The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: You can help produce a local concert production of Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” with a small or large donation. | November 4, 2012

By Jacob Stockinger

Some loyal fans of this blog, longtime local businesspeople who are also loyal concert-goers and loyal supporters of local music, have informed The Ear about a very worthwhile project.

So The Ear gives a hearty Shout-Out and Thank You to Carol “Orange” Schroeder and Dean Schroeder (both below), the owners of Orange Tree Imports on Monroe Street who put their money where their ears are.

The project involves local soprano Jennifer Sams, who is using a public funding website – akin to Kickstarter, but called IndieGoGo — to launch a local early music project: A concert product (without sets and costumes) of the opera “Dido and Aeneas” by Henry Purcell (below). And if you wonder what it might look and sound like, listen to Jessye Norman singing “Dido’s Lament” at the bottom.

Here is a link to the contribution site:

Sams (below), who graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Music with a doctorate and who sang with the University Opera, has established a fine reputation for herself.

Here is a link to Sams’ website, which also a current biography and lists her upcoming concerts in Madison and Wisconsin:

It looks like all she wants or needs to raise is $1,000 to get the project a green light, and has so far raised about half of that.

My guess with such a small sum is that she will have no problem raising what she needs.

I recall local performer and composer Jerry Hui using Kickstarter to raise enough money — $6,000, if I recall correctly — to stage his Internet opera, done for his UW doctoral thesis, “called “Wired for Love.”

Here’s hoping that Jennifer Sams has as much success.

Don’t be shy.

Giving a large amount would be great – she can always exceed the target – but lots of small amounts could help too. After all, that is how President Obama, raised a lot of money for his first successful run in 2008.



  1. Even if a person isn’t an opera or Purcell or early music lover, by giving to support individual efforts like this we demonstrate to other young classical musicians that it’s a viable way to finance their dreams at a time when arts funding is suffering, even for long-established groups. I’ll pitch in. (I would anyway, just for “Dido’s Lament” — the most devastating piece of music I’ve ever heard.)


    Comment by Susan Fiore — November 4, 2012 @ 7:40 am

    • Hi Susan,
      I think I speak for many when I say Thank You on all counts.
      You are absolutely correct in what you say and do and like.
      More arts students need patrons like you.
      Best wishes,


      Comment by welltemperedear — November 4, 2012 @ 10:03 am

  2. Thanks so much for the attention! I wish I could wake up like this everyday! You are correct about the donations, I am more than happy to collect any amount! I am using the funds to pay my musicians, pay my cast, print posters, print programs and (if I can get enough) maybe even have a little bit for a reception afterwards! Ticket price for the event is free so I hope donors can think of it as what they would pay for admission to an event of this caliber. I have contracted some fantastic singers & musicians! We ARE able to go OVER the $1,000 mark, I just wanted to put up a price that is attainable! Thank you, again, for the post! I am so excited about the campaign and even MORE excited to sing DIDO!


    Comment by Jennifer Sams — November 4, 2012 @ 7:22 am

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Thank you so much for your kind words and gracious gratitude.
      And thank you for the clarification about the terrific music project for which you are seeking funding.
      Please keep The Ear current with your fundraising success and project plans as they unfold.
      Good luck to you, Queen Dido.
      I am sure you will succeed and launch a memorable concert.


      Comment by welltemperedear — November 4, 2012 @ 9:57 am

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