Arts and Culture / Magazine Feature

Newman Center Presents season tickets on sale now

The Newman Center for the Performing Arts has begun selling subscriptions for its 2008–09 season. The center’s sixth season will serve up an eclectic mix of modern and classic productions.

Newman Center Presents will feature 14 performances of music, theater and dance, all in Gates Concert Hall except for Aquila Theatre Company’s production of The Iliad, which will be in the Byron Theatre. Performances generally take place at 7:30 p.m. and are preceded by a free “Behind the Curtain” lecture at 6:30 p.m.

Several performers will work with students at the University’s Lamont School of Music and Department of Theatre, and will perform at additional University-only events.

In searching for new works for the season, Stephen Seifert, the center’s executive director, says he found artists who address the question, ‘What should I do?’ because the provocative question can engage audiences on a variety of levels. By doing so, Seifert says performances can entertain, as well as engage social, political and spiritual issues.

“Artists are citizens too and their reactions and responses to issues affecting the community can be great springboards for our own thoughts and dialogues about such issues,” Seifert says. “We hope to engage our audiences with performances that are certainly entertaining, but that are more than just entertainment.”

Robert Moses’ Kin Dance Company brings thought-provoking themes together with accessible dance  on Sept. 27. The Newman Center has co-commissioned his new work, Rainforest, built around issues of global climate change.

Universes is a Bronx-based, multi-ethnic ensemble of writers and performers who create their own brand of urban performance. In Slanguage on Oct. 2, they integrate theater and street culture. This event will be co-presented with El Centro Su Teatro.

The London Symphony Chorus and DU’s Lamont Symphony Orchestra collaborate in Oct. 15 and 16 performances of Verdi’s monumental Requiem. Lawrence Golan will conduct.

On Oct. 28, the Soweto Gospel Choir sings in several languages, including several African languages. The choir supports a charity, which distributes food, cash and essential goods to children in Africa.

The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, renowned as an eclectic, innovative dance company with a solid foundation in classical ballet, performs on Nov. 1.

Kronos Quartet and Alternative Radio collaborate on Nov. 8. David Barsamian hosts guest Diane Wilson in a town hall style conversation while Kronos plays music from a variety of cultures — all inspired by grassroots civic engagement. Wilson led a fight against petro-chemical companies after learning her small Texas county had been named the most toxic place in America.

Holiday music sets the scene for a Solstice Celebration with the Grammy Award-winning Turtle Island Quartet on Dec. 6.

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet is known for mastering classics and creating contemporary sounds. They take the stage on Jan. 31.

Either/Orchestra, a 10-piece jazz ensemble, brings to life Ethiopian big band music, inspired by American jazz, which itself grew out of African music, in their Feb. 14 program called Ethiopiques.

On Feb. 28 David Dorfman Dance performs Underground, an exploration of radical social activism inspired by the Weather Underground movement of the 1960s.

The Academy of Ancient Music will perform all six Brandenburg Concertos of J.S. Bach on March 19.

The Aquila Theatre Company will stage Homer’s classic epic The Iliad March 27–28. Inspired by the somber photograph of troops landing on Normandy on D-Day, the company will wear World War II-era garb.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra performs April 30 in a program combining old and contemporary classics. Richard Tognetti is artistic director and plays lead violin; countertenor Andreas Scholl performs arias from Handel operas, 250 years after the famous composer’s death.

The Newman Center co-commissioned Cellist Maya Beiser’s Provenance with Carnegie Hall and the Venice Festival. The performance features a panoramic sweep of history and celebration of multi-religious and multicultural civilization. Beiser will be joined onstage May 9 by oud player Bassam Saba and hand drummer Jamey Haddad.

Director’s choice subscriptions include nine performances and are $211–$376 per person, a 20 percent savings from per-ticket prices. Patron’s choice subscriptions include four or more performances in a “create-your-own” series at 10 percent off regular prices.

Tickets for individual performances will go on sale Aug. 1 and can be purchased at the Newman Center and Ritchie Center box offices or from TicketMaster.

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