Brian Stokes Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, and Hamilton Stars Are Trading Voices in D.C.

Classic Arts News   Brian Stokes Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, and Hamilton Stars Are Trading Voices in D.C.
The Washington National Opera concert will have them all singing opera.
Brian Stokes Mitchell Marc J. Franklin

Washington National Opera has a surprise for fans of Aretha Franklin and Tony Award-winning Broadway stars Brian Stokes Mitchell and Leslie Odom Jr. at its June 3 gala.

The event, which celebrates the career of WNO Board Chairman Jacqueline Badger Mars, will also feature current Hamilton star Jordan Donica, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, and celebrated soprano Renée Fleming. They will be accompanied by the WNO Orchestra conducted by Philippe Auguin and Steven Mercurio in his WNO debut.

But, in an unusual twist, the opera singers will be performing popular songs, and the pop singers will perform opera arias. Specific performance pieces have not yet been announced.

The gala is being presented as part of JFKC, the Kennedy Center’s season-long celebration of its namesake, President John F. Kennedy’s centennial, and explores the themes of “service and gratitude, which are often associated with President Kennedy.”

Tickets for the gala concert start at $49 and are available online at, in person at the Kennedy Center box office, or by calling (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324.

Brian Stokes Mitchell has been a special guest performer on three of Playbill’s Broadway on the High Seas cruises. Cabins are available for Playbill’s Rhine River cruise in August 2017, featuring Seth Rudetsky, Andréa Burns, Faith Prince, Terrence Mann, Charlotte d’Amboise, and Santino Fontana. Playbill Travel is now also booking Broadway on the Danube River for November 2017, with Carmen Cusack, Christopher Fitzgerald, Marc Kudisch, Julia Murney, Christopher Sieber, Brandon Uranowitz, and Rudetsky, as well as other exciting talent to be announced. Visit for booking and information.


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