. World renowned faculty mentors from New York and New Mexico as well as South Dakota offer concentrated study in a supportive environment with intensive individual attention in an ensemble atmosphere for the two-week program. These students and their faculty will present several public performances giving residents of the area a rare opportunity to experience live opera scenes on stage.

Faculty and students of the Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Institute will present the 10th anniversary opening gala, a celebration of the arts, Saturday, June 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Clare and Josef Meier Recital Hall. Dance, theatre, and literature selections will be performed. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for students and seniors.

The Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Institute students will present a selection of opera arias Saturday, June 20 at the Clare and Josef Meier Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. This event is open to the public at no charge, however scholarship donations will be accepted.

Two “Behind the Scenes” lectures are scheduled to provide an insight into opera and vocal competition. The first “A Master Class,” is scheduled for June 17 at 1:30 p.m. at the Clare and Josef Meier Recital Hall. The second lecture “From the Podium – The Conductor’s Task” will be Wednesday, June 24 at 1:30 p.m.

An evening of opera scenes will be presented Friday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Clare and Josef Meier Recital Hall. This program will feature costumed performers presenting a variety of opera scenes. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $7 for students and seniors. There is also a pre-opera lecture at 7 p.m. to provide viewers with details of the performance.

The final event of the month, “A night at the Opera” will be presented Saturday, June 27 in the Woodburn Auditorium. Students of the Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Institute will perform the first act of “La traviata” and the final act of “La Boheme.” There is a catered pre-performance dinner at 5:30 p.m. at the Clare and Josef Meier Hall. The cost for the performance is $15 for the general public and $8 for children under 18 and seniors. The cost for dinner is an additional $15.

These events are sponsored by BHSU and the South Dakota Arts Council. For more information or to purchase tickets for these events call Shelby Cihak at 642-6420.