2018 OPERA Iowa troupe


Indianola, IA – The OPERA Iowa Educational Touring Troupe, an educational program of Des Moines Metro Opera, hits the road for its 32nd annual tour on February 26, 2018. The troupe will perform John Davies’ Jack & the Beanstalk for elementary schools and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville for communities across the state. 

Over its nine-week tour, OPERA Iowa will visit over 50 communities, presenting 70+ school performances for approximately 26,000 students from February 26 through April 27. The number of children and families served and the statewide span of its efforts make the OPERA Iowa Educational Touring Troupe the state’s largest and most comprehensive program in music education. The school performances are presented in conjunction with interactive and engaging workshops that meet the National Standards for Arts in Education guidelines. The troupe will also give 8 evening opera performances for communities and families across the region. These performances are generally open to the public.

For the 32nd annual tour, OPERA Iowa will present John Davies’ Jack & the Beanstalk for elementary and middle school performances. The show is based on the beloved fairy tale of the title but with a twist, and the music is drawn from the famous works of Gilbert and Sullivan. Its strong message of compassion and inclusion has made it a favorite with teachers and parents alike! Davies is also the composer of OPERA Iowa favorites The Three Little Pigs and The Billy Goats Gruff.

The evening community concert selection is Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville which is the perfect show for families. The Barber of Seville is one of the most popular and recognizable operas of all time. The composer, Gioachino Rossini, was only 24 years old when he wrote it—and the story goes that it was completed in just 13 days! Based on the first of three plays by the French playwright Beaumarchais (the second of these is The Marriage of Figaro), it followed another successful version written by Giovanni Paisiello in 1776. Paisiello’s opera was so popular in the repertory that operagoers were shocked that the young Rossini would dare to create a new version. The first performance was predictably greeted by jeering and cat calls, but within a short time Rossini’s version became a sensation. Even Beethoven hoped that the composer would “give the world more Barbers!” The troupe will present community performances of The Barber of Seville all over the state including Atlantic, Coralville, Cherokee, Tipton, Des Moines, Indianola, Ottumwa and Sioux City.

OPERA Iowa also offers a Masterclass for high school students, in which students can benefit from vocal tips and insights from the OPERA Iowa singers and music director. All OPERA Iowa performances are sung in English with piano accompaniment.

OPERA Iowa members are selected from nationwide auditions held in New York City, Houston, Chicago, Cincinnati and Des Moines. From over 1,000 applications, approximately 450 singers were granted live auditions. Of those, 6 were selected to join the OPERA Iowa Educational Touring Troupe and 40 will be joining Des Moines Metro Opera’s Apprentice Artist Program this coming summer. The talented performers of the 2018 OPERA Iowa troupe are: mezzo soprano Emily Triebold of Madison, Wisconsin; soprano Susanne Burgess of Manchester, England; baritone Kyle Roeder of Jefferson, Iowa; bass-baritone Timothy Madden of Excelsior Springs, Missouri; tenor T.J. Capobianco of Scranton, Pennsylvania; and bass-baritone Cody Müller of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The music director and pianist is Anthony Benz of Bismark, North Dakota and the technical director is Nicholas Mayhugh of Des Moines, Iowa. Fenlon Lamb from Kansas City, Missouri will be the stage director for The Barber of Seville and Samuel Carroll and Andrew Ryker provided stage direction for Jack & the Beanstalk.


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