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University of Iowa News Release

March 26, 2004

Month Of Opera At UI Commences April 1

April is a "Month of Opera" at The University of Iowa. Starting April 1, the university is hosting a series of talks and performances by distinguished professors sponsored by the UI Opera Studies Group, UI International Programs, Friends of the UI Libraries, Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Association, UI Opera Theater and the UI School of Music.

A number of events are scheduled to follow the kickoff by UI Opera Director Gary Race in his talk "From Stacks to Stage: A Lyrical Look at an Opera Director's Love Affair with the Library," on Thursday, April 1, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Richey Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union.

Organized as part of the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference "Serious Pleasures," a panel discussion on "Musical Mutations" will be Friday, April 2, from 3:45 to 5 p.m. in Purdue Room 341, Iowa Memorial Union. The presenters for the panel discussion include Francesco Izzo, New York University; Hilary Poriss, University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music; Roberta Montemorra Marvin, University of Iowa; Christina Fuhrmann, Ashland University; and Laura Tunbridge, University of Reading.

"Concepts and Conflicts in Carmen: A Conversation with Gary Race and Margaret Wenk" will be held on Monday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Clapp Recital Hall Lobby, University of Iowa. Race is an opera director and associate professor in the UI School of Music and his 30-plus years of experience include the direction of more than 100 productions. Wenk has been the resident designer for The UI Performing Arts Production Unit for the past 23 years.

Sander Gilman, a distinguished professor of the Liberal Arts and Medicine at the University of Illinois in Chicago, will present a talk on "Verdi's Healthy Falstaff: On Opera, Medicine and the Culture of Obesity," Friday, April 16, at 4:30 p.m. in room 1027, Voxman Music Building.

Martha Feldman will talk about "Opera, Festivity, and Time", Friday, April 23, at 4:30 p.m. in room 1027, Voxman Music Building. Feldman teaches at the music department of the University of Chicago and is a culturalist, working on early modern themes of vernacular culture, musical performance, courtesan cultures, opera seria, sovereignty, myth, the passions and the castrato.

The grand finale will be the University of Iowa Opera Theater's production of "Carmen" by George Bizet running from April 30 through May 2 at the UI Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theater. Tickets for "Carmen" can be purchased by calling 319-335- 1160.

The UI Opera Studies Group, affiliated with UI International Programs, was established in 1999 as a forum to foster the study of opera and related genres from interdisciplinary perspectives. The group's purpose is to bring together scholars who have a special expertise or interest in opera to share their views on various issues associated with research and performance of operatic works.

The activities of the group, coordinated by co-directors UI faculty members Robert Ketterer and Roberta M. Marvin, include both formal and informal gatherings addressing myriad topics ranging from aesthetics to performance practices. Many of the on-campus members share their recent research with the group through assigned readings and paper presentations of new and exciting work in progress; the group holds interactive discussion sessions to complement the research presentations and readings. Graduate students too have had opportunities to present their ongoing work to a wide group of scholars for feedback.

For more information or for special accommodations to attend the event, contact Roberta Marvin at 319-335-2823 or

UI International Programs consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean of international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and the community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Roberta Marvin, 319-335-2823,; Writer: Mansi Bhatia.