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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 23, 2004

Rising Opera Star Goeldner Return To Her Alma Mater For Oct. 4 Benefit

Katharine Goeldner, a University of Iowa alumna whose operatic singing career is currently rising into the stratosphere, will return to campus to give a benefit concert for UI music scholarships at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Goeldner, accompanied by pianist Shari Rhoads from the UI School of Music faculty, will sing works of Brahms, Richard Strauss, Camille Saint-Saens and Aaron Copland.

During her visit to the UI campus, Goeldner will also present a master class with voice students in the School of Music. The class, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m Tuesday, Oct. 5, in Harper Hall of Voxman Music Building, will be free and open to the public.

Goeldner, who graduated from the UI in 1985, has sung in the past two years at the Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Opera, and has made appearances at the Salzburg Festival and major opera houses across Europe. She first encountered opera when she came to the UI from Sigourney as an undergraduate and studied voice with Jocelyn Reiter.

That first encounter determined Goeldner's life's course, and now she wants to give back to the university that made her high-flying career possible. "If it weren't for the UI and Professor Reiter, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing," she commented. "My first exposure to opera was the UI's production of 'Carmen' in Hancher. Until my senior year, whatever the UI opera workshop was putting on was my only experience of opera, other than 'Live from the Met' on Iowa Public Television.

"I also wanted to do this because a little old lady named Mary Brown Humphrey, who was a librarian at the UI, gave my dad a job and helped him to work his way through law school in the 1930s. For the rest of her life, Dad did all her legal work for free, as far as I know. As a thank you to him, she named my brother, sister and me in her will, and that money made it possible for me to study in Salzburg. It's always been a dream of mine to eventually pay that forward, and provide scholarship money so that some other music student from a small town in Iowa can study at the UI.

"And there's just something about being an Iowan. I think we're bound more to our home state than people from other states. Even though I've lived in Salzburg for 19 years, I still think of myself as an Iowan. There's a particular sense of community and responsibility with which we grow up -- you know that the rest of the town is looking on and expecting the best from you, and that means something. And Iowans have so much enthusiasm, you know they really do appreciate what you're doing and they want you to succeed.

"Even though I haven't lived in Sigourney for 19 years, I know it's still my community. I could move back tomorrow and pretty much take up where I left off. Now that's 'home.'"

Rhoads said of Goeldner, "Kathy has always dreamed of coming back to her alma mater and doing something to help in the way of scholarship. She has offered her talents to the School of Music in such an enthusiastic and generous way: concert, master class for young singers and speaking about the profession to the opera workshop.

"It is important for our young singers to hear a native Iowan who made it. We have so much talent in this state and this positive reinforcement is vital to the young singers to see that it can be done, that hard work and dedication will make a dream come true."

After extensive performances in European and American opera houses in a wide variety of roles, Goeldner is gaining recognition as one of the most versatile artists of her generation. After her critically-acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in "Lulu" with James Levine conducting, she was immediately reengaged for the 2003/2004 season to sing Cherubino in Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" and Ascanio in a new production of Berlioz's "Benvenuto Cellini," both with Levine; in a new production of "Salome" with conductor Valery Gergiev, to be filmed for television; and a leading role in Massenet's "Werther." She will return to the Met for Offenbach's "Tales of Hoffmann" later this season.

A favorite at New York City Opera, Goeldner has been heard there in the title role in "Carmen," and other roles. She has been awarded both the City Opera's 2003 Diva Award and the Betty Allen Award. As part of the Betty Allen Award, New York City Opera will mount three productions especially for Goeldner in the coming seasons. Other future appearances will be in Munich, Monte Carlo, Bilbao, Spain; and next summer with the Cedar Rapids Opera Theater.

Goeldner recently made her Carnegie Hall debut in Mozart's Requiem with the New York Choral Society. She was the featured soloist with the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg during their U.S. tour in April 1999, performing at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Orchestra Hall in Chicago and Boston's Symphony Hall. In addition, she has performed with a long and distinguished list of orchestras and conductors, including Sir Charles Mackerras, Dennis Russell Davies, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Adam Fischer and George Manahan.

Rhoads joined the UI School of Music faculty as opera coach and diction teacher in the fall of 2000. Before arriving at the UI she taught music history at the Music conservatory in Lucerne and the Conservatory of Lausanne in Switzerland. Rhoads has also been Kapellmeister at the Lucerne Theater and was conductor and coach at the opera theater in Darmstadt, Germany, and the Gran Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona, Spain.

Her accompanying credentials include recitals with Jose Carreras, Luis Lima and Montserrat Caballe. 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.

Tickets for Katharine Goeldner's scholarship benefit recital are available from the Hancher Auditorium box office. Tickets are $10, with half-price tickets available for UI students, senior citizens and youth. Tax-deductible patron tickets to support music scholarships are $100.

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: <>.

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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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

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