NEA Opera Honors Awards Presentation
Saturday, November 14, 2009, in Washington, DC
John Adams, Frank Corsaro, Marilyn Horne, Lotfi Mansouri and Julius Rudel
Hosted by Brian Stokes Mitchell and Shirley Verrett
November 2, 2009
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will recognize the recipients of the 2009 NEA Opera Honors at the awards presentation taking place on Saturday, November 14, at 7:30pm in the Sidney Harman Hall of the Harman Center for the Arts, Washington, DC. These honors are designed to celebrate the art of opera in the United States and the artists whose contributions have made an indelible mark. OPERA America is working with the NEA in managing this initiative and event, and the Washington National Opera (WNO) serves as a planning and production partner.
The 2009 NEA Opera Honorees, composer John Adams, stage director and librettist Frank Corsaro, mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, general director Lotfi Mansouri and conductor Julius Rudel, are being acknowledged for their exceptional contributions to opera in America. With the support of Congress and the White House, the NEA was authorized in 2008 to establish the nation’s highest honor in opera. Included in this honor is a one-time grant award of $25,000. The recipients are nominated by the public and chosen by an NEA-convened panel of experts in the opera field. Of the awardees, NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said, "With the 2009 NEA Opera Honors, we salute five individuals who have dedicated their lives to opening up opera for all the people of the United States. Individually, each has had a profound influence on generations of singers and audiences. Collectively, it would be simply impossible to imagine opera in America without them."
The awards presentation will be hosted by actor/singer Brian Stokes Mitchell and soprano Shirley Verrett. The event will be called to order by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, followed by welcoming remarks from NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. Washington National Opera General Director Plácido Domingo will make a guest appearance by video, and there will be musical tributes by soprano Angela Brown and baritone Gordon Hawkins. Award presenters will be composer/2008 NEA Opera Honors recipient Carlisle Floyd for Frank Corsaro, singer Barbara Cook for Marilyn Horne, Los Angeles Philharmonic President and CEO Deborah Borda for John Adams, conductor/composer André Previn for Lotfi Mansouri, and soprano Shirley Verrett for Julius Rudel. Video tributes for each honoree will round out the evening.
The WFMT Radio Network will broadcast and distribute nationally the NEA Opera Honors awards presentation to over 150 markets.
Admission-free tickets were distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. While the event is currently sold-out, unclaimed tickets will be offered to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, as of 7pm on November 14 at the Harman Center for the Arts Box Office: 610 F Street NW. In addition, free tickets will be available for viewing a live video feed in the Harman Center’s lobbies.
NEA Opera Honors: M.L. FALCONE, Public Relations, 212.580.4302 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEA: Victoria Hutter, 202.682.5692 or email@example.com.
OPERA America: Patricia Kiernan Johnson, 212.796.8620, x 217 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WNO: Michelle Pendoley, 202.295.2468 or email@example.com.
Photos and additional information can be found in the NEA Opera Honors section of the NEA web site.
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