Black Hills State University will host the 15th annual Gala Celebration of the Arts Saturday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m. in Clare and Josef Meier Recital Hall on the BHSU campus.

The Gala is the opening event for the Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Institute, a two-week program for advanced singers from across the United States. The program will feature short selections from the worlds of music, dance, and literature with talented performers from the Black Hills area. Included in the program will be the two first-place winners from the Young Performers Competition held June 14.

Ballet dancers from the Academy of Dance Arts in Rapid City will perform selections choreographed by director Julia McFarland. The program also includes a scene from Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite; scenes from Pinafore and Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan, and a reading from Mark Twain’s writing.  A special reception will follow the performance. Tickets will be available at the door for adults at $10 and $8 for children and seniors.

The Opera Theatre Institute is directed by Johanna Meier, an internationally-acclaimed opera singer who has worked tirelessly to help further arts and culture in her hometown of Spearfish. She is committed to enhancing the education of career-oriented musicians whose goal is performance. Meier brings her many years of stage experience to help students reach their goals. Many of her professional colleagues in the opera world come to join in the endeavor as faculty and staff members.

The 20 participants come from across the United States and are selected by special audition. The opera program culminates in performances of opera scenes which have been staged and coached by directors from major national opera companies.

Performances will include Opera Scenes Friday, June 28 in Meier Recital Hall and Carmen Saturday, June 29 in the Woodburn Hall Theatre; both at 7:30 p.m. A pre-opera lecture by Johanna Meier will be held Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door. On Saturday, a catered buffet dinner is available at 5:30 p.m. in the Meier Hall Atrium. Dinner tickets are $10, and reservations are required. Call 642-6420 or contact
Terri.Bjorum@BHSU.edu for reservations and information.

 For more information about the Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Institute visit www.BHSU.edu/Opera.