- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts celebrates its 35th summer season this year, and the guest list teems with old friends.

It wouldn’t be summer in Vienna without the likes of Lyle Lovett (Aug. 22), the Indigo Girls (July 19), Bonnie Raitt (July 3, 5) and the Beach Boys (July 29).

Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” will be in town for two nights (May 26, 27) just in time to promote the upcoming Robert Altman film of the same name.

The Wolf Trap veterans will be joined by performers yet to grace the Filene Center stage. Among the newbies for summer 2006 are recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Blondie (June 6 with the New Cars), Los Lonely Boys (June 21) and Latin Grammy award-winner Sin Bandera (June 18).

Along with the hellos will be a heartfelt goodbye. Legendary blues singer B.B. King is slated to make a farewell appearance June 19.

The season features a pair of concerts with the ravaged city of New Orleans firmly in mind. Elvis Costello & The Imposters will perform alongside New Orleans icon Allen Toussaint June 15, while the Wolf Trap 17th annual Louisiana Swamp Romp on June 4 will feature the ReBirth Brass Band, Charivari and Marcia Ball.

The season also brings three new productions from the park’s opera company, including the American premiere of Telemann’s “Orpheus” (June 16, 18, 23, 25). Rossini’s “Le Comte Ory” (July 14, 16, 21, 23) also makes its Wolf Trap debut at The Barns; and the company presents a production new to the Filene Center stage with two nights of “The Marriage of Figaro” (Aug. 18, 19) to honor Mozart’s 250th birthday.

The park’s enduring Face of America series, highlighting the beauty and majesty of our national parks, continues with a tribute to the Aloha State. “Face of America: Hawaii,” the fifth installment of Wolf Trap’s original series, debuts Sept. 9. The event combines live performances by Halau O Kekuhi and Ledward Kaapana interspersed with HDTV footage of several Hawaii National Parks.

The National Symphony Orchestra sets the new season ablaze May 28 with a fireworks display and free concert courtesy of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band May 28.

A number of world-class artists, including Itzhak Perlman (July 6), Renee Fleming (Aug. 3) and Marvin Hamlisch (July 21) will join the NSO at Wolf Trap this year in events aimed at musical traditionalists as well as the musically adventurous. For the latter, Wolf Trap promises a program featuring music from “Star Trek” and “Star Wars,” narrated by Mr. Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy (July 7).

Tickets for most of the upcoming season go on sale at 10 a.m. April 1 at the Wolf Trap Box Office, online at www.wolftrap.org and 1-(877)-WOLFTRAP.

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