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World Premiere Of THE MACHINE STOPS Runs In Coralville, July 30-31

Designed for a chamber orchestra of 12 musicians, the two-act opera is produced by musical director Ed Kottick.

World Premiere Of THE MACHINE STOPS Runs In Coralville, July 30-31

The Machine Stops, a classic science fiction story by E. M. Forster, re-envisioned by two Iowa artists, is coming to the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts this July.

Designed for a chamber orchestra of 12 musicians, the two-act opera is produced by musical director Ed Kottick, known for conducting the CCPA's annual sing-along, "Messiah," as well as many special composer concerts in the area. "I was introduced to The Machine Stops at a workshop performance sponsored by the Iowa Summer Writing Festival," says Kottick. "I was so taken with the unique creative vision of John and Cecile that I decided I needed to help this work see the light of day in any way I could. And stage director Josh Sazon has assembled well-seasoned designers to create a rich setting for our cast of seven singers."

The cast of the opera includes mezzo soprano Elise DesChamps, of the University of Iowa's School of Music, in the leading role of Vashti. Opposite her, Jeremiah Shobe, a voice coach and soloist with the Iowa City Chamber Singers, plays her unconventional son Kuno. Supporting them are their Friends, people whom they have met only through social media. Sound familiar?

Many in Iowa City know John Lake for his nearly fifty years as an innovative guitarist, teacher, and performer of rock 'n' roll, country swing, classical, and improvisational jazz

The Machine Stops is his first operatic score. It is also the first complete libretto for Cecile Goding, who was captivated by the idea during a workshop led by Iowa Poet Laureate Marvin Bell and David Gompper, Director of the Center for New Music. "I love working with John," Goding says of their collaboration. "What he accomplishes with my lyrics is always surprising to me, every time."

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