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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 4, 2008

Blackwell to lecture on fairy tale operas Jan. 10, 11

The community will have an opportunity to explore operas based on fairy tales during an event organized by the University of Iowa Opera Studies Group (OSG) on Thursday, Jan. 10 on the UI campus.

Jeannine Blackwell, dean of the University of Kentucky Graduate School, professor of German and adjunct professor of gender and women's studies, will give a talk titled "Borrowed Magic: Fairy Tale Operas in European Context" at 5 p.m. in Room 315 Phillips Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

"From Purcell's 'The Faerie Queen' to Humperdinck's classic, 'Hansel und Gretel,' opera has borrowed splendor from fairy and folk tales," said Roberta M. Marvin, OSG co-director. "This talk will explore the commonalities of operas and other dramatic productions which use fairy tales as plot."

Blackwell's published research centers on fairy tales, autobiography and religious confessional literature by women in Central Europe. She is the co-author of two anthologies in English translation: "The Queen's Mirror: Fairy Tales by German Women 1780-1900" and "Bitter Healing: German Women Writers 1700-1830." Blackwell has also served as president of Women in German, chair of the Publications Committee of the Modern Language Association, and chair of the National Advisory Committee in Germanics for the Fulbright Commission. She is currently translating works by Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Gabriele Reuter, Lou Andreas-Salome, Anna Seghers and others for an anthology of German women writers from 1830 to 1945.

Blackwell will also be speaking at 6:45 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11 at the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre (CROT). The lecture is made possible by the OSG and the UI International Programs.

Titled "Wonder and Bewilderment: The Fairy Tale Milieu of 'The Magic Flute,'" the Friday lecture will explore the fairy tale landscape of Germany and Austria in the late 18th century by placing "The Magic Flute" in the context of tales of wonder before the Brothers Grimm.

The lecture will be followed by the CROT's performance of Mozart's "The Magic Flute." Tickets are available at the Theatre Cedar Rapids Box Office.

The University of Iowa Opera Studies Group (OSG) was established in 1999 as a forum for 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.

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 CONTACT: Kelli Andresen, 319-335-2026,; Writer: Lini Ge