At the Opera with IPR

Saturdays at noon on IPR Classical

At the Opera with IPR showcases some of the best opera productions from Iowa and across the country. Join us weekly for productions by local and national companies, including the Des Moines Metro Opera, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, the UNI School of Music/Opera Theatre, the Met Opera, San Fransisco Opera, and the Lyric Opera, among others. Listen on Saturdays at noon on IPR Classical.

Metropolitan Opera Productions: airs at noon on IPR Classical

December 7: Glass' Akhnaten

December 14: Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades

December 21: Verdi's Macbeth

December 28: Mozart's The Magic Flute

January 4: Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier

January 11: Berg's Wozzeck

January 18: Verdi's La Traviata

January 25: Puccini's La bohème

February 1: Gershwin's Porgy & Bess

February 8: Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust

February 15: Massenet's Manon

February 22: Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro

February 29: Handel's Agrippina

March 7: Mozart's Così fan tutte

March 14: Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer

March 21: Rossini's La Cenerentola

March 28: Massenet's Werther

April 4: Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice

April 11: Puccini's Tosca

April 18: Verdi's Simon Boccanegra

April 25: Puccini's Turandot

May 2: Janáček's Káťa Kabanová May 9: Donizetti''s Maria Stuarda 

The Metropolitan Opera HD Theater Transmissions Schedule:

  • January 11: Berg's Wozzeck
  • February 1: Gerswhin’s Porgy & Bess
  • February 29: Handel’s Agrippina 
  • March 14: Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer
  • April 11: Puccini’s Tosca
  • May 9: Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda

HD Theater Locations:

  • College Square Theater, Cedar Falls
  • Cinemark 20 Jordan Creek and XD, West Des Moines
  • Cinemark Movies 12, Ames
  • Rave Cinemas Rave Davenport 53 and IMAX, Davenport
  • Promenade Cinema, Sioux City
  • Marcus Theatres – Sycamore 12, Iowa City
  • Marcus Cedar Rapids Cine, Cedar Rapids
  • AMC Classic Star Dubuque 14, Dubuque
  • IPR’s Arias in April Broadcast Schedule:

    • April 4th at 8 PM and April 5th at 10 PM: La Bohème
    • April 11th at 8 PM and April 12th at 10 PM: Candide
    • April 18th at 8 PM and April 19th at 10 PM: Wozzeck
    • April 25th at 8 PM and April 26th at 10 PM: Orpheus in the Underworld
    • May 2nd at 8 PM and May 3rd at 10 PM: The Grant Wood Operas: Strokes of Genius
  • The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre upcoming performances:

    • January 11, 2020 at 1:30 PM: Young’s The Enchanted Forest
    • January 17, 2020 at 7:30 PM and January 19, 2020 at 2:00 PM: Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Paramount Theatre, Cedar Rapids
    • June 2020: Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel

    For more information, visit www.cr-opera.org

  • The Des Moines Metro Opera upcoming performances:

    • January 31 and February 2, 2020: Poulenc’s The Human Voice, Grand View University, Dubuque
    • February 16, 2020: Zachary James, bass-baritone, on Broadway, Plymouth Church, Des Moines
    • June 26, June 28, July 4, 9, 14, 16, 19, 2020: Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd
    • June 27, July 3, 12, 17, 2020: Rameau’s Platée
    • July 5, 7, 10, 18, 2020: Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades
    • July 11, 2020: Gregory Spears’s Fellow Travelers, Hoyt Sherman, Des Moines

    For more information, visit www.desmoinesmetroopera.org

 

Ways to Connect

Scott Arens

If you’re looking for all things opera, you’re in the right place! The Des Moines Metro Opera is preparing to kick off its 47th annual Festival Season.

Susan Bender

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.

Rob Merritt

Puccini’s last opera, Turandot, revolves around the beautiful Princess Turandot and the charming Prince Calaf. Turandot is full of “blood, violence, and fear – but also love and hope.”

Luther College 2018

A tale of humor, deceit, mistakes, and forgiveness, Mozart’s Così fan tutte is described by the New York Times as his “last and wisest Italian comic opera.”

Così fan tutte shakes up everyone’s ideas about infidelity and devotion in a fun and light-hearted way.

The Luther College’s double cast for Così fan tutte includes:

Fiordiligi – Emily Dirks (Act I) and Natalie Nelson (Act II), soprano

Dorabella – Aidan Spencer (Act I) and Natalie Rumer (Act II), mezzo-soprano

Des Moines Metro Opera

Inspired by the true life predicament of a refugee stuck in an airport for 18 years, Jonathan Dove’s Flight is one-of-a-kind.

Flight takes an ordinary place – an airport – and highlights the qualities that actually make it extra-ordinary. Dove describes airports as “portals between the everyday world and the magical world of flying.”

The opera will warm the hearts of all listeners. As the plot unfolds, each character's inner conflict leads to the ultimate compassionate conclusion.

The Des Moines Metro Opera cast for Flight includes:

Courtesy Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Wikimedia Commons

IPR Classical’s Performance Iowa will be doing a live broadcast of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s world-premiere of The Grant Wood Operas: Strokes of Genius performance on Sunday, April 14th at 2 p.m.

Des Moines Metro Opera

IPR’s Arias in April savors the Des Moines Metro Opera’s production of Dvořák’s brilliant setting of an ancient folk tale, complete with an unforgiving witch, a gorgeous sea nymph and a beautiful princess.

Dvořák’s gripping opera, Rusalka, often compared to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, ushers his heroine, Rusalka, through the joys of falling in love, coupled with the heartbreak of broken commitments as the result of several tragic decisions.

Courtesy Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Wikimedia Commons

The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre will soon be performing their own commission and premiere, The Grant Wood Operas: Strokes of Genius. The CROT will present a sneak peek in Iowa Public Radio’s Cedar Falls studios! The CROT’s cast features Jessica Pray, Thaddeus Ennen, Nicholas Nestorak, Jhe Russell, Jessica Grigg, Melanie Long, and Alex Soare, with Haley Stamats as Stage Director, and Pedro Yanez at the keyboard. The vocalists will treat us to an hour of operatic hits and several Grant Wood Operas surprises.

Des Moines Metro Opera

Kicking off IPR’s broadcasts is a performance by the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 2018 production of Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus.

Die Fledermaus is described as an “effervescent and sparkling confection” that contains “familiar melodies” and “delightful charm.” A tale about a friend who plays a joke on another friend, the story will bring laughter to all listeners.

Taylor Fiser Photography

Coming to Cedar Rapids on April 12-14th is the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s world-premiere of The Grant Wood Operas: Strokes of Genius.

Meche Kroop for Voce di Meche

Waterloo native MaKayla McDonald made Iowa proud when she sang the title role in the New York premiere of Thea Musgrave’s The Story of Harriet Tubman, put on by Utopia Opera in New York.

Des Moines Metro Opera

World-renowned soprano Sara Gartland’s career is soaring!

Ms. Gartland has performed leading roles with the Dallas, San Francisco, Austin Lyric, San Diego, and Des Moines Metro Operas to name a few. Last summer, Ms. Gartland sang the title role in Dvořák’s Rusalka with the Des Moines Metro Opera. This summer, she returns to Des Moines to play the role of Marie in Berg’s Wozzeck.

Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre

The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre opens up their 21st season with Brecht’s and Weill’s The Threepenny Opera. As part of their performance season, The CROT will present a sneak peek in Iowa Public Radio’s Cedar Falls studios! The CROT’s cast features Jessica Pray, Thaddeus Ennen, Ashley Armstrong, Matt Chastain, Stephanie Johnson, Anna Valcour, Evan Dunn, Sarah Mikulski, Bryce Genovese, with Pedro Yanez at the keyboard. The vocalists will treat us to an hour of operatic hits as well as several Threepenny favorites.

Duane Tinkey

Glory Denied is based on the true story of America’s longest-held prisoner of war, Vietnam veteran Colonel Jim Thompson. Colonel Thompson was captured when his plane was shot down in 1964 and endured extreme torture until his release in 1973. Colonel Thompson said the only thing that kept him going throughout those nine years were thoughts of his wife and children. However, his homecoming was not as he hoped.

Glory Denied “encapsulates something of the moral essence of the Vietnam War and the imperishable bitterness of its legacy.”

Rob Merritt

Puccini’s last opera, Turandot, revolves around the beautiful Princess Turandot and the charming Prince Calaf. Turandot is full of “blood, violence, and fear – but also love and hope.”

Princess Turandot declares that anyone who attempts to marry her and fails to answer three riddles correctly will be punished by death. Prince Calaf takes on the challenge. As the plot unfolds, sacrifices are made, hearts are broken, and blood is spilled, but love ultimately wins.

The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s cast for Turandot includes:

Britney Walters

Offenbach thumbs his nose at Greek Mythology, creating one of operetta’s most “satirical and hilarious operas of all time.”

Nothing is sacred in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, including the Greek Gods.

Offenbach’s insanity ends with his famous Infernal Gallop, also known as the Can-Can.

The ISU Theatre and Opera Studio accepts Offenbach’s musical challenge, running their cast and crew through the “pastoral tranquility of earth, the dizzying frivolity of heaven, and the bacchanalian hedonism of Hades.”

Luther College 2018

A tale of humor, deceit, mistakes, and forgiveness, Mozart’s Così fan tutte is described by the New York Times as his “last and wisest Italian comic opera.”

Così fan tutte shakes up everyone’s ideas about infidelity and devotion in a fun and light-hearted way.

The Luther College’s double cast for Così fan tutte includes:

Des Moines Metro Opera

Inspired by the true predicament of a refugee stuck in an airport for 18 years, Jonathan Dove’s Flight is truly one-of-a-kind.

Stage director Kristine McIntyre believes the “unbound future” draws all of the characters in Flight. Our “constant human need to recreate ourselves and our relationships” are a central theme throughout the opera.

Flight takes an ordinary place – an airport – and highlights the qualities that actually make it extra-ordinary. Dove describes airports as “portals between the everyday world and the magical world of flying.”

Des Moines Metro Opera

Dvořák’s gripping opera, Rusalka, often compared to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, ushers his heroine, Rusalka, through the joys of falling in love, coupled with the heartbreak of broken commitments as the result of several tragic decisions.

Sung in Czech, the opera truly “resonates with Dvořák’s passion for Czech folklore and fairy tales.” He “juxtaposes the mortal and the mythical with beautiful folk melodies and luminous arias.”

Des Moines Metro Opera

Kicking off the broadcasts is a performance by the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 2018 production of Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus.

Die Fledermaus is described as an “effervescent and sparkling confection” that contains “familiar melodies” and “delightful charm.” A tale about a friend who plays a joke on another friend, the story will bring laughter to all listeners.

IPR/Tony Dehner

As part of their 20th Anniversary Season, The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre will visit Iowa Public Radio once again! Tune in for performances and interviews at noon on Tuesday, June 12th featuring enchanting arias from the CROT’s production of Lerner and Loewe’s Brigadoon. The CROT’s cast features Matt Chastain, Stephanie Johnson, Ian Butler, Ashley Armstrong, Sarak Mikulski, Wesley Frye, Alicia Jayourba, Thaddeus Ennen, Liang Zhao, and Christina Bernardoni. The ensemble will treat us to a few musical gems from their upcoming performances of Brigadoon.

Devita Paschell

It’s that time of the year! The Des Moines Metro Opera is about to kick off its 46th annual Festival Season. As stated by the Chicago Tribune, “For the past 45 years, the Des Moines Metro Opera has produced an annual festival that is among the oldest and most enterprising summer opera fests in the nation." This year, their Mainstage Festival includes Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II, Rusalka by Antonín Dvořák, Flight by Jonathan Dove on the Mainstage. The Tender Land by Aaron Copland is part of their 2nd Stage Series.

Tune in to hear The Metropolitan Opera National Council Finals on Sunday, May 20th at noon and again on Sunday, May 27th at noon!

Last month, we showcased two rising Iowa opera stars. This month, we have another!

University of Iowa graduate, Jessica Faselt, competed alongside Megan Grey, another Iowan, in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition Finals. Ms. Faselt emerged victorious as a grand prize winner! Read more about her budding opera career below.

Rob Merrit

The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci double bill will polish off IPR’s Arias in April series. The Cavalleria rusticana cast features Iowa natives Katharine Goeldner (Santuzza) of Sigourney, Janara Kellerman (Mamma Lucia) of Cedar Rapids, and Teresa Buchholz (Lola) of Elkader. Tenor Chris Carr of Quasqueton performs as Beppe in Pagliacci.

Lisa Bergmann-Smithey

Gilbert and Sullivan steamed across the Atlantic from England to the United States to present their world premiere of the Pirates of Penzance. The pirates in the show weren’t the only pirates that the duo were concerned about. Copyright was at the top of their list. At the time, American law offered no copyright protection to foreigners. Gilbert and Sullivan’s previous opera achieved great success in London, and was immediately swept up by 150 American companies for unauthorized productions that paid no royalties to the creators.

Duane Tinkey

“A summer night smiles three times," Madame Armfeldt tells her granddaughter. "On the young, the fools, and the old.” Sondheim’s tour de force musical comedy whisks us away for a weekend in the country where old flames rekindle and new love affairs ignite. The signature song "Send in the Clowns" along with elegant waltzes drive this bittersweet creation. Sondheim’s masterpiece won six Tony awards including best musical, script, and score.

Duane Tinkey

The Des Moines Metro Opera opens Iowa Public Radio’s 2018 Arias in April with performances from their 45th Festival Season. IPR’s first DMMO broadcast features Puccini’s Turandot on Saturday, April 7th at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 8th at 11:00 p.m.

DUANE TINKEY

The warmer air and budding trees can only mean one thing: April is arriving, and with it comes Iowa Public Radio’s Arias in April series! For five weeks, listeners can tune in to enjoy opera productions from the Des Moines Metro Opera, University of Iowa Opera Theatre, and Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre.

Rob Merritt

This Sunday, January 21st, IPR will be broadcasting the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s production of Puccini’s “Turandot” at 2:00 p.m. The cast features Andrew McLaughlin, Nicholas Nestorak, Max Zander, Stephen Swanson, Alicia Jayourba, Jesse Donner, Tad Ennen, Rebecca Nash, Dustin Peterson, Christina Adams, Chloe Moore, and Ta’u Pupu’a. You can see the opera live at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids on Friday, January 19th at 7:30 p.m. or Sunday, January 21st at 2:00 p.m., or listen live with us on IPR Classical. Don’t miss it!

The University of Northern Iowa Opera’s production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel will be on stage at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on Friday, January 26th at 7:30 p.m. and again on Sunday, January 28th at 2 p.m. Graduate voice students Megan Grey and Emily Secor star as Hansel and Gretel in this fully-staged production.

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