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April brings myriad musical performances

More than 300 Drake University musicians will join forces to perform Ein Deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem) by Johannes Brahms at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 15, at the Civic Center of Greater Moines.

The performance will feature all four Drake choral ensembles (Drake Choir, Chamber Choir, Chorale and Drake University/Community Chorus) and an orchestra made up of Drake faculty and other professional players as well as Drake students. Also performing will be soloists Leanne Freeman-Miller, soprano and Drake associate professor of voice, and Stephen Swanson, baritone and professor of voice at the University of Iowa. The conductor is Aimee Beckmann-Collier, professor of conducting.

“Ein Deutsches Requiem is one of the most fabulous pieces in all of Western music,” Beckmann-Collier said. “This is a work that speaks to all of us because it addresses the universal human experience of loss, grief, comfort and, ultimately, the contemplation of the meaning of life.”


Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for students of any age. They may be purchased at the Drake Fine Arts Box Office (515-271-3841) and the Civic Center Box Office (515-246-2300. Tickets also can be purchased at the door or charged by phone at Ticketmaster at 515-243-1888.

Drake Opera Theatre, directed by Ann Cravero, assistant professor of music, will present the English-sung version of the comical opera “Die Fledermaus (The Bat)” by Johann Strauss at 8 p.m. Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21, in the Performing Arts Hall, Harmon Fine Arts Center.

The opera features a lighthearted romp through mistaken identities, a lavish party thrown by a Russian count, a drunken jailor and all the loose ends tied up in prison. There’s a cast of incomparable characters and musical favorites galore. “This enchanted evening will leave you humming long after Count Orlofsky’s ball is over,” Cravero said.

Tickets are $12 for adults; $6 for students, senior citizens and those with Drake I.D. They are available through the Drake Fine Arts Box Office at 515-271-3841.

Sponsored by Friends of Drake Arts, a pre-theatre dinner and talkabout will be presented by Leanne Freeman-Miller, associate professor of voice, at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 21, in Levitt Hall in Old Main. Tickets are $30 and include the dinner, talk and opera.  Reservations are required. For reservations and more information, call 515-271-3147.

The Drake Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Canarina, professor of conducting, will conclude its spring season with the annual Young Artists Concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, on the Jordan Stage in  Sheslow Auditorium, Old Main.

Four outstanding student musicians will be featured: soprano Natalie Neimann of Fort Dodge, Iowa, singing arias by Mozart and Bizet; mezzo-soprano Jacquelynne Colby of Waverly, Iowa, singing arias by Bizet and Rossini; tenor Matthew Podobinski of Maplewood, Minn., singing arias by Lalo and Tchaikovsky; and English horn player Molly Scott of Davis, Calif., performing “The Swan of Tuonela” by Sibelius. The orchestra will perform Verdi’s Overture to “Nabucco” and Borodin’s Pololvetzian Dances from “Prince Igor.” Admission is free.