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Release: Sept. 18, 2002

Crider Arrived As A Student, Returns Oct. 3 As An International Star

When Michele Crider arrived at the University of Iowa as an undergraduate music student from Quincy, Ill., she had never sung an opera role. She returns for an 8 p.m. Oct. 3 concert in Hancher Auditorium -- where she made her debut in a UI Opera Theater production of “Madame Butterfly” -- as an international star who has performed in the leading opera houses and concert halls of Europe and America.

Crider, accompanied by former Iowa Citian Kim Van Cura, will perform songs by Purcell and Richard Strauss; opera arias by Verdi, Bellini and Puccini (including “Un bel di vedremo” from “Madame Butterfly”); and a set of spirituals. She will also lead a master class for UI voice students at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, in Harper Hall of the Voxman Music Building. The public is invited to observe, free of charge.

A two-time winner of the Metropolitan Opera District Auditions, Crider entered the Zurich Opera Studio on the personal recommendation of UI alumnus Simon Estes.

In 1988 she was a finalist in the Luciano Pavarotti competition and in 1989 she won one of three first prizes in the Geneva International Music Competition, setting her on the course of what has become a major international career.

In the early 1990s she sang leading roles in the major opera houses of Europe, gaining recognition as a leading “Verdi soprano,” and she made her U.S. professional debut in 1996, leading to her acclaimed performances of “Madame Butterfly” at the Met.

Crider has also become a prolific concert singer, including performances with the London Symphony, the Orchestre Nationale de Paris, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic, and she has performed under the direction of renowned conductors including Zubin Mehta, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Seiji Ozawa, Riccardo Muti and Daniel Barenboim.

In a professional career of less than 15 years, she has truly become one of the world’s outstanding performers of Italian opera, and the object of adoration by an international fan club based in Belgium. Critic Serge Martin wrote, “a real 'Verdian' . . . the American soprano Michele Crider has hardly any competition nowadays. The timbre is ample and brave, victorious in the high range, fascinating in the low: a truly great voice, full and strong, as one seldom hears today.”

Local opera lovers who became her fans during her student days at the UI have not only taken delight in Crider’s rise to stardom, but some -- including William and Marlene Stanford, who are sponsoring the Hancher concert through the University of Iowa Foundation -- have even traveled to Europe to hear her sing.

Tickets to Michele Crider’s homecoming concert are $30, $27 and $24. For UI students, Zone 1 tickets are $24, and Zone 2 and 3 tickets are $10. Senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, and tickets for audience members 17 and younger are half price. Ticket-buyers can take advantage of volume discounts on most events in the season. 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 Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher’s website:

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. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail:

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