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Release: Immediate

Soprano Kyoko Saito sings at the University of Iowa Feb. 26

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Japanese lyric soprano Kyoko Saito, winner of the Young Concert Artists international auditions, will conclude a three-day residency at the University of Iowa with a recital at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, in Clapp Recital Hall, as part of Hancher Auditorium's 1996-97 University of Iowa Community Credit Union Young Concert Artists series.

With the accompaniment of pianist Pierre Vallet, Saito will sing sets of songs by Schubert, Brahms, Debussy and Japanese composer Yoshinao Nakada, as well as songs by Noel Coward, Franz Lehar and Oscar Strauss. The performance of the Schubert songs is part of the international bicentennial celebration of the composer's birth, including several faculty performances at the UI.

The public is also invited to three free mini-concerts Tuesday, Feb. 25: at noon in the atrium of the Colloton Pavilion in the UI Hospitals and Clinics through the Project Art program, at 2 p.m. in the Iowa City Senior Center and at 7 p.m. in the Ecklund Lounge of UI Stanley Residence Hall.

Saito's UI residency will also include mini-performances and master classes for students at City High School in Iowa City and the UI School of Music,

After beginning her musical studies in Japan, Saito studied at the Centre Internationale de Formation Musicale and the Centre de la Voix in France, and at the Salzburg Mozarteum in Austria.

She created the role of Melisande in the 1993 Peter Brook production "Impressions of Pelleas," based on Debussy's "Pelleas and Melisande," winning critical acclaim for her performances in the three-month world-premiere run in Paris and the subsequent tour of European music capitals including Zurich, Glasgow, Madrid, Lisbon, Vienna and Berlin.

In Tokyo she has sung the operatic roles of Violetta in "La Traviata," Michaela in "Carmen" and Susanna in "The Marriage of Figaro." She has appeared at music festivals world-wide and as a soloist with orchestras and chamber ensembles in Asia, North America and Europe.

Through Young Concert Artists, Saito made her New York debut in 1994-95, in a performance that New York Times critic Allan Kozinn called "vocally ravishing."

(more) 2/14/97

"Her voice is a gorgeously plush lyric soprano with a wide range," the critic of the Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C., reported. "The texture is luscious, and she can float high pianissimos as if she were born with the ability, which she probably was. As for style and elegance, Miss Saito has plenty of both. Nor do Miss Saito's gifts stop with her singing: She's extraordinarily pretty, radiates charm and has the presence of a genuine diva."

Tickets for Saito's Feb. 26 Clapp Hall concert are $15 ($12 for UI students and senior citizens, and $7.50 for audience members 17 and younger).

Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to

(319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.

People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Further information about this event is available on Hancher's World Wide Web homepage, at <>.

The University of Iowa Community Credit Union is the corporate sponsor of the Young Concert Artists Series through the University of Iowa Foundation.