Inmates from an eastern Iowa prison have spent weeks learning German and perfecting inflections for a recording that will be played during a New York City opera performance of Beethoven’s “Fidelio.”

Heartbeat Opera invited the Oakdale Community Choir of the Iowa Medical and Classification Center to perform the “Prisoner’s Chorus” for its live production in May.

Production Director Ethan Heard traveled to the medium-security prison in Coralville on Wednesday to record the choir of 40 inmates and 30 community members for a pivotal scene.

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