NSU Opera Workshop to present ‘A Hand of Bridge’ and ‘Gallantry’ productions March 15-16

ABERDEEN, S.D. – The Northern State University School of Fine Arts Opera Workshop will present “A Hand of Bridge” by Samuel Barber and “Gallantry” by Douglas Moore, March 15-16 at 7:30 p.m. in the NSU Krikac Auditorium.

In Barber’s “A Hand of Bridge,” we find two couples gathering for an ordinary game of cards and the expected social interaction of a pair of pampered housewives and their distracted husbands. What the audience discovers is that each character has his or her own story to tell, through brief solos, or “ariettas.” The evening ends with three of the card players exiting in a huff, leaving the disgruntled Geraldine to her favorite indulgence: reruns of black and white television soap operas.

“Gallantry” is intended as an operatic spoof on the soap operas of the 1950s and 60s. The intrigue of a workplace romance comes out when Nurse Lola is faced with choosing between her two love interests, one of whom is in a dire situation! The drama is broken up, as expected, by the live commercial advertisements complete with chirpy announcers and a dance number.

Cast members of “A Hand of Bridge” include Eduardo Mendoza of Cochabamba, Bolivia, as David; Taylor Brekke of Mobridge as Geraldine; Patrick Calvillo of Walhalla, N.D., as Bill; and Joni Willoughby of Midland as Sally.

John Cassens of Faulkton is the music director and Michael Skyles, NSU instructor of voice, is the stage director. Dr. Marla Fogderud, NSU assistant professor of voice, is the costume designer and Mary Marion is the pianist.

Cast members of “Gallantry” include Elsa Swanson of Chaska, Minn., as Nurse Lola; Salvatore Scavo of Bordertown, N.J., as Doctor Gregg; John Litwiller III of Huron as Donald; Annie Woodmansey of Pierre as Announcer 1; Christine Powers of Hot Springs as Announcer 2; and Rosemary Vega of Chaska, Minn., as Announcer 3.

Dr. Darci Bultema, NSU associate professor of voice, is the music director, Skyles is the stage director and Fogderud is the costume designer of “Gallantry.” Fogderud has also written dialogue that will be performed in the show. Kay Fischer is the pianist and Trevor Carrier is the stage manager, set designer and lighting designer.

“A Hand of Bridge” and “Gallantry” are being produced as a part of the NSU Opera Workshop course, taught by Skyles, Bultema and Fogderud.

Tickets will go on sale Feb. 24 and are $18 for adults, $9 for NSU faculty/staff and high school students, and free for NSU students with student ID. Tickets will be available in the NSU box office during normal hours of operation and will be available at the door in Krikac Auditorium prior to the shows. 

Box office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, noon-4 p.m. The JFAC box office phone number is 605-626-2900.

For more information about “A Hand of Bridge” or “Gallantry,” please contact Fogderud at Marla.Fogderud@northern.edu.

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a regional university that offers outstanding academics and exceptional extracurricular activities at an affordable price on a safe, welcoming campus. Northern State recently announced its Educational Impact Campaign, with a goal of raising $45 million for a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, new athletic and recreation fields, and an on-campus regional sports complex. Once the campaign is complete, NSU will be the recipient of more than $100 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.