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Image for Opera: Cosi fan tutte
Opera: Cosi fan tutte
January 20 & 22, 2023

Or The School for Lovers

Comic Opera in Two Acts

Text by Lorenzo Da Ponte

Music By W. A. Mozart

First performed at the Burgtheater in Vienna, January 26, 1790


Presented by Cedar Rapids Opera

January 20, 2023 at 7:30PM and January 22 at 2PM
The Sunday performance will be broadcast live by Iowa Public Radio.


Season Sponsors:
CRST International, John and Dyan Smith, Carleen and Eugene Grandon Foundation, Esther and Myron Wilson, Jared and Carol Hills, and UFG Insurance


Featuring members of the Smith Young Artist Program in the Opera Chorus
and the musicians of Orchestra Iowa


Jessica Faselt

Olivia Vote

Leroy Davis

Ziwen Xiang

Ashley Emerson   

Adelmo Guidarelli
Don Alfonso

2023 Smith Young Artists

Gabrielle Armstrong

Hailey Cohen

Ethan Elsbernd

Beatrice Kim

Alex Kolyszko

Sarah Kuhlmann

Hailey Lipke

Brennan Martinez

Hailey McAvoy

Evan Mitchell

Anthony Rohr

Sarah Rosales

Peter Wesoloski

Chorus Members

Avery Anderson

Brian Anderson

Charles Kucera

Deb Kucera

Finley McVay

Gail Williams

Isabella Koch

Lora Schmoll

Michele Horsfall

Randall Walton

Rebecca Mumaw

Robby Holmes

Artistic Staff

Daniel Kleinknecht
Conductor and Continuo

Benjamin Robinson
Stage Director

Gerald Kreitzer

Chorus Master

Scott Olinger
Set and Lighting Designer

Kristen Olinger
Projection Designer

Karlē Meyers
Costume Designer

Sarah Fried
Makeup and Wig Designer

Jason Lester
Technical Director

Mariana Tejeda
Stage Manager

Blaine Cunningham
Supertitle Master

John Morefied
Coach and Pianist

25th Anniversary Silver Sponsor



Season Sponsors












Production Sponsor


Land Acknowledgement

Cedar Rapids Opera wishes to acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the native people who lived here and cared for the earth.  The (Iowa), (Sauk), Meskwaki, and Fox people lived here.  We honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who have cared for it throughout the generations.

About the Opera

Founded in 1998 by Dr. Daniel Kleinknecht, Cedar Rapids Opera presents two to three operas each season for over 7,000 audience members and community school students, as well as special events. An Opera America member, the company typically features American artists in its productions. CROpera's Young Artist Program, active since 2003, offers college and university-educated students of vocal performance, a paid opportunity to understudy principal roles, sing comprimario roles, and perform in the opera chorus of mainstage operas, as well as participate in school outreach productions and annual summer operettas/musicals.

The mission of Cedar Rapids Opera is to advance opera as a vital, living American art form and to develop the artists who create it, as well as the audience that appreciates and supports it.

Contact Cedar Rapids Opera

Please tap the link below to contact us.

Cedar Rapids Opera

Special Thanks

Cedar Rapids Opera would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to all those who opened their homes to artists as Homestay Hosts. 

Virginia & Dick Boyer
Cooper Bott
Jaisel Bott
Anthony Burton
David & Lijun Chadima
Curtis Cox
Randy & Sally Davison
Nathaniel Golay
Dennis Green
Andrea Grewe
Dee Ann Johnson
Wayne & Jill Flory
Carl & Lynn Hartman
Ann Lipsky
Steve & Lisa Loesch
Andrea McVay
Peter & Joan Riley
Guy & Terri Wendler
Mark & Molly Williams
Paul & Gail Williams
Mark & Tracy Zimmerman


Cedar Rapids Opera would also like to thank:

Blue Sky Videography
Jill Christine Photography
Taylor Fiser Photography
Iowa Public Radio— Jacqueline Halbloom, Jim Davies, Al Schares
KCCK— Dennis Green
VenuWorks— Scott Picquard
Anna Barker
Catherine Payvandi
Orchestra Iowa
Coe College
Heuer Publishing
New Leaf Media, Inc.

Cedar Rapids Opera Board

Thank you to our Board of Directors, without whom tonight would not be possible. It takes a village to create great art, and we thank each community member on our Board for dedicating their time and talent to Cedar Rapids Opera.

David Caves, President
Virginia Michalicek, Vice President
Connor Grask, Secretary
Scot Brown, Treasurer
Susan Wolverton, Immediate Past Board President


Anna Barker
David Chadima
Jenni Hummel
Kathlen A. Kleiman
Thies Kolln
Cathie Payvandi
Paul Schneider
Chad Sonka
Bryan Stobb
Danielle Tarnowski
Joni Wallace
Kristen Wilcox
Gail Williams 

A Note from the Stage Director

Così fan tutte is a bit of a conundrum. It’s a spectacular example of Mozart’s musical genius and a problematic story that is a bit at odds with our modern sensibility. The “big joke” revolves around a bet placed by the three male characters, Ferrando, Guglielmo, and Don Alfonso, on the fidelity of Fiordiligi and Dorabella. Egged on by a Machiavellian, if benevolent, Despina, the six characters are meant to dive into a tale of deception and then emerge having learned some lessons. As I was trying to conceptualize how to direct this opera for a modern audience, I couldn’t help but think how contrived the plot’s circumstances are. With some admirably flexible support from the CRO staff and production team, we landed on the zany idea to set this on the set of a 1980s daytime soap opera. This world opens many avenues of exploration: the characters are able to know and control their own destiny; the women can play a game of deception on their own terms, and the scenes can play out on all of the cheesy (wonderful) soap opera sets that were so in fashion. Setting Così fan tutte in the midst of the '80s nostalgia captures the effervescent vibrance generated by the collaboration between Mozart and librettist Lorenzo da Ponte while freeing up the story to be more fully resonant for an audience watching in 2023. 

—Benjamin Robinson

Chorus Members

Avery Anderrson

Brian Anderson

Robby Holmes

Isabella Koch

Charles Kucera

Deb Kucera

Linda Lehmann

David Medin

Rebecca Mumaw

Lora Schmoll

Randall Walton

Gail Williams

Halas Wilson

Coming Soon to Cedar Rapids Opera

Bookclub With the Maestro

Opera, or the Undoing of Women

by Catherine Clement

Join us for a lively discussion exploring the themes of power, femininity, and life and death through the lens of Catherine Clement’s book Opera, or the Undoing of Women. Hosted by University of Iowa Professor Anna Barker. Feb. 23, 2023 at 7pm on Zoom.

Wistful Melodies of Dvořák

130 years ago, Antonin Dvorak spent the summer in Spillville, Iowa and completed one of the most beautiful symphonies even written: the New World Symphony. Mezzo soprano Janara Kellerman returns to CROpera to celebrate the inspiring beauty of Iowa interpreted through song in this beautiful concert accompanied by Daniel Kleinknecht on piano. The program will include Dvorak’s hauntingly beautiful Roma Songs, Evening Songs, and more. 

On Friday, March 24 at 7 pm, the artists will reprise their concert in Spillville, Iowa itself, at the St. Wenceslas Catholic Church.

Presented in partnership with the Czech and Slovak Museum & Library.

March 23, 2023 at 7pm. Tickets $20.  

Gianni Schicchi/American Gothical  

Double your fun with a double feature of comedic opera! Puccini’s hilarious one-act Gianni Schicchi, filled with imposters and ingenuity, takes centerstage first, followed by Robert Lindsey-Nassif’s American Gothical, a laugh-filled love letter to one of Iowa's most famous paintings. CROpera’s season culminates in something old, something new, something operatic just for you! June 22, 23, and 24, at Brucemore's Peggy Boyle Whitworth Ampitheater.

Three Tenors Gala 

The Cedar Rapids Opera 25th Anniversary Gala will celebrate its own “Three Tenors” in a festive evening dedicated to the support of its Young Artist Program and educational outreach initiatives. Enjoy a gourmet Italian feast and allow yourself to be transported to the glowing hills of Tuscany as Andrew Stenson, Chaz’man Williams-Ali, and Mark He sing an unforgettable concert of traditional Italian favorites in honor of the Young Artists of the past and the yet-unsung stories of the future.  August 26 at 6:00 pm at The Hotel at Kirkwood. Tickets $150.

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