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Release: Sept. 27, 2002


Baritone John Muriello will sing some of his favorite songs on a University of Iowa faculty recital with pianist Shari Rhoads at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Their performance will be free and open to the public.

“I didn’t choose what you might call an academic program, arranged around a theme or subject,” Muriello said. “To tell the truth, I didn’t put a lot of thought into selecting the pieces, except that they’re all songs that I just love to sing.”

“For example, I’m singing five songs by (Austrian composer) Hugo Wolf. They’re all serious, very intense songs, but I didn’t pick them for that reason. I picked them because I love them.

“You might say that this program is there for purely entertainment purposes, and I hope that the audience will enjoy it as much as I do.”

In addition to the five songs by Wolf, Muriello will sing a group of four songs by French composer Gabriel Faure. The rest of the program is made up of individual songs by an eclectic selection of composers from the Western hemisphere: South Americans Heitor Villa-Lobos from Brazil, Carlos Guastavino from Argentina and Ernesto Braga from Brazil; and North Americans Charles Ives, Virgil Thomson, Richard Pearson Thomas, Stephen Sondheim and Chris DeBlasio.

A singer whose work ranges from opera and operetta to concert and musical theater, Muriello has become one of Iowa City ‘s most popular performers since he joined the UI School of Music faculty in the fall of 1997. He appeared in the title role of the UI Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theater production of Tartuffe in 2001, and the Riverside theatre’s production of “Sweet and Hot.” In the fall of 1998 he made his directing debut with the UI School of Music production of the musical comedy “The Fantasticks,” and he directed the School of Music production of “She Loves Me” in 1999.

Muriello has performed operatic and musical theater roles with Opera Carolina, the Banff Centre in Canada, L’Opera Francais of New York, Skylight Opera Theater, Ohio Light Opera and the Southeastern Savoyards of Atlanta. He performed as the Narrator and Mysterious Man in Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” and Marcello in “La Boheme” for Lyric Opera Cleveland. Other roles have ranged from Guglielmo in Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” to Voltaire in Bernstein’s “Candide.”

He has also performed in concert and recital throughout the Midwest and the Southeast, singing in performances of Vaughan Williams’ “Five Mystical Songs” and “Hodie,” the Brahms “Requiem” and the Bach Mass in B minor.

He was a winner in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in North Carolina, in the Washington International Competition and the Louise D. McMahon International Song Competition in Oklahoma, and toured two seasons with the Mantovani Orchestra.

Rhoads joined the UI School of Music faculty in the fall of 2000. She earned her degree in accompanying and has completed post-graduate studies in opera coaching/conducting at the University of Southern California. Before arriving at the UI she taught music history at the Musikhochschule (Music conservatory) in Lucerne and the Conservatory of Lausanne in Switzerland. Rhoads has also been Kapellmeister at the Lucerne Theater and conductor/coach at the opera theater in Darmstadt, Germany. She was coach at the Barcelona and Madrid opera theaters.

Her accompanying credentials include recitals with Jose Carreras, Luis Lima and Montserrat Caballe with whom she worked exclusively as coach/accompanist and orchestrator. She has accompanied master classes with a number of renowned artists including singer Gerard Souzay, cellist Lynn Harrell and violist William Primrose, and served as staff accompanist for the Francesco Vinas (Barcelona, Spain) and Munich International competitions.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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