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University of Iowa News Release


March 19, 2009

University Symphony will present operatic excerpts and tenor arias March 31

The University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra will feature tenor Dennis Petersen, an alumnus of the UI School of Music, in a program of operatic favorites at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union.

The concert, under the direction of William LaRue Jones, will be free and open to the public.

"We have changed the venue, but not the epic programming for our second concert of the spring semester," Jones said. "After the drama and passion of Richard Strauss' 'Hero's life' for February's concert, the UISO will play an entire concert featuring the drama and passion of the operatic stage. We will feature Metropolitan opera tenor Dennis Petersen, singing music from Puccini and Leoncavallo to Beethoven, adding some popular orchestral numbers from the operatic repertoire as well."

Each half of the concert will open with a well-known operatic selection for orchestra to be followed by a series of popular arias for tenor. The complete program will be:

--Selections from Suite No. 1 from "Carmen" by Georges Bizet.
--"La fleur que tu m'avais" (Flower song) from "Carmen."
--"Dio, mi potevi scagliar" from "Othello" by Giuseppe Verdi.
--"E lucevan le stele" from "Tosca" by Giacomo Puccini.
--"Vesti la giubba" from "I Pagliacci" by Ruggero Leoncavallo.
--Overture to "The Barber of Seville" by Gioacchino Rossini.
--"Gott welch' Dunkel hier" from "Fidelio" by Ludwig van Beethoven.
--"Winterstürme" from "Die Walküre" by Richard Wagner.
--"Notung" from "Siegfried" by Wagner.
--"Durch die Wälder" from "Der Freischütz" by Carl Maria von Weber.

Described as a "wonderfully natural singing actor" by critic John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune, Petersen has performed with the San Francisco Opera nearly every year since 1985 and in a variety of roles with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the New York City Opera. Most of each year he is on tour to opera houses around the world. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1995 in "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk" and has sung a number of roles at the Met since then. A partial list of conductors he has sung with includes James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, Edo de Waart, Zubin Mehta, James Conlon, Andrew Davis and David Zinman.

A native of West Branch, he received a master's degree from the UI in 1978 and has been singing professionally for the past 30 years. For more information, reviews and photos visit

A UI music alumnus, Jones joined the faculty of the School of Music in 1997 as director of the University Symphony and director of orchestral studies. The founding director of the internationally recognized Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., Jones has appeared as a guest conductor with professional, festival, collegiate and student ensembles throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. For m ore information visit

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Visit the UI School of Music Web site at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072 (office), 319-541-2846 (cell),