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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 3, 2006

Distinguished Opera Director Shares Experiences At UI Oct. 10

Vern Sutton, a distinguished opera director and former member of the faculty at the University of Minnesota, will discuss his experience directing Aaron Copland's "The Tender Land" on farms in Minnesota in a free lecture, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, in Harper Hall of the University of Iowa Voxman Music Building.

"The Tender Land," which takes place on an American farm, will be produced by the UI Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theater in December.

Sutton is a currently a visiting artist at the UI School of Music. While on the UI campus he is directing students in the opera workshop in a class presentation of Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas."

In 1993 Sutton had the idea of producing "The Tender Land" on several Minnesota farms. The project had unexpected results in several ways, and in 2001 it caught the attention of the producers of CBS television's respected "Sunday Morning" show. In his lecture Sutton will share the experience through video, narrative and discussion with the audience.

Sutton directed the opera program at the University of Minnesota, where he also taught classes in musicology and served as director of the School of Music. He has directed opera throughout the Midwest and at the Aldeburgh Festival in England.

As a singer, Sutton has performed with orchestras throughout the country and internationally, including performances with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, the Des Moines Symphony, the New Opera Theatre of New York, Houston Opera, San Francisco Spring Opera and Kansas City Lyric Opera, as well as appearances at the Lake George Opera Festival and the Wolftrap Festival. For 13 years he was a frequent guest on Garison Keillor's original "Prairie Home Companion" radio show.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at

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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; cell: 319-541-2846;