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University of Iowa News Release


April 18, 2008

UI alumnus sang for pope in Yankee Stadium

John Des Marais, a graduate of the University of Iowa School of Music and former student of Professor Stephen Swanson, served as cantor for the Celebration of the Eucharist held Sunday, April 20, in Yankee Stadium in New York, with Pope Benedict XVI.

The Mass was telecast by several major networks, including CNN.

As a student, Des Marias, a tenor, sang major roles in productions of the UI Opera Theater: Tamino in Mozart’s “Magic Flute” in 1999; Romeo in Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet” in 1998; and Rinuccio in Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi” in 1997. He was also the tenor soloist in performances of Mendlessohn’s “Die erste Walpurgisnacht” (The first Walpurgis night) with the University Symphony and Choruses in 2000, among the performances on campus.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Steven Swanson, UI professor of music, 319-335-1671,