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Keeping treasures alive

Iowa Opera House Project comes to Blairsburg on Friday

July 11, 2012
Teresa Wood - Correspondent (editor@freemanjournal.net) , The Daily Freeman Journal

BLAIRSBURG - The Blairsburg Opera House will host Sam Knutson and Company of the Iowa Opera House Project on Friday at 7 p.m.

The Iowa Opera House Project was created by Knutson and several other musicians who are interested in keeping these treasures throughout the Hawkeye State alive through performances and fundraising.

"These are a dynamic group of kids who are doing their artistic thing by travelling around Iowa and putting Iowa's opera houses in the spotlight," said Diane Sinclair of the Blairsburg Opera House Preservation Committee.

Article Photos

-Daily Freeman-Journal file photo
The Blairsburg Opera House will be hosting Sam Knutson and Company of the Iowa Opera House Project on Friday at 7 p.m. Tickets are available by contacting (515) 325-6092 or at the door.

Knutson developed the idea of the Iowa Opera House Project last year after performing at the What Cheer Opera House. That opera house was built in 1883 and had recently been restored.

At the restored What Cheer theatre, Knutson noted billings of past performers including Hank Williams, Jr. and Guy Lombardo and he was struck by the importance of preserving these venues throughout the state.

Knutson developed a plan of enlisting acoustic talent to perform in the pre-sound system opera houses that were built between 1870-1920. The project's goal is to draw an audience of up to 200 to performances at each of the many opera houses throughout the state. The ultimate goal would be to help fund upkeep and reconstruction of these local jewels.

"These theatres exist as part of the rural splendor there is in the out of the way corners, not far from where most Iowans call home," reads the project mission statement.

Blairsburg's Opera House was built in 1895 and has served the community not only as a venue for theatrical and musical entertainment, but also it has doubled as a rollerskating rink, banquet hall and it served as an annex where volunteers rolled bandages during World War II.

Knutson and Company will present a two hour, family friendly program of acoustic old time folk music and original compositions.

Tickets are available by contacting (515) 325-6092 or at the door.

 
 

 

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