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Linda Cajigas
Jacobs School of Music

Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Thursday, August 19, 2010

New book, 'Opera for All Seasons,' depicts history of Indiana University Opera Theater

August 19, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A lavishly illustrated history of the first 60 years of Indiana University Opera Theater at the Jacobs School of Music has recently been released by IU Press.

The nearly 500-page text -- with more than 300 photos -- is the result of a team effort by writer Marianne Williams Tobias and editors George Calder, Nancy J. Guyer, C. David Higgins and Charles H. Webb.

Among other things, Tobias writes the program notes for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Calder was executive administrator of IU Opera Theater for almost 30 years, while Webb was dean of the Jacobs School and general manager of the opera company for 24 years. Master Scenic Artist Higgins has been designing for IU Opera for almost 40 years, and Guyer was former production administrative assistant.

"Many people have worked diligently to make this publication a reality, and we thank each of them for their passion in capturing this commemoration of Indiana University Opera Theater," said Jacobs Dean Gwyn Richards. "We also express our appreciation to IU Press."

The book also includes a list of every opera performed, by title and by season; every singer who has appeared, with their roles and dates performed; and a complete list of production artists, including conductors, stage directors, designers and others in each of more than 400 productions.

Dean Wilfred C. Bain started the IU Opera Theater program, which has become what is widely considered the nation's finest collegiate company and one of the world's best opera programs.

While the inaugural Tales of Hoffman was presented in reconfigured army barracks in 1948, the 1972 opening of the Musical Arts Center (MAC) provided acoustical design and technical capabilities that are among the best in the nation, with a stage rivaled only by the Metropolitan Opera House.

"(Indiana University Opera Theater) has struck me as just about the most serious and consistently satisfying of all American opera companies," Andrew Porter from The New Yorker has said.

Opera for All Seasons is available during select events at the MAC as well as at the Jacobs School's MarketPlace in the Music Practice Building at 1124 E. Third St. The book is also available online at

For more information about IU Opera Theater and the Jacobs School of Music, visit