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Talking Art with Jacob Bancks

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In partnership with the non-profit organization Living Proof Exhibit, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra has commissioned a new opera, Karkinos, composed by Dr. Jacob Bancks which will be performed on February 12, 2022.

Featuring soprano Sarah Shafer as the Empress, mezzo-soprano Kelly Hill as the Maid, and baritone Nathaniel Sullivan as the Angel, the opera tells the story of an empress who is forced into battle with an unseen monster, Karkinos. This multi-media work also features dancers and the Augustana Choral Artists, in addition to a chamber orchestra.

The epic battle against Karkinos, which translates to cancer in Greek, is a fitting metaphor for an opera commissioned by Living Proof Exhibit, an organization dedicated to bringing the therapeutic benefits of the arts to people affected by cancer.

Listen to the conversation here with Dr. Jacob Bancks, composer and Associate Professor of Music at Augustana College, about the numerous and deeply meaningful conversations he had with cancer survivors and their families that inspired him to create this work, the challenge inherent in writing a libretto in addition to the musical composition, and why opera is an accessible art form that everyone should enjoy.

The performance will be held Saturday, February 12, 2022, at the Bartlett Performing Arts Center, 3600 Avenue of the Cities, Moline, IL at 7:30 PM. A pre-concert conversation will be held one hour prior to the performance for attendees. Living Proof Exhibit will also host an art exhibition in the hall which can be viewed prior to and after the performance. In-person and live-stream + digital access tickets can be purchased here.

Carolyn Martin joined WVIK as a host of Talking Art in September of 2017. A long-time fan of NPR programming with a love of storytelling and all art forms, she is thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with creative people about their work in the Quad Cities region.