ABOUT THE OPERA

Founded in 1998 by Dr. Daniel Kleinknecht, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre 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. CR Opera'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 the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre 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.

FOUNDER & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR DANIEL KLEINKNECHT

As founder of Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre over twenty years ago, he has led the company in performances of major operatic repertoire and under his leadership the company has received four consecutive National Endowment for the Arts grants, has established a nationally-recognized Young Artist Program, and has built an endowment of over $100,000. He has conducted the Long Bay Symphony, Evansville Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, members of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Opera Illinois, Cedar Rapids Symphony, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Singers, the Fort Dodge Symphony, and the Iowa City Community Orchestra, and several national tours of Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. The Peoria Journal wrote,“with Kleinknecht at the podium, the sound was wonderfully hall-filling and alive with exceptional power and grace.” The Myrtle Beach Press said “what was most impressive was Kleinknecht…he controlled every aspect of the music.”

Kleinknecht has been a Conducting Fellow at the Aspen Music School and at Quebec’s Domaine Forget, and holds music degrees from Oberlin College, Indiana University, and The University of Iowa where he conducted performances of the Opera Theatre and the Center for New Music. He is listed in the International Who’s Who in Music, and has had articles published in the American Choral Review and the Choral Journal. He is also an associate professor at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids.

STAFF

DANIEL KLEINKNECHT

FOUNDER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

LORI LANE

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

BOARD

SUSAN WOLVERTON

PRESIDENT

Professor of Theater, Coe College

JENNI HUMMEL

TREASURER

CPA (Retired)

LENA GILBERT

Real Estate Agent, Skogman

THIES KOLLN

Partner, AAVIN Private Equity

CATHERINE PAYVANDI

Community Volunteer

PAUL SCHNEIDER

Radiologist, RCI

GAIL WILLIAMS

Collins Aerospace (Retired), Pianist

DAVE CAVES

VICE PRESIDENT

Shareholder, Bradley & Riley

JESSICA ALTFILLISCH

Executive Director, Harmony School of Music

CONNOR GRASK

Personal Lines Account Specialist, UFG

FEILIN LIN

Pianist/Music Educator

JOHN PERSICK

Engineer, Collins Aerospace (Retired)

BRYAN STOBB

Private Client Wealth Advisor, Bankers Trust

THOMAS WOLLE

Member, Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman

KATHLEEN KLEIMAN

SECRETARY

Member, Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman

NANCY HILL COBB

Composer

SUSAN SONDROL JONES

Associate Professor Emeritus, University of Iowa

VIRGINIA MICHALICEK

Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre (Retired)

JENNIFER RIGDON

Business Development Manager, Southern Specialties

DANIELLE TARNOWSKI

Wealth Management Personal Trust Manager, US Bank