Opera & Meatballs a Big Hit

We've been hearing lots of great comments about our first joint fundraiser with the UI School of Music, "Opera & Meatballs," which was held Saturday night at the UIMA. For those of you that missed it, guests were treated to great food and a sampling of opera’s greatest moments, ranging from the breathtaking to the hilarious. Performed by talented School of Music students and alumni, the program included stuck-up starlets, seduction scenes, dueling divas, spine-tingling solos, and even singing waiters. What a fun night!

With nearly 120 attendees, the event raised approximately $6,000 for the Museum and School of Music vocal programs. Because of your generosity, the UIMA and the School of Music can continue to produce high-quality programming to benefit our entire community. Thanks to everyone who came out!

Special thanks to the event sponsor, Iowa State Bank & Trust, Chef Mickey's Catering for providing the meal, the UI School of Music students and alumni for their performances, Shari Rhoads for musical direction and program preparation, and the Opera & Meatballs event committee, chaired by Deb Galbraith, for planning the event. You are very much appreciated!

Here are some photos for you to check out. And if you attended the event, we want to know -- what did you think? What was good? What could have been better? What ideas do you have for future collaborations like this one? Have you become an opera convert after hearing those voices up-close, or is opera still not your thing?
Accordanist Jill Van Dorpe welcomes guests (above). Deb Galbraith, chair of the Opera & Meatballs event committee, greets guests, and Maitre d's David Johnsen (far right, Deb's husband and Dean of the Dental School) and Alan Swanson ( a member of the UIMA Members Council, show them to their tables.
Guests enjoy pre-performance beverages and appetizers.
Jo Ellickson places a basket of bread on the table (above). All the waiters for the evening were UI School of Music students.
Don't the decorations look lovely?
The UI School of Music waitstaff (above).
Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Lola Lopes kicks off the evening with an introduction.
Above, from left to right: Shari Rhoads, Deb Galbraith, Lola Lopes, and Buffie Tucker (Members Council Coordinator for the UIMA). Great work, ladies!The opera stars (above).Shari introduces the evening's first act (above), Emily Johnson and Quiliano Anderson (below), who sang "Libiamo ne' calici" from Verdi's La TraviataAllison Holmes sings "Quando m'en vo" from Puccini's La Boheme (above and below).
Surprise! Singing waiters (above). Who knew a song composed entirely of words used to denote phrasing, dynamics, and tempo in music could be so much fun? Definitely a highlight of the evening.
Guests at this table were treated to an unexpected guest......Bryce Weber, playing a diva from G. Donizetti's Viva la mamma opposite Erin Smith. They sang "Oh, if I only had a serpent's vicious tongue" -- what fun!

Again, a big thanks goes to everyone who joined us at the Museum for this wonderful event. We hope you had a great time!

** Photos by Ben Roberts **

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