After two delays, world premiere of Quad Cities opera is still on for Feb. 12

Local News

Twenty-one months after it was originally scheduled to premiere, the world premiere of the Quad Cities opera, “Karkinos,” is scheduled for Feb. 12 in Moline.

The third time may indeed be the charm, for the long-delayed world premiere of a local opera, “Karkinos,” to be performed Feb. 12, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bartlett Performing Arts Center, Moline.

In collaboration with Living Proof Exhibit, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra commissioned local composer and Augustana professor Jacob Bancks to create the opera “Karkinos,” that will provide hope and celebration for those with cancer and all who love them.

Inspired by direct conversations with Quad Cities residents impacted by cancer, this emotional multi-media work featuring chamber orchestra, vocal soloists, dancers, and choir, depicts the story of a beautiful empress who is forced into battle with the unseen monster Karkinos the night before her coronation.

The opera, penned by Bancks (an Augustana associate professor of music), was first scheduled to be done May 10, 2020 at the Bartlett Performing Arts Center, at Moline High School.

Composer Jacob Bancks teaches at Augustana College, Rock Island.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was first moved to Feb. 12, 2021. QCSO executive director Brian Baxter said in November 2020, because of the surge of COVID cases, the number of people to perform in and attend the opera, it made sense to postpone again, which they did to one year later.

In the new opera, soprano Sarah Shafer will play The Empress; mezzo-soprano Kelly Hill will sing The Maid, and baritone Nathaniel Sullivan will be The Angel. The stage director is Shelley Cooper; choreographer is Kristin Marrs; dancers are Kara Bouck, Hanna Shaeffler, and Emily Trapnell, with Augustana Choral Artists, directed by Jon Hurty.

Living Proof Exhibit will host a small art exhibition before and after the performance in the lobby featuring the works of a range of LPE artists.

Facial coverings are universally required for all indoor QCSO concerts. If COVID transmission rates are moderate or low in both Scott and Rock Island counties according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker, masks will be optional for vaccinated individuals and strongly recommended for unvaccinated individuals.

All QCSO concert venues are approved for full seating capacity, but patrons may request a socially distanced seat. These seating requests can be made by calling the QCSO Box Office at 563-322-7276 or emailing  Requests must be made by 4:30 p.m. on the Thursday preceding the event. Availability is limited.

Tickets for “Karkinos” are $30 each for adults, and $10 for students, available HERE. Tickets for the original Living Proof Exhibit Opera: “Karkinos” dates are still valid for this event.

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