The Johanna Meier Opera Theater Institute, now in its thirteenth year, will present two opera performances this weekend in Clare and Josef Meier Recital Hall on the Black Hills State University campus in Spearfish.

The Friday, June 24 performance begins at 7:30 p.m. and includes excerpts from The Bartered Bride and Tartuffe, sung in English and fully costumed and staged. The Saturday, June 25 performance begins at 7:30 p.m. and includes excerpts from a variety of operas including The Magic Flute and The Cunning Little Vixen.

Aspiring opera singers from all over the United States are selected for the two-week workshop. Dr. Johanna Meier, world-renowned operatic soprano and artistic director, collaborates with other opera professionals in providing students with pre-professional operatic experiences. Meier will present a pre-opera talk for both events at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door, $15 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.

Stage direction for the scenes will be provided by Bruce Donnell who has directed operas at the Metropolitan Opera and the Santa Fe Opera since 1975. Operatic conductor John Stewart is a former opera professional who teaches voice and opera at the University of St. Louis. The accompanists are professional pianists from New York. Several area students are involved in the Institute, including Carissa Scroggins (lyric soprano) from Rapid City, Tyler Raad (tenor) from Spearfish, and Kirk Hauck (baritone) from Spearfish. There is also an opera chorus comprised of adults from the Black Hills area, conducted by chorus master Dr. Jonathan Nero, assistant professor of music at BHSU.

The Opera Institute offers multi-level instruction for varying stages of performance development, through concentrated study in a supportive environment and intensive individual attention offered by nationally-renowned faculty. In an ensemble atmosphere, student camaraderie develops, as well as an understanding of and rapport with colleagues, coaches, and those in charge of opera production. Classes in the program meet six days a week in preparation for a series of public performances. Participants in the program are urged to stretch creative potential with emphasis on individual expression.

The Institute is funded in part by the South Dakota Arts Council, BHSU, and private donations. Contact Cami at (605) 642-6652 or email Cami.Dohman@BHSU.edu for more information. To learn more about the Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Institute visit www.BHSU.edu/Opera.