The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

November 19, 2013

Faith continues to drive Estes

Knoxville — Simon Estes is scheduled to perform at the Knoxville Performing Arts Center on Sunday, Dec. 1, and to his knowledge, this will be his first performance in the community. 

Estes has performed in every major opera venue in the world. He seemed to find it funny that he has never performed in Knoxville, a town he remembers traveling through with his family, as they made their way to Des Moines. 

Growing up in a financially poor family in Centerville, the family had strong faith in God. 

"We were millionaires in our faith in God," Estes points out. When he was around 11 years old, he and his mother read through the entire Bible in one year by reading three chapters a day and five on Sunday. This was something he was able to accomplish, in seven months, with his wife of 13 years, Ovida. 

Estes gives full credit to God for his voice and success. His mother and an older sister also had incredible voices. His sister played piano and the family listened to classical music when he was a child. 

When he was in junior high school, the high school choral director recognized his talent and invited him to sing with the high school choir. Back then, in the 1950s, his voice hadn't changed yet and he sang soprano with the girls. 

Compare that today, when young children giggle when he talks with them with his deep, bass voice. Estes doesn't mind. 

The music he most often considered as a young man was popular music. He enjoyed artists such as Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra. 

He attended junior college in Centerville. From there, he went on to the University of Iowa, where Charles Kellis heard him sing and told him that he could sing opera. Estes went on to the Julliard School in New York City. Upon completing his training there, Estes was hired to sing in an opera in Berlin, West Germany, in 1965. 

Text Only
Southeast Iowa
  • MINE logo.jpg Two arrested on drug charges

    The Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement drug task force executed a search warrant in Knoxville last night. A man and a woman were arrested. 

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Propane suppliers: buy ahead to avoid price spikes DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — State officials and propane suppliers are advising consumers to fill their tanks before cold weather arrives because prices could climb again this winter. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1obSe2U ) prices will

    July 23, 2014

  • Military Retiree Appreciation Day Aug. 28 near Pella A military Retiree Appreciation Day will be held Thursday, Aug. 28 at the Prairie Meadows Race Track and Casino in Altoona, Iowa. Retirees from all branches of the armed forces and their family members are eligible to attend. The event will run from

    July 23, 2014

  • Report: Iowa third among states in child well-being DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new national report on the well-being of children released Tuesday ranked Iowa third in the nation, up four places from last year, the best showing for the state in 25 years. The Kids Counts report from the Annie E. Casey Fo

    July 23, 2014

  • Report: Iowa third among states in child well-being DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new national report on the well-being of children ranks Iowa third in the nation, up four places from last year. The Kids Counts report released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation says Iowa ranks first among all states

    July 22, 2014

  • MHP designated a Blue Zones Worksite OSKALOOSA — Blue Zones Project Oskaloosa today announced Mahaska Health Partnership has been named a designated Blue Zones Worksite. Mahaska Health Partnership was designated after completing the necessary items in the Blue Zones Project worksite ple

    July 22, 2014

  • 072214 Medics Skills Photo Local medics advance skills

    Six EMTs from Mercy Medical Center have completed the work necessary to become paramedics.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eddyville gets $1M federal grant for flood project EDDYVILLE, Iowa (AP) — The city of Eddyville is getting more than $1 million to improve its stormwater handling system to protect the city from Des Moines River flooding. The funding, announced Monday by U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, comes from the Federa

    July 22, 2014

  • Art show photo 2 Young artists show work at Oskaloosa Art Center

    OSKALOOSA—Several pieces of art were on display at the Oskaloosa Art Center Friday featuring works by kids in local elementary schools. The artists include those from Kindergarten through eighth grade. Briana Bartlett, who teaches art for elementary

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Fundraiser for soldiers' families approaching

    CENTERVILLE — Justin Zaputil remembers when Master Sgt. Travis Riddick died. The common reactions didn’t feel right. Mourning and then moving on left something undone. It didn’t seem to accomplish what Zaputil and a handful of others wanted. It didn’

    July 21, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National