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University of Iowa News Release

April 19, 2006

Role Of The Stage Director In Productions April 27 Final In Opera Series

The University of Iowa Opera Studies Group will wrap up its semester-long discussion on American opera in the third and final lecture of its spring 2006 lecture series. The lecture, "The Role of the Stage Director in Current Opera Productions," presented by composer Robert Ward, will be held at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27 in the Adler Journalism Building, Room E246, on the UI campus.

Ward, composer of the UI Opera Theatre's spring production, "The Crucible," will discuss the impact of stage directors and how their creative and imaginative settings of works sometimes enhance or distort the composer's original concept. Using examples of his own experiences as a composer and publisher, he will offer critiques of the problem.

Ward has made numerous contributions to American opera. In 1962, he received the Pulitzer Prize in Music and the New York Music Critic's Citation for "The Crucible." Many renowned companies, including the New York City Opera and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, have performed his works. He has created seven operas, large and small choral works and diverse chamber music and has conducted his own music with orchestras throughout the world. Ward is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. During his career, he has held three Guggenheim fellowships and received grants from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The University of Iowa Martha Ellen Tye Opera Theater will present "The Crucible" in Hancher Auditorium on Friday, April 28, at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 30, at 2 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase by calling 1-800-Hancher or 319-335-1160.

UI International Programs and UI Opera Theater sponsor Ward's lecture. For more information on the lecture or special accommodations to attend any of the lectures, contact Katherine Eberle at 319-335-1675.

The University of Iowa 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. For more information, visit:

UI International Programs consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost 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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Katherine Eberle, 319-335-1675; Writer: Kelli Andresen