The American Gothic Performing Arts Festival will be performing Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land this Friday, June 7, 2019 at 8 p.m. This performance is the opening event of their two-week performing arts festival. Due to the weather, the production will be held at the Temple of Creative Arts, formerly known as the B'nai Jacob Synagogue, located at 529 E. Main Street in Ottumwa.
Copland’s The Tender Land is a “poignant, coming-of-age story set on a Midwestern farm.” A “relatable” and “sweet” love story, The Tender Land epitomizes Iowa life. “With its American music and authentic clothing, the show makes opera accessible for Southeast Iowa audiences.”
The cast stars Drake University faculty mezzo soprano Ann Cravero, student singers from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and the University of Iowa, and local singers from Southeast Iowa. Susan Bender, Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, is the director of the performance. She will be assisted by Dennis Willhoit, Executive Artistic Director, who will be conducting The Tender Land.
Dennis Willhoit reached IPR’s Jacqueline Halbloom by phone to talk about this year’s festival. Listen below to hear more.
Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity to see an amazing performance and support local artists. The performance has a free-will offering with extra events throughout the night. Cedar Valley Winery will be present prior to the show for a wine tasting, and an ice cream and pie social will occupy intermission. For more information, visit http://www.americangothicfest.org/.
Cast for The Tender Land includes:
Susan Bender — stage director
Dennis Willhoit — conductor
Ma Moss — Ann Cravero
Grandpa Moss — William Toney
Laurie Moss — Alyssa Eiden
Top — Jack Simpson
Martin — Elijah Schuh
Audio will be posted below on Friday morning, June 7th.