Elkader Opera House Piano Series Kicks Off
From North Carolina, Minnesota and even New York, talented individuals begin to flock, hoping for an opera house piano series spot.
Elkader opera house will launch its piano series on January 28, with award winning performer and composer, Dr. Kevin Ayesh. The Sunday Matinee performance will kick off at 2 p.m.
Ayesh is one of the artists being sponsored by the opera house board of directors. Head of the music department at Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, NC, since 1992, and a NC visiting artist from 1988 to 1992, Ayesh has performed for thousands and averaged a hundred performances a year.
His many awards include the Naftzger Piano Award and Composer’s prize at the Fourth New Orleans International Piano Competition. He will perform audience favorites, such as, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and other beautiful melodies with a little jazz.
Local pianist Kirstin Dyer will perform on February 11 at 2 p.m. Dyer, a group piano instructor and accompanist at University of Northern Iowa, (UNI) will be performing with a tenor, Peter Grau; A senior that is currently finishing his degree in vocal music education at UNI.
“I will be performing solo piano works by Bach and Beethoven and Peter will be singing a variety of music including Mozart and Barber – we will perform a nice variety of music from Baroque to modern,” Dyer said.
Dyer has also performed with Waterloo – Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra.
There will be a short break in the piano series to allow for a little romance when the American Magic Lantern Theater company will give a Valentine showing on February 12, at 7:30 p.m. of the great grandpa of movies, the magic lantern – a precursor to film and TV. It will be accompanied with old-time music and song, for a Romantic Valentine Evening.
It is right back into the piano series the same week on Saturday 17, and a matinee performance on 18, by a native of Elkader, turned native New Yorker, Teresa Buchholz, Mezzo-Soprano and Yale University Opera Program graduate. Buchholz will have a piano accompanist, possibly from New York. Buchholz is an experienced oratorio soloist who’s most recent appearance was at the Lincoln Center with the American Symphony Orchestra. Her repertoire ranges from Italian madrigals like those of Monteverdi and Carissimi to more contemporary works.
There will be a brief break in the piano series for the Opera House Players to perform Noises Off, April 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee on Sunday 15, 2 p.m.
A household name will be up next when the Ozark Jubilee, starring Randy Newman, will perform at the opera house, on April 22 at 2 p.m., and 7 p.m.
Only five days later the opera house will feature another pianist, Dr. Christopher Atzinger, from St Olaf College in Minnesota.
The opera house is still negotiating to get in more great pianists, such as Jim McDonough for Mother’s Day – and great TV favorites, such as Charo, Queen of Salsa, for Father’s Day, but nothing is set in stone yet. There have even been whispers of crooners, such as, Johnny Mathis, but again, no dates set.
Before picking up the pace again with the piano series, audiences can enjoy local favorites Backswitch, international touring and acclaimed Celtic band, Friday, June 1.
Missoula Children’s Theater returns July 16 to 21, 3 p.m., and 7 p.m. Opera House Players will perform The Bakers Wife in the fall and The Best Christmas Pageant ever later in the year.
The Keystone players will return once again, as will Big Blue Sky.
A very exciting part of the piano series, and likely one of the highlights of the year, will be the return of superb pianist, Eddie Piccard and his Quartet, from Cedar Falls.
Also from New York, the beautiful and popular, Ann Tormela will return to perform great opera favorites. She will be accompanied by local Iowan musicians.
As the Elkader Opera House calendar continues to fill out, local audiences can look forward to seeing more exciting and stimulating entertainment.
The board is currently considering various evenings of entertainment, such as a variety night featuring local talent, a comedy night, an evening of spoken word, featuring poetry recitals by local poets, and an evening of Algerian music; story telling and cultural awareness through the introduction of Arabic musical instruments, such as the Arabic flute, finger drum, bag pipes and mandolin. There is also the possibility of a one act play of Scheherazade and a visit from Abd elKader’s (Elkader’s) descendent and great, great, great grand daughter, Badria Jazairi, a storyteller.
Visit www.elkaderoperahouse.com for more information on the artists and web links.
For all show and ticket information call: 563 245 2098
For ticket reservations contact [email protected]
Or visit the newly instated box office Monday to Friday at the Elkader Opera House on Main St., during the hours of 1 p.m., to 4 p.m.
Tickets can also be bought for most shows at Moser Pharmacy.
To be put on the opera house mailing list contact: [email protected]
The Elkader Opera House Needs Your Help
The opera house is currently seeking volunteers who are interested in theater. They need people of all ages who would like to help out with ushering at upcoming events, also those who are interested in learning all aspects of theater performance, stage craft, promotion, management, lighting and sound. The opera house is community based and believes firmly in equal opportunity and enriching the lives of the community through theater. The opera house would also like to work with students that are trying to acquire credits in all aspects of entertainment and promotion.
Contact: Opera House Manager, Izzy, 563 245 2098.