Kennedy Center Bringing Back Some On-Site Programs This Fall

Kennedy Center Opera House. Credit: Ron Blunt

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced that it will be resuming some on-site and digital programming initiatives in advance of the 2021 season, which is set to begin on January 14. This limited in-person slate of programming will remain flexible in accordance with any updates to the District of Columbia’s ReOpen D.C. guidelines.

Physically distanced live events including digital broadcasts of select performances to feature Renée Fleming, Vanessa Williams, Tiler Peck, Camille A. Brown, Dover Quartet, Takács Quartet, and as well as activities at the REACH, sunset concerts at the River Pavilion, yoga on the lawn, and the Kennedy Center’s new Arts Across America program in partnership with Facebook.

Social distancing protocols at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House. Courtesy: Kennedy Center

Patrons are especially excited that The Kennedy Center’s famed Opera House will come back to life with a unique concert experience that puts the audience on stage. Artists will perform from a stage extension built into the front of the Orchestra-seating level of the hall while concert-goers, entering through the wide loading doors on the Center’s front plaza, are seated in physically distanced pairs on the Opera House stage to watch performances set against the iconic red interior of the theater. These hour-long, intermission-less concerts will take place approximately once per week for a ticketed audience of under 200 once the District of Columbia reaches phase three of reopening.

The Washington National Opera (WNO)’s new Pop-Up Opera Truck will visit all eight wards of DC. This mobile stage will bring performances by the WNO’s Cafritz Young Artists across the city on-demand to take requests from community partners and the public, offering short programs of opera and classical music’s greatest hits.

The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) plans a return to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall with a trio of Friday holiday concerts in December 2020. On December 4 and 11 NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda will conduct two concerts with surprise programs to be announced from the stage. Then, on December 18, Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke will lead the orchestra in a Holiday Pops program. All will be livestreamed and performed in front of a live, ticketed, limited capacity, physically distanced audience, should D.C. be in phase three of reopening.

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