The University of North Carolina School of the Arts has announced its 2022-2023 season, offering dance, drama, music/opera and filmmaking.
Events are created and performed by students, faculty alumni and guest artists.
“Performance is at the heart of what we do at UNCSA, and each season seems to top the one before,” said UNCSA Chancellor Brian Cole. “It is a testament to our remarkable deans and faculty that we are able to provide such a wealth of high-quality events each year, which mirror the evolving arts and entertainment industry.”
UNCSA said that its new season will feature a star-studded Guest Artist Series from the School of Music, interdisciplinary collaborations across the arts schools, as well as collaborations with local cultural organizations and performing arts groups. Alongside in-person performances, Live from Watson Hall is returning with free livestreams of the new Music Guest Artist Series, in addition to other select faculty and student performances.
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Film screenings will be offered online for a limited time. In addition, UNCSA will offer several free events and low-cost regular tickets.
School of Music: Guest Artist Series
The School of Music’s Guest Artist Series will feature renowned musicians performing a wide range of repertoire — from the Grammy-nominated Sandbox Percussion in an audio and video collaboration, to acclaimed soprano Latonia Moore, star of the opera world’s major stages, to New York Philharmonic principal clarinetist Anthony McGill, with the acclaimed Pacifica Quartet. Star soloists Jennifer Frautschi, Clive Greensmith, Kim Kashkashian and Peter Wiley will highlight the return of the Chrysalis Institute’s Chamber Music Festival.
“Our Music Guest Artist Series showcases the important industry connections that UNCSA cultivates and provides to both students and our community, bringing some of the best in the business to Winston-Salem to perform and interact with students,” said Patrick Sims, UNCSA’s executive vice chancellor and provost.
“We’re especially excited for Anthony McGill, the New York Philharmonic’s first Black principal player in the orchestra’s history; the innovative, Grammy-nominated Sandbox Percussion; and soprano Latonia Moore, whom I had the pleasure of seeing perform in the critically acclaimed “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” at the Met Opera in New York. We are thrilled to be able to present these talented artists for our audiences.”
School of Music: Student and faculty highlights
The 2022-23 season in the School of Music also features several concerts with the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra led by guest conductors, including UNCSA alumnus and resident guest conductor Robert Franz, leading a range of works from Florence Price to Beethoven; a performance of Handel’s oratorio “Jephtha” in collaboration with the Cantata Singers and soloists from the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute, conducted by James Allbritten; and Guillermo Figueroa conducting and performing Ernesto Cordero’s Violin Concerto and Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique.”
Other featured performances will include a special guest appearance by Phillip Smith, former principal trumpet of New York Philharmonic, performing with the faculty ensemble Watson Brass; and a celebration of Ronald Rudkin, longtime director of the UNCSA jazz program who retires at the end of this academic year, with several concerts by the Jazz Ensemble as well as a concert in which he performs Artie Shaw’s Concerto for Clarinet.
School of Dance
A showcase for contemporary dance, Fall Dance will feature the premieres of all-new choreographic works for students in the contemporary program in the School of Dance at UNCSA, created by a faculty-artist and two guest artists, including an alumnus. “The Bloom of Youth” (working title) by Associate Dean Brenda Daniels will celebrate the beauty, freshness and vivacity of youth.
Award-winning choreographer Mariana Oliveria will bring her distinctive voice to set “Dreamland,” a comedy-drama influenced by the surrealism movement that portrays the journey of a character blooming and discovering the beauty and the adversities of life.
Alumnus Anthony Lee Bryant, a cast member of the national tour of “Wicked,” will return to set a new piece on students influenced by the concept of entropy: the degradation of matter and energy in the universe.
In December, UNCSA’s beloved annual presentation of “The Nutcracker” will return to the Stevens Center.
In February, Winter Dance will feature an array of works of vastly different styles, by Claudia Schreier, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Shen Wei and George Balanchine.
The program includes “First Impulse” by Claudia Schreier, Atlanta Ballet’s resident choreographer and multiple award-winner, a dynamic and rhythmic neoclassical work set to the music of Eino Tamberg. Also on the program is Chinese American choreographer and director Shen Wei’s “Re-Triptych,” a meditation on his travel in three parts, with “Re-III” drawing upon images of rural communities along the Silk Road and his “impressions of a radically transformed Beijing” that he encountered while choreographing the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics.
In April, Spring Dance will highlight the strengths of both ballet and contemporary students with works that explore diverse ends of the respective disciplines. The program is highlighted by the first restaging of iconic modern choreographer Merce Cunningham’s “Travelogue” since the work’s premiere in 1977 by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. The program also includes “Shostakovich Suite,” choreographed in 2013 for the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s professional training program by Endalyn T. Outlaw (née Taylor), dean of Dance, and set to Dimitri Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite. Outlaw will restage the work for the dance students.
Spring Dance also will include the work of Helen Simoneau, a UNCSA alumna and artistic director of Helen Simoneau Danse. Her new piece will explore her interest in power dynamics and soft power — the introvert’s strength — alongside her signature large-scale virtuosic and physical movement vocabulary.
School of Drama
The UNCSA School of Drama is joining theater companies across the country in staging Lisa Loomer’s 2016 play “Roe,” which has become particularly relevant following the recent Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade.
In October, a collaboration of the school’s of Drama, Design & Production and Music will bring the fictional rivalry between composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri to life in “Amadeus” by Peter Shaffer.
UNCSA School of Drama will present its annual musical with the fan favorite, Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd,” directed by alum Lo Feliciani Ojeda. With music and lyrics by Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler, “Sweeney Todd” opened on Broadway in 1979, winning the Tony Award for best musical and has since had numerous revivals, as well as a 2007 movie adaptation by Tim Burton.
Other productions are “If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be A Muhfucka” by Tori Sampson, “Dangerous Corner” by J.B. Priestley and “Mother Courage and Her Children” by Bertolt Brecht.
School of Fletcher Opera Institute
The A.J Fletcher Opera Institute — UNCSA’s graduate and post-graduate opera training program — will present two fully staged operas in the 2022-23 season. The productions are designed and built by students in the School of Design & Production, with full orchestral accompaniment by students in the School of Music. The productions are “Orlando Paladino” by Joseph Haydn and “The Rivals” by Kirke Mechem.
School of Filmmaking
Graduate films, an episodic series and a screening of highlights called “Panorama” will be free events offered in person. Most of them will be offered online as well.
“It is our job to prepare students not only for the industry of today but for the future,” said Dean Deborah LaVine of the School of Filmmaking. “Our new Anthology Production Lab will be a complement to our longtime focus on narrative feature filmmaking — and a treat for our audiences of cinephiles!”
School of Design & Production
In addition to providing all of the design, technical and production support for performances and productions in Dance, Drama, Filmmaking and the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute, the School of Design and Production (D&P) will present its 20th annual “Photona” in December. This is a popular themed multimedia show of lighting, projection and sound displayed with state-of-the-art equipment on loan from the leading lighting companies in the industry.