Opera Singer Denyce Graves in Sophisticated Lady at the Kennedy Center
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The sensual vocals and poetic songwriting of Grammy-winning singer Mary Chapin Carpenter helped propel her 1992 country album Come On Come On to quadruple-platinum status. Since then, her beautiful music has become more socially and politically oriented, while also increasingly bringing in orchestral elements. Her latest album, Songs From the Movie, revisits tunes from her past, setting them to symphonic instrumentation evocative of a stirring film score. Now, you can see her play these compelling reinventions of her own with the National Symphony Orchestra. Learn More
When you go to an event at the Kennedy Center, make certain to see what is playing at the Millenium Stage. A free performance is offered at 6:00 every night. I saw a wonderful set of Broadway show tune sung by very talented students from Catholic University.NSO: Koh Plays Barber info • Nov 01 2013 star this tip starred
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Linda HirschRed Velvet
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This was a fabulous evening. Not only were we entertained by Ms. Graves doing a varied program but we were attending a benefit for the Duke Ellington School of Music where Ms. Graves attended high school. The school's chorus gave a superb performance as well, and their maturity was far beyond their years. This is a DC school that accepts students on their artistic abilities, yet they are often academically challenged. The school emphasizes academics as well, and helps students attain grade level. Ninety-eight per-cent graduate and 95% go on to higher education. It's a model our new administration is attempting to follow. HATS OFF TO ALL!
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This was a benefit for a wonderful D.C. school - The Duke Ellington School of the Arts. We attended another event where the talented students from this school performed, thanks to a notice on Goldstar. So we were happy to have another chance to...continued
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I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. My fellow attendee, who is a more sophisticated opera buff, thought her performance was very uneven. We both thought all the hand moves and staging by the Ellington School choir was a bit silly and detracted...continued
Quotes & Highlights
“She is almost too good to be true – a vital artist, a beautiful woman, a regal presence.” —The Washington Post
“Put simply: if the human voice has the power to move you, you will be touched by Denyce Graves.” —Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“One of the singers most likely to be an operatic superstar of the 21st century.” —USA Today
Recognized worldwide as one of today’s most exciting vocal stars, Denyce Graves continues to gather unparalleled popular and critical acclaim in performances on four continents. USA Today identifies her as “an operatic superstar of the 21st Century,” and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution exclaims, “if the human voice has the power to move you, you will be touched by Denyce Graves.”
Her career has taken her to the world’s great opera houses and concert halls. The combination of her expressive, rich vocalism, elegant stage presence, and exciting theatrical abilities allows her to pursue a wide breadth of operatic portrayals as well as delight audiences in concert and recital appearances. Denyce Graves has become particularly well-known to operatic audiences for her portrayals of the title roles in Carmen and Samson et Dalila. These signature roles have brought Ms. Graves to the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Washington Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Arena di Verona, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opernhaus Zürich, Teatro Real in Madrid, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Los Angeles Opera, and the Festival Maggio Musicale in Florence.
Denyce Graves made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in the 1995-96 season in the title role of Carmen. She returned the following season to lead the new Franco Zeffirelli production of this work, conducted by James Levine, and she sang the opening night performance of the Metropolitan Opera’s 1997-98 season as Carmen opposite Plácido Domingo. She was seen again that season as _Bizet_’s gypsy on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera for Domingo’s 30th Anniversary Gala, and she made her debut in Japan as Carmen, opposite the Don José of Roberto Alagna. Ms. Graves appeared in a new production of Samson et Dalila opposite Plácido Domingo at the Metropolitan Opera, and she performed Act III of this work opposite Mr. Domingo to open the Met’s season in 2005. She was partnered again with Mr. Domingo in the 1999 season-opening performances of this work for Los Angeles Opera. She was seen as Saint-Saëns’ seductress with Royal Opera, Covent Garden and The Washington Opera, both opposite José Cura – the latter under the baton of Maestro Domingo, as well as with Houston Grand Opera. Her debut in this signature role came in 1992 with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival under the direction of James Levine and opposite Mr. Domingo and Sherrill Milnes, and she made a return engagement to the Festival in this same role in 1997.
One of the music world’s most sought-after recitalists, Ms. Graves combines her expressive vocalism and exceptional gifts for communication with her dynamic stage presence, enriching audiences around the world. Her programs include classical repertoire of German Lieder, French mélodie, and English art song, as well as the popular music of Broadway musicals, crossover and jazz together with American spirituals. For her New York recital debut, The New York Times wrote, “[h]er voice is dusky and earthy. She is a strikingly attractive stage presence and a communicative artist who had the audience with her through four encores.”
Denyce Graves is a native of Washington, D.C., where she attended the Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts. She continued her education at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the New England Conservatory. In 1998, Ms. Graves received an honorary doctorate from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. She was named one of the “50 Leaders of Tomorrow” by Ebony magazine and was one of Glamour magazine’s 1997 “Women of the Year.” In 1999 WQXR Radio in New York named her as one of classical music’s “Standard Bearers for the 21st Century.” Denyce Graves has been invited on several occasions to perform in recital at The White House, and she provides many benefit performances for various causes special to her throughout each season. Denyce Graves has been the recipient of many awards, including the Grand Prix du Concours International de Chant de Paris, the Eleanor Steber Music Award in the Opera Columbus Vocal Competition, and a Jacobson Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. In 1991, she received the Grand Prix Lyrique, awarded once every three years by the Association des amis de l’opéra de Monte-Carlo, and the Marian Anderson Award, presented to her by Miss Anderson.