UNCSA will kick off its 2023-24 performance season on Saturday, Aug. 26, with the Black Mountain Trio in recital in Watson Hall. The wide-ranging performance season includes professional-caliber events created and performed by talented UNCSA students, world-class faculty, distinguished alumni and celebrated guest artists. A variety of performances and productions in dance, drama, music, opera and film will be featured. All events will be on UNCSA’s campus at 1533 S. Main St. unless otherwise specified.
Several performances and events have been added since the season was originally announced in May. New events include:
On Tuesday, Aug. 29, UNCSA will present “Toward Justice and Shared Humanity: Dr. Ollie Watts Davis and Dr. Casey Robards,” a free event sponsored by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, in partnership with the UNCSA School of Music. Soprano Ollie Watts Davis and pianist Casey Robards present a recital featuring the works of Black composers that explores how their music relates to their heritage. Works featured include pieces by Francis Hall Johnson, Henry Thacker Burleigh, Margaret Allison Bonds, Charles Lloyd Jr., H. Leslie Adams and John Daniels Carter, with texts by prominent Black writers of the early- to mid-20th century. An interactive discussion and Q & A session will follow the performance.
Born of the need for more diverse voices in academia and performing arts repertoire, this moving performance traces the experiences of Black Americans through literature and song, unveiling their triumphs, strengths and rich cultural heritage. Going beyond mere surface representation, it calls for initiatives that deeply comprehend the social and cultural contexts that influenced their creative expressions. The repertoire passionately advocates for lasting change that transcends ethnic and racial boundaries, promoting freedom and equity for all.
On Saturday, Dec. 2, and Sunday, Dec. 3, UNCSA will present “Holiday Suite: Home for the Holidays,” a free event that offers an immersive journey into the sights, sounds and flavors of winter festivities celebrated across diverse cultures and communities. This magical holiday journey will include a guided tour through the UNCSA campus, which will feature sounds of celebration, twinkling lights, festive decorations, a home adorned with the radiant lights and wonder of Chanukah, and the vibrant music and joyful movements of Kwanza. Guests will be immersed in the melodies of Duke Ellington, performed by the talented UNCSA Jazz Ensemble, while savoring a cup of warm cider and observing “snowballs” frolicking across the UNCSA lawns. This extraordinary holiday experience harmoniously blends the talents and magic of artists from all UNCSA arts schools.
UNCSA’s A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute will present its winter opera, Donizetti’s thrilling “Maria di Rohan,” on Feb. 2, 4 and 6, 2024, at High Point Theatre. In bel canto style, the opera explores the intriguing life of Maria di Rohan, her secret marriage to Duke Enrico of Chevreuse and the passionate love of Count Riccardo of Chalais. In honor of the legendary Virginia Zeani, this performance is a tribute to her revival of this masterpiece.
The spring opera, also from the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute, will be “Lo frate ʼnnamorato” on April 24, 26 and 28, 2024. Guests will embark on a hilarious journey through the twisted web of arranged marriages, forbidden love and mistaken identities in this opera by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. Attendees will follow the uproarious tale of three families, where the girls resist their arranged matches and instead fall for the same young man. With licentious fops, cunning maidservants and feigned jealousies, this 1732 opera guarantees laughter. Its popularity was such that Stravinsky incorporated its tunes into his ballet “Pulcinella.”
“Throughout the season, UNCSA will offer a broad range of free events and low-cost regular tickets, providing a unique opportunity for area residents and visitors to experience renowned professional artists alongside professional-caliber student work,” said UNCSA Chancellor Brian Cole. “We’re particularly excited to welcome the community to our campus for the Holiday Suite, which promises to be a fun, spirit-lifting event for families of all ages.”
Tickets are available now at uncsa.edu/performances or by calling the box office at 336-721-1945. Tickets to most fully staged and guest artist events are $25. Non-UNCSA student tickets are $20 with valid ID. Tickets to many other events are $20, with non-UNCSA student tickets at $15. Film screenings and student recitals — among other events — are free of charge. Selected events are priced individually as noted. Patrons can purchase an Arts Card to get easy access to multiple events with a discount over single nonstudent ticket prices.
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August 23, 2023