Coe features internationally renowned vocalist Jeffrey Dowd

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2012-03-26 09:56:55 - General

Internationally acclaimed tenor Jeffrey Dowd, a 1978 Coe graduate, will perform the works of several great German composers on Sunday, April 1, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Daehler-Kitchin Auditorium on the Coe campus.  In the recital, which is free and open to the public, Dowd will perform works by Beethoven, Schumann, R. Strauss, von Weber, Korngold, and Wagner’s “Winterstürme” from “Die Walküre.”

Now living in Salzburg, Austria, Dowd last visited Coe in January 2010, when he spoke about his career to a group of music students during their weekly Recital Hour.  A few days later, a group of Coe students and faculty traveled to see him in the role of Herod for the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre Production of “Salome” at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center in Cedar Falls.

While a Coe student, Dowd enjoyed singing in several ensembles, but didn’t consider a career in opera. Following his graduation, he realized that he should devote more intense study to developing his vocal talents.  He spent a year at Yale University, then moved to Indiana where he was an assistant instructor and studied voice with Margaret Harshaw.  Eventually, Dowd took the path of many American singers and traveled to Germany to start his career.

Since 1994, Dowd has been engaged at the Aalto Theater in Essen, Germany. His repertory encompasses major roles in “Parsifal,” “Tanhäuser,” “Tristan und Isolde,” “Don Carlos,” “Simon Boccanegra,” “Madame Butterfly,” “La Fanciulla del West,” and Britten’s “Peter Grimes.”

Dowd has also performed at the New Zealand International Arts Festival, the Frankfurt Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, the Seattle Opera, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Teatro Real in Madrid, and the Hamburg Opera in Germany.

Dowd sang the title role in a new production of Schreker´s “Der Schatzgräber” at the Frankfurt Opera, Laca in “Jenufa” in Hamburg and Sao Paolo, Zemlinsky’s “Der Zwerg” at the Bard Summerscape Fesival, Siegfried in “Götterdämmerung” and Pollione in “Norma” at the Aalto Theater in Essen, where he has sung dozens of leading roles, including those in the acclaimed Strauss and Wagner productions conducted there by Stefan Soltesz.

As a concert soloist, Dowd has sung at the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Musikhalle Hamburg, the Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin, Avery Fisher Hall in New York, and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. He has participated in radio broadcasts of “Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony,” Jeanne d’Arc au Boucher” (Honegger) from the 2001 Salzburger Festspiele, “Das Lied von der Erde,” and Hindemith´s “Mathis der Maler” in Vienna.  A photograph of Dowd and Evelyn Helitius as Tristan and Isolde was featured on the cover of Opernwelt in February 2007.

This season, in addition to the roles he will play in “Tannhäuser,” “Tristan und Isolde,” “Die Walküre,” “Götterdämmerung,” and “Der Fliegende Holländer” at the Aalto Theater in Essen, Dowd will also be singing in “The Bartered Bride” at Staatsoper in Berlin and as the Prince in “Rusalka and Don Jose” in Carmen at the Komische Oper, also in Berlin.

At Coe, Dowd will be accompanied by Michael Schnack, an Iowa City native who studied piano with Amy Mulford.  Schnack received his bachelor’s degree in music from Yale University and studied choral conducting with Vladimir Minin of the Moscow Chamber Choir.  Since 1990, he has lived in Vienna, where he works as music director, conductor, pianist, arranger, and composer for theater productions in Vienna and its environs.  From 1994-2011, he served as artistic director of the Performing Arts Studios Vienna, a professional training academy for musical theater performers.  Schnack is an internationally active workshop leader and adjudicator with a special connection to the countries of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.  His classical choral and vocal compositions have won prizes in Austria and the U.S.  Schnack is currently completing his doctoral studies in choral conducting at the University of Iowa.

Dowd’s Coe performance has been made possible through the generous support provided by the Julie Ritter Streib Fund. Established in 2007, the fund's purpose is to encourage German cultural enrichment at Coe College among students, faculty and the community.


For more information contact the Coe Music Department at 319-399-8521.