2015 Spring Newsletter

In Memoriam: Yvonne Edmisten

Yvonne and John Edmisten

Yvonne Hsu Edmisten passed away on Feb. 26. She was the inspiration behind the inception of the Cal Poly Student Opera Theatre, founded by faculty member Jacalyn Kreitzer in 2001. Kreitzer and Edmisten often talked about providing an opera experience for students at Cal Poly, and Edmisten and her husband, John, provided the first major donations to fund the program. Getting young people involved in opera was Edmisten’s dearest wish, and she helped fund and support many student-filled shows over the years, including Haydn's "The Apothecary," Mozart's "The Magic Flute," Strauss' "Die Fledermaus," and Puccini's "Suor Angelica," among others. She was one of the founders of the local Opera Lovers Meet in 1994. Cal Poly students have sung for its members annually for 10 years, most recently on Feb. 4, at the San Luis Obispo United Methodist Church. An annual scholarship in Edmisten’s name will be established for deserving Cal Poly voice students. The April performances of Lehár’s “The Merry Widow” will be dedicated to her memory — a fact Edmisten knew before she passed. “Thank you, dear Yvonne, for your commitment to our students,” said Kreitzer.