Local Couple Gives to Opera to Make a Difference

Craig Shadur at his home. He and his wife, Kimberly, have donated their time, talents and money to Des Moines Metro Opera, most recently to support the company’s $15 million campaign, as well as to the Des Moines Art Center.

By Steve Dinnen

Craig Shadur was busy with his fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, when his boss called asking a favor. Could Shadur please pull some strings with his brother-in-law, an investment banker in New York, and secure tickets to a production by the New York Metropolitan Opera that was coming to Boston?

“I’ll try,” said the young doctor. “How many do you want?”

“Two,” he replied. “Or if you’d like to attend, get four.”

Shadur landed four tickets and for his first-ever opera saw the incomparable Luciano Pavarotti performing in “La Traviata.” He was immediately hooked, and for the past 40-plus years he has sought out opera productions far and wide. (One time he, another doctor, a Des Moines businessman and a local architect jetted to Italy just to see opera at La Scala in Milan). Closer to home, the retired nephrologist and his wife, Kimberly, drive to Indianola to see Des Moines Metro Opera productions the company stages during its annual Summer Festival.

The Shadurs have for years been impressed by the nationally recognized DMMO, enough so that they have given their time and talent to the organization. They both served on its board of directors, including as board chairs. Craig currently sits as a director of the board as well as the DMMO Foundation.

So it wasn’t hard to imagine that when DMMO launched a $15 million comprehensive campaign last year—called “50 Next: Giving Voice to the Future”—they got in line with a commitment for $500,000. They and more than 100 other donors, a handful of whom kicked in $1 million or more—Nix and Virginia Lauridsen led the pack, with $2 million—have pushed the campaign to likely top its goal by its June 1 conclusion.

“I thought of giving because it makes a difference,” said Craig Shadur, who will see the funds spent on “advancing DMMO’s artistic legacy and build[ing] our capacity to serve a growing and diverse population.”

Shadur was trained in the medical arts, not music, but says “I am a passionate guy” and opera is certainly about that. He and Kimberly also have made substantial contributions to the Des Moines Art Center, where he is an honorary trustee. Craig says he’s pleased to financially support both institutions.

(Read more about the upcoming opera season and related events in this dsm story and about the $1 million commission of DMMO’s “A Thousand Acres” in this story from our archives.)

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