- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Grammy Awards star Norah Jones' debut appearance at Wolf Trap June 21 is just one among many captivating musical acts scheduled this summer at the local performing arts facility in Vienna.

Tickets go on sale April 5 for the more than 90 shows booked for the season, which stretches from May 21 through Sept. 7. Announcement of the schedule, which includes dance and symphony concerts as well as films and opera, was made yesterday by Wolf Trap officials at a luncheon in the National Press Club.

Among many offerings with special family appeal, highlights include the musicals "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and a new production of "The Sound of Music." The "Millie" cast, now on a national tour, will do eight shows in August. "The Sound of Music" stops by in July. "Riverdance The Show" is on tap for several days in late June.

On July 5, the 156-year-old 360-member Mormon Tabernacle Choir makes a rare area appearance under a special endowment fund set up by Wolf Trap's late founder, Catherine Filene Shouse.

Miss Jones, the Texas native known for her artful mix of jazz, pop and country music, is part of the four-day Jazz & Blues Festival in late June. Other notable popular musicians making their debuts on the Filene Center stage throughout the summer are the Doobie Brothers; Colombian native Juanes, a Latin Grammy winner who inaugurates the season May 21; Dire Straits founder Mark Knopfler; Heart; and Lou Reed. "Meat Loaf: The Last World Tour" closes the season Sept. 7.

Favorite repeat performers include Anita Baker; Willie Nelson & Family; Mary Chapin Carpenter; Emmylou Harris; the Beach Boys; Elvis Costello; Three Mo' Tenors; the Irish Tenors; "A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor; Peter, Paul & Mary; and Judy Collins. Aretha Franklin entertains at the annual Wolf Trap Gala June 5.

National Symphony Orchestra Music Director Leonard Slatkin will lead three of the 10 concerts the orchestra will perform between June 12 and Aug. 2. Violinist Itzhak Perlman appears in the opening concert June 1. NSO Principal Pops Conductor Marvin Hamlisch will be joined by singer-actress Kristin Chenoweth July 15.

The world premiere of "Face of America 2003: A Celebration of Flight," this year's version of the perennial mix of film, music and dance created anew each year by Wolf Trap to herald American natural and historical sites, is scheduled Sept. 6. Wolf Trap has commissioned choreographer Elizabeth Streb to embody in dance the human desire to fly.

The event, billed as an "artistic adventure," honors Wolf Trap's fellow national parks this year the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park in Ohio; the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk, N.C.; and Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama. High-definition video footage will be employed for this celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight.

Promised music festivals include the 14th annual Louisiana Swamp Romp in addition to the Jazz & Blues Festival. The latter event, which features singer Cesaria Evora among others, closes on the afternoon of June 22 with a diverse array of exceptional talent, including performances by funk legend Maceo Parker, Roy Hargrove RH Factor, Los Lobos, Gillian Welch (opening for Norah Jones), Cuban stars Los Van Van, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and local favorite Bobby Parker, whose guitar riffs John Lennon and George Harrison acknowledged "borrowing" for such Beatles songs as "I Feel Fine."

Dance fans in August will welcome the Paul Taylor Dance Company, returning for a second time, plus a one-night Flamenco Festival and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.

The Wolf Trap Opera Company, showcasing 16 young singers from across the country, will perform works by Mozart, Rameau and Rossini and also appear in recitals and at the "Summer Night in Vienna" program July 6.

Special children's performances will take place in the nonprofit Wolf Trap Foundation's Theatre-in-the-Woods between June 24 and Aug. 9. Free workshops also are on tap.

At the luncheon, Wolf Trap President Terrence Jones spoke about the importance of arts education for children and was joined by jazz bassist Keter Betts, master teaching artist of Wolf Trap's Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. Announcement also was made of the completion of the $10.5 million Center for Education, scheduled to open May 19 to serve as a national arts-in-education resource center for performing artists, educators and students.

A complete performance schedule for the coming season is available online at www.wolftrap.org.

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