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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release April 1, 2010

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

Last chance to see opera about George Washington Carver

OPERA Iowa to close touring educational production April 10 at State Historical Building

(DES MOINES) – OPERA Iowa, Des Moines Metro Opera’s educational troupe, will close the touring production of its George Washington Carver opera this month at the State Historical Building in Des Moines.

“A Dream Fulfilled: The Saga of George Washington Carver” will be at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, April 10, 2010, at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the door or reserved in advance by contacting Maureen Korte at 515-281-4132.

“We commissioned this production two years ago to help students learn about one of Iowa’s most significant historical figures,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Cyndi Pederson. “These last two performances are wonderful opportunities for families to share an educational experience with their children in a fun and entertaining way.”

Composed by Iowa’s own Dr. Michael Patterson, “A Dream Fulfilled” premiered last year at the State Historical Building and has been on two state-wide tours. The production was created in cooperation with the State Historical Society of Iowa, which provided research assistance.

The 50-minute opera delves into the life of the agricultural pioneer and Iowa hero, focusing on the key events that shaped his destiny. It begins in Winterset where Carver learns he will attend Simpson College and transitions to Iowa State University where he did groundbreaking work in botany. The opera culminates at the U.S. Capitol with his testimony before Congress.

Patterson is a graduate of Simpson College and holds post-graduate degrees from the University of Iowa and the University of Oklahoma. He has worked with DMMO for more than 30 years.

Currently an associate professor of Music Education at Simpson College, he has been an instructor and accompanist for the Simpson College Orpheus Festival and Elderhostel. He founded and administrates Simpson’s Music Education Workshop series, which has featured nationally recognized clinicians in workshops each semester for the past nine years.

Patterson has composed numerous songs for solo voice and piano, choral works and an opera, “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” which toured with OPERA Iowa in 2003 and 2004.

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Des Moines Metro Opera, OPERA Iowa’s parent company, will present its 38th Festival Season June 25-July 18, 2010, at the Blank Performing Arts Center in Indianola. Featured will be Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Verdi's Macbeth and Floyd's Susannah. More information is available at www.desmoinesmetroopera.org.

The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa's historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa's past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa's historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.

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