Spring Opera: Fierce by William Menefield

Apr 27, 2024

07:30 PM

Hancher Auditorium, Hadley Stage / Auditorium Seating

141 Park Road, Iowa City, IA 52242

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Adults $20
Youth & Non-UI Students $10
UI Students $5

Music by William Menefield
Libretto by Sheila Williams
Directed by William Menefield

Co-Produced by the University of Iowa School of MusicPerforming Arts Production Unit, and Hancher Auditorium.

Fierce marks a major moment in our Hancher season. This new opera—making its Iowa premiere—reflects the collaborative spirit of Performing Arts at Iowa and will be co-produced by the School of Music, the Performing Arts Production Unit, and Hancher Auditorium.

The Cincinnati Opera commissioned composer, musician, and UI Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies William Menefield to write the music for an opera in collaboration with librettist Sheila Williams. The resulting work, Fierce, debuted at the Cincinnati Opera in July 2022 to packed houses and enthusiastic audiences. An opera for the 21st century, Fierce follows four teenage girls finding identity and purpose in the world as they write their college essays in a high school writers’ workshop. The young women face striking internal challenges—the difficulties of high school popularity and social media, the weight of parental expectations, personal loss, and unstable lives at home—but come together to find community, self-empowerment, and the confidence to embrace new chapters.

In a production led by Professor Menefield, Fierce will feature an ensemble of University of Iowa singers, musicians, and dancers with production support from the Performing Arts Production Unit and Hancher Auditorium. The Fierce creative team will engage our campus and community with several outreach events in the lead-up to the Iowa debut of this timely, remarkable work.

View the program here: https://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/islandora/object/ui%3A31035

Mark & Fran Lundy
Ryan & Amanda West
Stephen & Victoria West
West Music

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact in advance at