Tracelyn Gesteland, voice
Dr. Tracelyn Gesteland, American mezzo-soprano, is an active performer on the opera, concert and recital stage. She has been referred to by reviewers as "powerful" and "striking" (Great Britain's Organists' Review), “remarkable” and a “highlight of the evening,” (Sioux City Journal) and “an engaging and versatile singing actress” (Madison Isthmus). On the operatic stage, she has created roles in world premiere productions, most notably, the title role in Strega Nona with Houston Grand Opera’s “Opera to Go.” Other credits include leading roles and concerts with the Houston Grand Opera, Atlantic Coast Opera, Stoughton Opera, Lone Star Lyric Theater Festival, Opera South Dakota, Elgin Opera, Light Opera Works, Music On Site, Center Light Theatre, l’opera piccola, Beverly Arts Center, Ars Lyrica Houston, Moores Opera Center, Harrower Opera, Contemporary Opera Lab (Canada), National Opera Association (USA), South Dakota Symphony, Sioux City Symphony, Nachitoches-Northwestern Symphony, Song Fest, Song Collaborators Consortia, Sioux Falls Chamber Music Collective, Rawlins Piano Trio, and the Chicago Symphony Chorus under the batons of Barenboim, Mehta, Boulez, Penderecki and Wolff. An avid recitalist, she performs frequently across North America and Europe as a soloist and as part of the Gesteland-Smith Duo, championing and commissioning works for voice and organ. Most recently, the Duo performed on a variety of concert series in San Francisco, Seattle, and the United Kingdom, including Warwick, Portsmouth, and London. Their debut CD of classical sacred works, Make a Joyful Noise, was released commercially on Raven Recordings.
Dr. Gesteland currently serves as Professor of Voice/Opera at the University of South Dakota and holds the Walter A. and Lucy Yoshioka Buhler Endowed Chair. She is the winner of multiple awards at USD, including the President’s Award for Research Creativity (2020-21), the Knutson Distinguished Professor Award for her research and creative scholarship (2020-22), and the Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching (2015). Under her direction, the USD Opera has been nationally recognized by the National Opera Association or The American Prize annually since 2011, and she has also received individual awards for her stage direction. She has served as stage director for the Lone Star Lyric Theater Festival production of Talk Opera, which was called “the gem of the festival” by the Houston Chronicle. She was also stage director for the Opera and Musical Theatre Intensive program at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and was a directing intern at the Harrower Opera Workshop in Atlanta under the tutelage of Copeland Woodruff.She was a winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Emerging Leader Award and is a frequent presenter at conferences and conventions, including NATS, the International Congress of Voice Teachers, National Opera Association, Hawaii International Conference on Education, and the College Music Society, among others. She holds music degrees from the University of Houston's Moores School of Music (D.M.A.- Vocal Performance with a Vocal Pedagogy and Voice Science cognate), Roosevelt University (M.M.- Vocal Performance and Pedagogy), and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (B.M.- Music Education with a Drama minor).