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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 31, 2007

Ketterer continues opera lecture series with 'Oedipus in Venice'

Robert Ketterer, associate professor of classics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa, will present "Oedipus in Venice: Italian Opera Meets Greek Tragedy," with a lecture sponsored jointly by the Opera Studies Group and the Classics Department Colloquium Series. The talk will be at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, in Room 302 Schaeffer Hall on the UI campus.

Ketterer's lecture will examine early opera's debt to Greek tragedy.

"Tamerlano, based on a libretto by the Venetian noble Agostino Piovene, comes much closer than the usual Baroque opera to our ideas about how serious and tragic drama should behave," said Ketterer.

The talk will explore how Piovene's work on translating Greek tragedies affected the way he wrote opera librettos and how his librettos in turn laid the groundwork for what people think of as the norm for tragic opera.

Ketterer's research centers on Greek and Roman drama, with a special interest in early Italian opera. He also has a forthcoming book, titled "Ancient Rome in Early Opera" which discusses how Roman history was used in operas between 1640 and 1800.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information on the series or special accommodations to attend any of the lectures, contact Heidi Vekemans, 319-335-3862 or

The University of Iowa Opera Studies Group 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 and practitioners 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:

The OSG is affiliated with the University of Iowa International Programs, which enables UI students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the UI Office of the Provost.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Roberta Marvin, Opera Studies Program, 319-335-4034,; Kelli Andresen, International Programs, 319-335-2026,; Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,; Writer: Cassy Lalan