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Sources: Jennifer Edwards, 785-537-7287, jre@k-state.edu;
Reginald Pittman, 785-532-3826, pittman@k-state.edu;
and Dale Ganz, 785-532-3805, dganz@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Emily Vietti, 785-532-2535, evietti@k-state.edu

Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011

WORLD-CLASS OPERA SINGER NANCY MAULTSBY HITS HIGH NOTE WITH OPERA BENEFIT

MANHATTAN -- When renowned opera singer Nancy Maultsby steps off the stage at some of the world's most recognizable performance venues, she retreats to her home here.

But at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13, her refuge will become the stage.

Maultsby is performing a recital in K-State's All Faiths Chapel to benefit K-State Opera. Afterward she will greet patrons at a Meet the Artist reception, featuring wine and hors d'oeuvres, in the K-State Leadership Studies Building.

A mezzo-soprano, Maultsby is in demand by opera companies and orchestras throughout the world. Her vocal timbre and insightful musicianship allow her to pursue a repertoire extending from the operas of Monteverdi and Handel to recent works by John Adams. She regularly performs the major heroines of 19th-century French, Italian and German opera and the great symphonic works.

Maultsby's operatic career includes a wide range of roles in some of the world's most prestigious opera houses. She has performed often with Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she appeared as Erda in "Das Rheingold and Siegfried" and as the First Norn and Waltraute in "Gotterdammerung," all conducted by Zubin Mehta.

"I think it's important to give back to the arts, and as my husband is on the faculty at K-State and his students are very involved in the opera program, this seemed like a perfect fit," Maultsby said. "I've become friendly with the other voice teachers on the faculty as well. Jennifer Edwards, who was formerly the head of the voice program, has become a good friend and is still very much involved in the arts, both at K State and in the community. The benefit was her idea, and I was flattered and honored that she asked me to take part."

Edwards, now a professor emeritus, has been helping raise money for K-State Opera since 2007. She thinks Maultsby's recital will be the best endeavor yet.

"Nancy and I had talked about her doing something with or for the students for years," Edwards said. "But we never could find the right time and place and spirit of the event where she felt she could give back in her best way. I e-mailed her with a proposal about this recital, and she responded in 10 minutes with 'Let's do it.' "

Dale Ganz, Maultsby's husband and K-State vocal music professor, wasn't sure that the recital was the best idea at first, but the plan concocted by Maultsby and Edwards won him over.

"It's probably my fault that she hasn't performed here before," Ganz said. "I’ve discouraged her from singing locally because this is where she hides out and recharges her batteries. But I have many students who perform with the K-State Opera, and she had a little hole in her schedule and wanted to do it because she thinks it's a good cause -- she's doing it for my students and for all the voice students."

Reginald Pittman, director of K-State Opera, said the recital is a special event for K-State.

"Nothing along these lines has happened before," Pittman said. "No professional singer has come in and donated all the proceeds to us. We're very lucky to have one of our faculty members married to a professional opera singer. Nancy has quite the career -- it has expanded internationally, and it's a career many singers have only dreamed of."

Pittman and Edwards emphasized that all the money raised will help K-State students.

"Proceeds will benefit the students in their activities," Pittman said. "For example, summer opera programs or special singing events where they might need a little financial assistance to go."

"We want to use the money, which will go directly into the opera guild fund at the KSU Foundation, to give something extra to students who are already here at K-State," Edwards said. "We can use it to bring in amazing master teachers or to supplement travel expenses, or even just for outstanding costumes and props for the spring operas. I'm so thankful for all the guidance and support the foundation has provided in organizing this event."

This spring the K-State Opera is doing two one-act operas: "Gianni Schicchi" by Puccini and "Trouble in Tahiti" by Leonard Bernstein. The one-acts will be performed March 10-12 in McCain Auditorium with the K-State Orchestra.

Maultsby won't be singing just opera at the recital. She has selected an assortment of performance pieces to suit every taste.

"The program is quite varied," she said. "It's a combination of art song and opera selections from well-known operas, as well as a bit of operetta and some selections from Stephen Sondheim -- a little something for everyone."

The cost to attend the recital and reception is $75. Reservations must be made by Friday, Feb. 4. For more information or to make a reservation, go to: http://www.found.ksu.edu/email/arts_science/opera/opera_email.html.