Arts and Humanities

Carolina Performing Arts announces 15th anniversary season

Programming throughout the 2019-2020 season will amplify the creative leadership of women, through performances by icons and trailblazers, unique collaborations and programs featuring art created by women.

Memorial Hall.
Exterior view of Memorial Hall on May 24, 2018, on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Today, Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced its 15th anniversary season, which will celebrate CPA’s evolution from a performing arts presenter to an experience curator. The 2019-2020 season will continue collaborations with artists in the creation of new work to further establish CPA as a global artistic leader.

Programming throughout the 2019-2020 season will amplify the creative leadership of women, through performances by icons and trailblazers, unique collaborations and programs featuring art created by women. A conversation with Misty Copeland, principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre, opens the 15th anniversary season on Sept. 6 at Memorial Hall. Later in the season, other engagements will feature renowned artists including Emmylou Harris, Meredith Monk, Wendy Whelan and Cristina Pato. These performances and others honor the upcoming centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted many American women the right to vote.

“I am energized by the experiences to come for our 15th anniversary,” said Emil Kang, executive and artistic director of Carolina Performing Arts. “As we welcome long-time friends and invest in groundbreaking artistic experiences, the season reflects the evolution of the institution. My hope is that the work we do inspires curiosity in all who experience the power of the arts.”

Affirming CPA’s commitment to evolution, the season features many firsts:

  • “1971,” an art installation honoring women who have worked to expand voting rights in North Carolina created by Craig Walsh in partnership with the Carolina Women’s Center and Southern Oral History Project;
  • An artist takeover of CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio, featuring performative installations exploring the intersection between the Martha Graham Dance Company’s “Lamentations” and cutting-edge technology made by software developer and artist Tyler Henry during the company’s Google residency;
  • Collaborative work by Creative Futures artists-in-residence, supported by a $1.5 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to design a new framework for community-based engagement;
  • “The Future is Female,” a five-hour performance installation by pianist Sarah Cahill honoring female composers;
  • World premiere of Flutronix’s “Discourse,” an immersive musical performance featuring oral histories from residents of Chapel Hill;
  • A performance by legendary artist Meredith Monk, in a concert version of “Cellular Songs” with her vocal ensemble;
  • The North Carolina debut of theLondon Symphony Orchestra with Music Director Sir Simon Rattle performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 4.

This anniversary season also features returning artists and ensembles including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, violinist Johnny Gandelsman, pianist Mitsuko Uchida and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and pianist Lang Lang performing the complete “Goldberg Variations” by Johann Sebastian Bach.

CPA commissioned several new works for its anniversary including “The Day,” a collaboration between cellist Maya Beiser and dancer Wendy Whelan featuring new choreography by Lucinda Childs and music by David Lang. A second commissioned work, “Edna Lewis,” is a work-in-progress play about the late, Southern culinary icon, created by New Yorker writer Hilton Als. “Discourse,” the immersive musical performance by Flutronix, is another of the season’s commissioned pieces.

Building on longstanding campus and community partnerships, CPA’s 2019-2020 season includes collaborations with UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, the Arts Everywhere initiative and others. The chamber opera “As One” will feature local advisors and cast members, including bass-baritone Marc Callahan from Carolina’s music department and Raleigh-based contemporary music ensemble earspace, led by Carolina alumnus Vincent Povázsay. CPA will also collaborate with Durham Independent Dance Artists to host three post-performance discussions: following “Rosas danst Rosas” by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and Rosas, “Loch na hEala (Swan Lake)” by Michael Keegan-Dolan and Teaċ Daṁsa, and “Antigonick” by Annie B-Parson and Big Dance Theater.

Single tickets and new subscription packages for the general public are available starting June 5. Ticket sales for current season subscribers, Carolina staff, faculty and students begin May 29. Carolina students are eligible for $10 tickets to all performances. Staff and faculty receive a 15% discount on single tickets or an additional 10% discount on subscriptions. For full performance listings, event details, pricing and venue information visit carolinaperformingarts.org.

The full season listing can be found below and the 2019-2020 season brochure is available at this link.

September 2019

Sept. 6 – Misty Copeland in Conversation
Sept. 7 – 29 Daily, at dusk – 1971, Craig Walsh
Sept. 13 – Tierra Whack
Sept. 27 – 29 – CURRENT Takeover: Martha Graham Dance Company

October 2019

Oct. 2 – Intuition: Songs from the Minds of Women, Alicia Olatuja
Oct. 9 and 10 – Rosas danst Rosas by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Rosas
Oct. 15 – The Day, Maya Beiser, Wendy Whelan, Lucinda Childs and David Lang
Oct. 22 – An Evening with Chris Thile
Oct. 30 – Golda Schultz, soprano, Jonathan Ware, piano

November 2019

Nov. 8 – Emmylou Harris
Nov. 13 – Sarod Trilogy

  • Amjad Ali Khan, Master of the Sarod
  • Amaan Ali Bangash, sarod
  • Ayaan Ali Bangash, sarod

Nov. 16 – The Future is Female, Sarah Cahill, piano
Nov. 20 & 21 – Loch na hEala (Swan Lake), Teaċ Daṁsa, Created by Michael Keegan-Dolan

December 2019

Dec. 7 and 8 – The Nutcracker, Carolina Ballet
Dec. 13 – Freedom and Faith, PUBLIQartet

January 2020

Jan. 10 – Fanm d’Ayiti, Nathalie Joachim with Spektral Quartet
Jan. 17 – INVISIBLE(s), Cristina Pato with Mazz Swift
Jan. 24 – 26 – Antigonick, Big Dance Theater, text by Anne Carson
Jan. 30 – The EVE Project, Martha Graham Dance Company

February 2020

Feb. 1 – Lucia Lucas, baritone
Feb. 6 & 7 – Edna Lewis, Written by Hilton Als, Directed by Tea Alagić
Feb. 9 – Johnny Gandelsman, violin
Feb. 11 and 12 – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Feb. 19 and 20 – As One, chamber opera by Laura Kaminsky
Feb. 22 – Maria Schneider Orchestra
Feb. 25 – Isabel Leonard with the UNC Symphony Orchestra

March 2020

March 5 – Cellular Songs Concert, Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble
March 16 – Meklit
March 19 and 20 – HOME, Created by Geoff Sobelle
March 24 – Mitsuko Uchida and Mahler Chamber Orchestra
March 27 – Visions for Frida Kahlo, Melissa Aldana

April 2020

April 2 and 3 – Discourse, Flutronix
April 9 – The Soul Rebels with special guest Big Freedia
April 18 – she is called, Brooklyn Youth Chorus
April 23 – Kiran Ahluwahlia

May 2020

May 5 and 6 – London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle, Music Director
May 15 – Goldberg Variations, Lang Lang, piano