South Dakota Symphony

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GIANTS IN THE EARTH by Douglas Moore

The South Dakota Symphony will be hearing auditions in New York on Friday-Saturday, December 15-16 and in Minneapolis on Monday, December 18.  

SDSO will be presenting semi-staged performances of Douglas Moore's opera "Giants in the Earth" on April 26 and 27, 2025 with rehearsals starting on April 13.  The performances will be livestreamed, audio recorded for commercial distribution, and will likely be filmed for later broadcast on South Dakota Public Television.  Conductor will be Delta David Gier, stage director will be Bob Neu.

Douglas Moore, best known for his opera "The Ballad of Baby Doe," composed "Giants in the Earth" in 1951 - it was premiered at Columbia University and subsequently won that year's Pulitzer Prize.  The opera follows the triumphs and tragedies of Norwegian settlers in the Dakota Territories of 1873.  The story takes place in South Dakota very near Sioux Falls.  It is based on a novel of the same name by Ole Edvart Rolvaag and is considered one of the quintessential American immigration stories.

The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra was recently hailed by Alex Ross in The New Yorker as "America's boldest orchestra."  Based in Sioux Falls, it is the state's premier performing arts organization with the Washington Pavilion as its home.  

There are 10 roles to be cast for this opera:

Per Hansa - high lyric baritone (up to G-flat with a high tessitura), age rage 30-40, lead role, very strong acting required

Beret Hansa - lyric soprano (up to high C with a tessitura that is typical of lyric soprano roles), age range 28-35, lead role, very strong acting required

Hans Olsa - Bass baritone, age range 35-45, secondary lead

Sorrine Olsa - Mezzo, age range 30-40, secondary lead

Syvert Tonseten - Character tenor, age range 30-40, supporting role

Kjersti Tonseten - Soubrette soprano, age range 20-25, supporting role

Henry Solum - Character tenor, age range 20-25, supporting role

Dagmar - Soubrette soprano, age range 18-22, supporting role

A Preacher - High baritone, age range open, supporting

O'Hara - Bass, age range open, supporting

To be considered for an audition opportunity, please send materials (resume, headshot) to:  [email protected] by no later than 5:00 on Friday, December 1.  We will respond with appropriate details regarding audition requirements, location, etc.  Roles are open to performers of all identities - racial, ethnic, sexual, gender.