The June, 5, 2009, concert will boast the talents of George Hearn, Sylvia McNair and Rod Gilfry, who were the leads in Ravinia's 2007 performance of Frank Loesser's The Most Happy Fella.
Marc Robin will direct the cast with Erich Kunzel leading the Ravinia Festival Orchestra.
In a statement Ravinia Festival President and CEO Welz Kauffman said, "Opening the Ravinia 2009 season with Camelot feels just right at this time for so very many reasons, mainly because it is one of the most beautiful and lush music theater scores of all, and because, as with The Most Happy Fella, we have an opportunity to once again showcase one of our great musical stars, George Hearn, this time in his first portrayal of King Arthur. And of course, like The Most Happy Fella, Camelot is a marvelous love triangle between different generations."
Camelot — featuring music by Frederick Loewe and book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner — originally opened at Broadway's Majestic Theatre in Dec. 1960, playing 873 performances before closing Jan. 5, 1963. The premiere company included Richard Burton, Julie Andrews, Robert Goulet, Robert Coote, John Cullum and Roddy McDowall. The classic Lerner and Loewe score boasts such tunes as "If Ever I Would Leave You," "I Loved You Once in Silence," "Follow Me," "I Wonder What the King Is Doing Tonight" and the title tune.
The 1960 musical, according to press notes, "focuses on the love triangle between the legendary liege, his lady Guenevere and Sir Lancelot." George Hearn won Tony Awards for his performances in La Cage aux Folles and Sunset Boulevard and was also nominated for his work in Watch on the Rhine, A Doll's Life and Putting It Together. Hearn's other Broadway credits include Wicked; Meet Me in St. Louis; Ghetto; Ah, Wilderness!; Whodunnit; I Remember Mama; Sweeney Todd: An Almost Perfect Person; Hamlet; The Changing Room; 1776; and A Time for Singing.
The entire 2009 Ravinia season will be announced March 13, 2009.
Tickets for all Ravinia performances will go on sale exclusively at www.ravinia.org April 16, 2009.