By Matt Shattuck
On the evening of Oct. 4, Drake University will welcome world famous and Grammy Award winning dramatic opera singer Cheryl Studer to perform a recital.
Studer will perform on the Jordan Stage at Shelsow Auditorium in Old Main at 8 p.m. The Edwin Earle Ferguson foundation is making Studer’s concert on campus possible.
Drake assistant professor of piano Nicholas Roth will accompany Studer during the performance. “This will be the first time I have worked with her and I am just thrilled to do so,” said Roth.
Tickets can be purchased at the Drake Fine Arts Box Office and by calling 515-271-3841. Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for students, senior citizens and those with a Drake ID.
Cheryl Studer has performed over 80 dramatic operatic roles and regularly appears with the world’s most famous orchestras. Drake assistant professor of music Ann Cravero is responsible for organizing Studer’s appearance. “She is a Grammy Award winner, and one of the foremost dramatic sopranos in the world,“ said Cravero.
Studer has appeared with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Studer will perform a group of Mediterranean songs in Italian, Spanish, French and Greek. She will also sing a group of German songs composed by Richard Strauss and Johannes Brahms, in addition to a set of English songs by American Samuel Barber.
After the concert Studer will conduct a master class with Drake vocal students Sunday, Oct. 5, in Sheslow Auditorium. The class is free and open to the public. Studer will give tips to help students become better performers and to succeed in the music industry.
Studer currently teaches at a music conservatory in Germany. “She is very in tuned to working with students and providing students all the knowledge of repertoire and language nuance and technique,” said Cravero.
Studer is American and has benefited from the fine arts culture in Europe. “She was discovered in New York and then wound up going to Germany where the opera world is very big,” said Roth. “Over in Germany there are more opportunities to have a life in the opera world. Music is so part of the German and European culture in general, so she is extremely appreciated and revered.”
Nicholas Roth has been at Drake since 2003, and has been a soloist with the St. Louis Symphony and the Indianapolis Symphony. He studied in Germany from 1996-1999 and earned degrees in solo piano and song accompaniment while he studied under Helmut Deutsch and Elisso Wirssaladze.
The music department wants the concert to be entertaining, but also hopes to promote music and encourage people to come to more concerts.
Cravero believes that the performance should appeal to everyone. “It’s a world famous opera singer coming to Des Moines and even a person who is not interested in opera would fine this an interesting event.”
“It’s going to be a great performance of great music,” said Roth. “Even if you are not a musician, you are going to appreciate it.”