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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 24, 2006

Renowned Baritone Simon Estes Will Sing At UI Football Game Sept. 2

Baritone Simon Estes, the world-renowned opera singer and distinguished alumnus of the University of Iowa, will sing the National Anthem before the Hawkeyes' opening football game of the 2006 season, Saturday, Sept. 2, in Kinnick Stadium.

The game against Montana is scheduled to kickoff at 11:05 a.m. The national anthem will be part of the pre-game ceremonies.

Estes' appearance is part of the re-dedication of Kinnick Stadium, following its recent two-year, $86.8 million renovation.

Estes grew up in Centerville, and at the UI he studied pre-med, psychology and religion. His singing in the Old Gold Singers caught the attention of School of Music faculty member Charles Kellis, who became Estes' first (and only) teacher and introduced the young baritone to opera. Funds raised in local benefits enabled Estes to travel to New York for auditions at the Juilliard School of Music.

A prize at the 1966 Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow launched Estes' international career. In the years since he has performed at the world's leading opera houses, and he has been featured on numerous recordings. In addition, he is in demand as a recitalist and orchestral soloist, appearing regularly with the leading orchestras in the United States and Europe.

Several performances have been marked as historic milestones in Estes' career. His triumphant debut as the Dutchman at the Bayreuth Festival in 1978 was the first appearance of any black male artist there. He was the Metropolitan Opera's first Porgy in 1985 and sang the following year with the Boston Pops at the Statue of Liberty centennial celebration.

He has sung at the White House for three American Presidents, and in 1990 he performed at the service honoring Nelson Mandela at New York's Riverside Church and with the National Symphony under the direction of Mstislav Rostropovich for the Fourth of July Celebration in Washington, D.C. In the fall of 1994 he sang for Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu in The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

Estes created the Simon Estes Scholarship fund at the University of Iowa, which is one of his many philanthropic and educational endeavors. He has taught at the Juilliard School in New York, Boston College, Iowa State University, Wartburg College in Waverly, and in master classes around the country.

The School of Music is an academic unit 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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,