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.
FOUNDER & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR DANIEL KLEINKNECHT
As founder of Cedar Rapids Opera over twenty years ago, Daniel 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.
Principal, Converge Legal
Personal Lines Account Specialist, UFG
Doctoral Student, University of Iowa, Professional Pianist
Assoc. Fin. Advisor, Northwestern Mutual
Professional Opera Singer
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Professor, Theatre Arts, Coe College
IT Business Systems Architect, Verizon
International Sales Manager, Dexter Laundry
Cedar Rapids Opera (Retired)
Asst. Teaching Professor of Music, Iowa State
Director, Artificial Intelligence, Collins Aerospace
Adjunct Assistant Professor,
University of Iowa
Are you interested in serving your community through the mission and work of Cedar Rapids Opera?
We’d love to hear from you!
Please complete this online form to be considered for a volunteer leadership position, including Board and Committee service.