CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
(NOTE TO EDITORS: Sidebars on the Hancher Guild champagne-and-cookies reception
and the history of Hancher Auditorium accompany this release)
Iowa's Simon Estes helps Hancher celebrate Silver Anniversary Sept. 16
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- International opera star Simon Estes, an Iowa native and
University of Iowa alumnus, will star in the Hancher Auditorium Silver Anniversary
Gala, which begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16. The concert is the first event
in Hancher's 1997-98 Cambridge Place Apartments Concert Series.
The black-tie-optional evening will begin with a champagne-and-cookie reception
-- featuring cookies specially created by local bakeries and restaurants to
mark the Silver Anniversary -- in the Hancher lobby. The festivities are organized
and hosted by the volunteers of Hancher Guild.
The reception, at which non-alcoholic beverages will also be available, is
free to all ticketholders. Special decorations and displays will add to the
atmosphere of celebration, including the on-going lobby exhibition of silverwork
and jewelry by UI art faculty member Chunghi Choo, her students and visiting
colleagues Donald Friedlich and Kyung Hee Hong.
Estes' concert will begin at 8 p.m. With the accompaniment of pianist Veronica
Scully, Estes will perform "Thus Saith the Lord" from Handel's "Messiah,"
the Lord's Prayer setting by Albert Hay Malotte, "The Lord is My Light"
by Frances Allitsen, a set of opera arias by Verdi, several traditional spirituals,
and Richard Rodgers songs from "Carousel," "Showboat"
and "The Sound of Music."
Estes grew up in Centerville, and at the UI he studied pre-med, psychology
and religion. His singing in the Old Gold Singers caught the attention of
School of Music faculty member Charles Kellis, who became Estes' first (and
only) teacher and introduced the young baritone to opera. Funds raised in
local benefits enabled Estes to travel to New York for auditions at the Juilliard
School of Music.
A prize at the 1966 Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow launched Estes' international
career, and in the years since he has performed nearly 90 roles at the world's
leading opera houses, and he has been featured on numerous recordings. His
latest release is "Spirituals," recorded in Iowa. In addition, he
is in demand as a recitalist and orchestral soloist, appearing regularly with
the leading orchestras in the United States and Europe.
His career has included command performances at the White House, a featured
role in the inaugural concert of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., engagements
at the Olympic Games and the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations, and a
performance for Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu.
Estes created the Simon Estes Scholarship fund at the University of Iowa,
which is one of his many philanthropic and educational endeavors. He has been
on the faculty of the Juilliard School in New York City since 1986.
Remaining tickets to the Sept. 16 Hancher Auditorium Silver Anniversary Gala,
including the champagne reception, are $36 and $34. UI students and senior
citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, and Zone 3 tickets are available
to UI student for $10. Audience members 17 and younger may purchase tickets
at half price.
Discounts of 20 percent are also available on subscriptions to the Concert
Series. Other events in the series are Toronto's Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
on Nov. 5 and the Australian Chamber Orchestra on March 31.
Cambridge Place Apartments is the corporate sponsor of the Concert Series,
through the University of Iowa Foundation.
Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday
and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319)
335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER.
Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American
Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills,
and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.
People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should
dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel
prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and
seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with
TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.