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Opera Iowa is coming back to town

Fundraiser for Wieting Phase II Renovationd

February 11, 2016
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Yes, OPERA Iowa, with the sponsorship of Toledo PEO DF, is coming back to town with Rossini's Cinderella on Thursday, February 18 at 7:00 p.m. A reception hosted by PEO Chapter DF will be held after the opera at the Toledo Community Center next door. Audience members will have the opportunity to meet, talk, and spend time with Cinderella's cast members. All proceeds after expenses will go to support the Wieting Theatre's Phase II, which includes theatrical lighting and stage enhancements.

Audience members should not expect Rossini's version of Cinderella to be exactly like Disney's version. Rossini's version of the classic-fairy tale Cinderella is a vocal and comedic romp! A wise magician takes the place of the fairy godmother and the girl's father rants and raves, instead of a wicked stepmother, but the nasty stepsisters, Prince Charming and a glass slipper prove, beyond all question, that this is the fairy tale we all know and love. And when it's combined with hilarious characters and situations and set to some of Rossini's finest music, it becomes comic opera at its most exhilarating best!

Many times OPERA Iowa complements the evening performances with an exciting and school-day performances and classroom workshops that entertain while they educate in an effort to make opera more understandable and more accessible to students and families. The operas are performed in English with colorful scenery and costumes, theatrical lighting, and musical accompaniment. This year, OPERA Iowa will be returning to the STC Elementary School on Monday, April 18th with their performance of The Billy Goats Gruff, adapted by John Davies with music set to some of the greatest music of Mozart, Rossini, and Donizetti. That performance is not open to the public.

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Opera Iowa returns to the Wieting theatre in Toledo on Thursday, Feb. 18.

OPERA Iowa will visit 50 communities, giving over 60 school performances for approximately 26, 000 school-aged children February 8-April 19. 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 effort 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 16 evening concert performances for community audiences in various locations across the state, of which the performance in Toledo is one.

OPERA Iowa Educational Touring Troupe members are handpicked from nationwide auditions of more than 800 singers to share their love of opera with audience of all ages. The talented young performers of the 2015 OPERA Iowa troupe are the following: mezzo soprano Courtney Elvira of Seminole, Florida; soprano Emily Tweedy of Roslindale, Massachusetts; baritone Connor McDonald of New York, New York; bass Joshua Conyers of Winston Salem, North Carolina; mezzo soprano Jenna Smith of Mt. Vernon, Iowa; tenor Issac Frishman of Lansing, Michigan; and bass Aidan Smerud of La Cross, Wisconsin. The music director is Scott Arens of Yankton, South Dakota and the technical director is Nate DeMare of Batavia, New York. Andrew Ryker from Des Moines, Iowa will be the stage director for both productions.

Advanced tickets will be available at both locations of the State Bank of Toledo, Lincoln Savings Bank, and Pinnacle Bank beginning February 4. Adults are $15.00 and Students are $12.00. They will, also, be available the weekend of February 12-14 before the movie at the Wieting Theatre.

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OPERA Iowa is an Education Division program of Des Moines Metro Opera, which is located in Indianola, Iowa, just south of Des Moines. The Summer Festival will run from June 24 through July 17, 2016, and will feature Verdi's Falstaff in Italian, Massenet's Manon in French, and Gluck's Orphee et Eurydice in French. All operas are performed with English supertitles in the Blank Performing Arts Center on the picturesque campus of Simpson College in Indianola, and free opera previews are presented 45 minutes prior to each performance. The 2nd Stages Series continues its collaborative efforts with a multimedia winter performance of Schuberts's Winterreise at the Des Moines Art Center and a summer production of Glass's Galileo Galilei at the Science Center of Iowa. For more information on Des Moines Metro Opera's upcoming productions, call 515-961-6221 or visit their website at www.desmoionesmetroopera.org.

For more information about the opera, contact Nancy Smith at 484-2616 or Mary Fasse-Shaw at 484-5355.

PEO DF is accepting sponsorship for this endeavor.

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