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Release: Sept. 3, 1999

Opera star Frederica von Stade teams with Chanticleer in Sept. 24 Hancher concert

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Mezzo-soprano opera star Frederica von Stade will be the featured soloist when Chanticleer, America's only full-time classical vocal ensemble, returns to the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium for a concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24.

The centerpiece of the concert will be "Anna Madrigal Remembers" by San Francisco Opera composer-in-residence Jack Heggie, inspired by Armistead Maupin's popular serial-novels "Tales of the City." UI English faculty member John Harper and actor Tim Budd will discuss Maupin's stories at 7 p.m. in the Hancher Greenroom -- an event free to concert ticketholders.

Von Stade will also present a masterclass at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23 in Harper Hall of the Voxman Music Building. The public is welcome to observe the masterclass free of charge.

In addition to "Anna Madrigal Remembers," von Stade will be featured in "Chants de France" by Joseph Canteloube, works by Mahler and Ginastera, and a set of Broadway tunes including Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns" and "I Remember," "I've Told Ev'ry Little Star" by Hammerstein and Kern and "You Stepped Out of a Dream" from "Ziegfield Girl."

Chanticleer alone will perform selections from "Songs of Springtime" by E.J. Moeran, and a set of English and Italian madrigals.

Maupin writes about "Anna Madrigal Remembers": "Anna Madrigal, the transsexual mother figure from my 'Tales of the City' novels, turns 80 this year. So when composer Jack Heggie asked me to collaborate with him, I decided to write a monologue in which the landlady welcomes yet another prospective tenant to 28 Barbary Lane, her apartment house on Russian Hill. Along the way the earthy octogenarian reflects on her speckled past, her quest for daily astonishment and that 'mad little dance in the rain' called love."

Heggie has written more than 100 songs, as well as chamber, choral and orchestral works, and he was the winner of the 1995 National Art Song Competition. He is now working on an opera based on "Dead Man Walking," in collaboration with playwright Terrance McNally.

Von Stade has been a frequent collaborator with Heggie, from whom she commissioned the song cycle "Paper Wings" in 1997. Described by the New York Times as "one of America's finest artists and singers," von Stade has performed on the stages of the world's great opera houses for more than three decades. In 1995, to celebrate her 25th anniversary with the Metropolitan Opera, the company mounted a new production of Debussy's "Pelleas et Melisande" specifically for her.

She has become well-known to the general public through her numerous appearances on the "Live from Lincoln Center" telecasts, and she has made more than three dozen recordings, ranging

from complete operas to popular "crossover" albums, attracting six Grammy nominations and numerous awards world-wide. She was the recipient of a special Presidential commendation in recognition of her significant contributions to the arts in the United States.

The all-male chorus Chanticleer, which takes its name from the maligned "clear-singing" rooster of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," was founded in 1978. More than 20 years of performances and 21 recordings have built Chanticleer a world-wide reputation as an unequaled "orchestra of voices," providing impeccable interpretations of works ranging from Renaissance polyphony to jazz, from gospel to new music.

Famed choral conductor Robert Shaw called a Chanticleer performance "one of the most beautiful musical experiences of my life," and a New York Times critic described Chanticleer as
"an ensemble with first-class security, persuasive stylistic command and a charming on-stage demeanor."

City Plaza Hotel-Iowa City is the corporate sponsor of the Sept. 24 concert through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets for Chanticleer with Frederica von Stade are $40, $37.50 and $35. UI students and senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, with Zone 3 tickets available to UI students for $10. Tickets for audience members 17 and younger are half price.

Tickets may be purchased at a substantial discount as part of Hancher's volume-purchase plan. A simultaneous purchase of three to five events qualifies for a 15-percent discount, and a simultaneous purchase of six or more events qualifies for a 20-percent discount.

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.

The entire 1999-2000 Hancher season -- including the season-spanning Millennium
Festival -- is detailed in a free brochure, "At This Moment," which is available from the Hancher administrative offices (319-335-1130) or the Hancher box office.

Learn more about Chanticleer on the world wide web at <> and learn more about von Stade at <>. For UI arts news and information, and arts calendar updates, visit the ArtsIowa website, <>