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Opera tour stops in Iowa City

BY SAMANTHA GENTRY | OCTOBER 04, 2012 6:30 AM

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High-quality acoustics, local musicians, and a historical venue in Iowa City is what the Iowa Opera House Project needs to put on a show.

This weekend, Dave Moore, Dustin Busch, Megan Drollinger, Milk and Eggs, and Sam Knutson will come together to play live music at 7 p.m. Saturday at Preucil School of Music, 524 N. Johnson St. Admission is $10.

The concert will have a family-friendly atmosphere in an acoustically sound space that was built more than 100 years ago.

The Iowa Opera House Project has traveled across the state to play at antique opera houses, in which community members might have forgotten about the charm of the spaces.

When Iowa was first being populated by European descendents, many towns built theaters that the people called opera houses. They created performance spaces in for public gatherings, live music, and theater shows.

The idea for the Iowa Opera House Project started when Knutson was invited to see a country-folk band perform at an opera house in What Cheer, Iowa.

He was attracted to the acoustic sound the venue provided, and he wanted to give local musicians the opportunity to play in similar spaces.

Knutson began to search for the remaining opera houses around Iowa, and he has had the chance to play at approximately 40 of the 300 that still remain.

The musician’s long-term goal with the project is to show Iowans that opera houses still exist in the state, and he hopes to raise enough funds to renovate all of them.

Last year, the Iowa Opera House Project had the chance to play in Iowa City’s Englert Theatre for a night full of live acoustic music.


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