CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Dec. 19, 2002
(NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos of the UI Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theater's April
2002 production of "The Marriage of Figaro" are available for download
UI Opera Theater production wins National Opera Association award
The University of Iowa Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theater has won first prize
in the Opera Production Competition sponsored by the National Opera Association
(NOA), an international organization that serves the opera performance and
educational activities of academic institutions and small regional opera
The UI won for its production of Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro," presented
in Hancher Auditorium in April 2002. The production was directed by Sally
Stunkel, who received notification of the award. This was the first time
for the UI to win a production award from the NOA. It was the third winner
directed by Stunkel, who had previously directed two winning productions
at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.
The production of "The Marriage of Figaro" featured a cast of
UI students, and the University Symphony was conducted by William LaRue Jones.
Musical coach was Shari Rhoads. Costumes were designed by Margaret Wenk of
the Division of Performing Arts Production Unit. Lighting was by Laurel Shoemaker.
Kristin Thelander:, director of the UI School of Music, said: "This
is a wonderful honor for our voice and opera programs, to say nothing about
the production unit, orchestra and every other aspect of the opera production."
The awards will be given to the winners at the annual NOA Convention, January
17-20, 2003, in Washington, D.C.
The competition was for opera productions staged during the 2001-02 season
by college and university training programs and small professional companies.
Each entrant submitted a video tape of their production. The UI entry was
in the category for productions taped by a single fixed video camera, and
in the top budget category, for productions with total budgets of $75,000
Judging was by a panel of experts chosen by the NOA. Judging criteria covered
all artistic aspects of the production, including fidelity of the production
to the work, especially in terms of direction and style; conviction in the
acting; visual enhancement by the scenery, costumes and lighting; and musical
integrity in the vocal and instrumental performance.
The National Opera Association was founded in 1955, under the auspices of
the National Music Council. The National Opera Association seeks to promote
a greater appreciation of opera and music theatre, to enhance pedagogy and
performing activities, and to increase performance opportunities by supporting
projects that improve the scope and quality of opera. Members in the United
States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia participate in a wide array of
activities in support of this mission.
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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