Three Kansas University alumni will share the spotlight with such international stars as Bobby McFerrin and the Guarneri String Quartet during the 1993-94 Lied Center Series, KU officials announced Tuesday.
The 1993-94 series will be the first in the 2,028-seat Ernst F. Lied Center, scheduled to open this fall. The Lied Center Series is comprised of KU's Concert, New Directions and Chamber Music series.
Jackie Davis, Lied Center director, said she booked a variety of acts for the inaugural series to show off the hall's versatility.
"It was a wonderful experience to program for this new building. Everything was possible," she said.
Davis invited opera singers and KU alumni Joyce Castle, David Holloway and Patricia Wise to open the Concert Series Oct. 23.
"It is only fitting that some of the wonderful talent that has graduated from this university will open the concert series," Davis said.
ALL THREE performers have sung with major opera companies and orchestras around the world. Castle received a bachelor's of fine arts degree in 1961 in theater and voice. Holloway earned bachelor's and master's degrees in voice in 1964 and 1967, and Wise received a bachelor's degree in music education at KU in 1966.
Davis said that the three singers plan to present a mix of solo, duet and trio pieces, as well as chat will the audience to create an cabaret-style atmosphere.
The hall officially will open Sept. 28-Oct. 3 with an exclusive run of the Broadway hit "The Secret Garden." The touring company has agreed not to perform the piece within a 200-mile radius of the center.
Davis anticipated special interest in the Jan. 25 concert featuring the Kansas City Symphony and vocalist Bobby McFerrin, whose 1988 hit "Don't Worry, Be Happy" won a Grammy Award for best record.
"He is going to conduct the orchestra as well as sing. I think that will be kind of fun," Davis said.
The Guarneri String Quartet will open the Chamber Music Series Oct. 17. Past series patrons may remember the quartet, which played at KU for 11 consecutive seasons during the 1970s and 1980s.
"They are the only chamber music group to have that distinction, so I thought it was appropriate for them to start the series," Davis said.
Lied Center officials also announced two special events for the 1993-94 series. The Tulsa Ballet Theatre will perform "The Nutcracker" on Dec. 10, and the Minneapolis Children's Theatre will stage "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" on Jan. 13.
HERE IS the complete schedule for the 1993-94 Lied Center Series:
The Concert series will feature Castle, Holloway and Wise on Oct. 23; the San Francisco Symphony, Nov. 9; McFerrin and the Kansas City Orchestra, Jan. 25; the New York City Opera National Company's production of "Madame Butterfly," March 10; and the David Parsons Company and Billy Taylor Trio, April 26.
The New Directions Series will open with Sankai Juku, masters of a new form of Japanese dance, on Oct. 13; Pretty Ugly Dance Company and Amanda Miller, Nov. 17; Bella Lewitzky Dance, Feb. 16; Kronos Quartet, March 1; and Laurie Anderson, March 29.
The Chamber Music Series will feature the Guarneri String Quartet on Oct. 17; King's Singers, Nov. 14; Ying Quartet, Feb. 6; and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center with clarinetist David Shifrin, April 10.
Patrons can purchase tickets for series events and special performances at the Lied Center box office, which will open June 7.