A Grand Beginning

Classic Arts Features   A Grand Beginning
The Kennedy Center's 2013 _2014 season commencesnext month in grand fashion.

In September, the Kennedy Center launches the 2013 _2014 season, continuing its commitment, as the nation's center for the performing arts, to producing and presenting the best of national and international arts.

Washington National Opera

As WNO begins its 2013 _2014 season with famed director Francesca Zambello at the helm, it recognizes the bicentenary of one of the 19th century's greatest composers: Richard Wagner.

Leading up to Wagner's complete Ring Cycle in the spring of 2016, WNO will bring audiences an opera by this legendary composer every season, beginning this fall with his most passionate masterpiece, Tristan and Isolde, starring the beloved Deborah Voigt and in-demand singer Ian Storey, September 15 _27 in the Opera House. Ms. Zambello says, "I know of no other work so hypnotic in the spell it can cast."

Following her acclaimed 2010 WNO debut in the role of Salome, Deborah Voigt: one of the finest Wagnerian sopranos of our time: brings her alluring portrayal of the beautiful Irish maiden with magical powers to a stunning production from Australian director Neil Armfield (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Peter Grimes), conducted by WNO Music Director Philippe Auguin and featuring an impressive international cast. In this, the 200th year of his birth, Richard Wagner's retelling of the beloved Celtic myth and its star-crossed lovers continues to enchant audiences across the globe. Sung in German with English supertitles.

National Symphony Orchestra

The National Symphony Orchestra begins its 83nd season on September 29 with its annual Season Opening Ball Concert conducted by NSO and Kennedy Center Music Director Christoph Eschenbach. Featuring superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma in Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations, the program also includes Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet and Bizet's Carmen Suite No. 2. The concert concludes with the NSO debut of dynamic young organist Cameron Carpenter playing the finale from Saint-SaêŠns's "Organ Symphony" on the Rubenstein Family Organ. NSO Pops

High-flying fantasy soars once again over the Concert Hall September 19 _22 with Cirque de la Symphonie: back with the NSO Pops by popular demand! Acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, and strongmen perform astonishing feats uniquely choreographed to the music of Bizet, Saint-SaêŠns, Dvořšk, Tchaikovsky, and others. As aerialists take flight above the stage, the NSO Pops conducted by Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke provides plenty of orchestral suspense, turning the concert into an entertainment extravaganza. Get ready to enjoy your favorite music: and some of the most nail-biting circus acts you've ever seen: in a thrilling spectacle the San Francisco Examiner calls "dazzling and elegant if not death-defying!"

"A true musical giant" (Los Angeles Times), multiple Grammy-winning saxophonist, composer, and NEA Jazz Master Wayne Shorter celebrates turning 80 with guest conductor Vince Mendoza, the NSO Pops, Shorter's own quartet, and bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding, one of the jazz world's hottest new stars. Their inspiring one-night-only program on September 26 features the D.C. premiere of the NSO co-commissioned Gaia, "a masterful piece of work and one for the books: an orchestral jazz opus" (JazzTimes).

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