© 2023 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

King Lear's Iowa page turner set to music in premiere opera

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Author Jane Smiley's literary retelling of King Lear, A Thousand Acres, is taking the stage as part of Des Moines Metro Opera's 50th season.

The creatives behind the new opera A Thousand Acres recount how they collaborated to bring author Jane Smiley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel to the stage.

July 9th is the world premiere of the American opera at the Des Moines Metro Opera in Indianola. Hours before its debut DMMO will welcome Smiley to reflect on the novel 30 years after its publication, and talk with the opera's creative team during Creators in Conversation: An Afternoon with Jane Smiley at 1:30 p.m. in Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The DMMO pays to support IPR content


  • Michael Egel, the Linda Koehn general and artistic director, Des Moines Metro Opera
  • Kristine McIntyre, director
  • Kristin Kuster, composer
  • Mark Campbell, librettist
  • Elise Quagliata, mezzo-soprano performing the role of Ginny
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Natalie Dunlap is a rising junior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and minoring in gender, women's & sexuality studies. She is from Iowa City and in her free time enjoys getting coffee and reading downtown with friends.