Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts Announces Summer 2016 Fine Arts Season

Fine Arts

Misty Copeland and Joseph Gorak in American Ballet Theatre's Romeo and Juliet, [credit: Rosalie O'Connor]

  • Wolf Trap Opera explores history, violence and love in a season featuring new productions of 18th-, 19th- and 20th- century works
    • Season opens with new production of Britten’s gripping drama The Rape of Lucretia
    • Gassmann’s L’Opera Seria has U.S. premiere in hilarious lampoon of opera culture
    • Puccini’s La bohème takes center stage at the Filene Center in a large-scale production featuring the National Symphony Orchestra 
  • Wolf Trap Foundation co-commissions world premiere of The Firebird, a multi-arts experience set to Stravinsky’s score, created by Janni Younge of South Africa’s acclaimed Handspring Puppet Company, and featuring the National Symphony Orchestra 
  • American Ballet Theatre returns to Wolf Trap for the first time in 31 years for a three-night engagement dancing the beloved ballet Romeo and Juliet
  • National Symphony Orchestra’s summer residency celebrates the legacy of the National Park Service with America the Beautiful; pianist Yuja Wang, violinist Chad Hoopes, and conductors Lionel Bringuier and Stéphane Denève make their Wolf Trap debuts 
  • Wolf Trap Opera presents recitals and programs at sites throughout the region; The Lucretia Project delves into the social issues and works of art related to the Lucretia story
  • Wolf Trap Opera alumnus and acclaimed bass-baritone Alan Held named 2016 Artist in Residence

Tickets go on sale to the public March 19; Wolf Trap members are buying now
Special promotion on March 19 and 20 only: $10 lawn tickets and $20 rear orchestra tickets to all National Symphony Orchestra performances

Vienna, Virginia (March 3, 2016)Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts today announced the first shows of Summer 2016, including its schedule of fine arts performances. Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday, March 19 at 10 a.m.  The fine arts calendar is below. To view the full season, including pop, rock, musicals, world music and more, visit WolfTrap.org/press-and-media.

Wolf Trap Opera anchors the fine arts season with three fully staged new productions highlighting repertoire across the 18
th, 19th and 20th centuries. Based on historical events that brought about the creation of the Roman republic, Britten’s searing lyrical masterpiece The Rape of Lucretia (1946) opens the season in a new production at The Barns at Wolf Trap. The season continues with the U.S. premiere of Gassmann’s L’Opera Seria (1769), a hilarious sendup of traditional 18th-century opera, also at The Barns. The season culminates with Puccini’s beloved tale of love and tragic loss, La bohème (1896), featuring conductor Grant Gershon and the National Symphony Orchestra at the 7,028-seat, outdoor Filene Center. In past seasons, Wolf Trap Opera productions have drawn some of the largest opera audiences in the Washington region.

ontinuing its tradition of commissioning new works, Wolf Trap will present the world premiere production of The Firebird, created by Janni Younge of the renowned Handspring Puppet Company and featuring the National Symphony Orchestra. In this one-of-a-kind work, stunning larger-than-life puppetry and contemporary South African dance come together in a production set to Stravinsky’s ravishing score. Handspring Puppet Company’s breathtaking designs are well known to Washington audiences, having most recently appeared in the award-winning production of War Horse at the Kennedy Center in 2012. The Firebird is a co-commission with Ravinia Festival, Hollywood Bowl, The Mann Center, Saratoga Performing Arts Center and Sun Valley Center for the Arts.

The renowned
American Ballet Theatre (ABT) will return to Wolf Trap for the first time in 31 years, performing their signature production of one of the most famous and beloved ballets, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The three-night engagement features a rotating cast, including principal dancers Misty Copeland, Gillian Murphy and Hee Seo as Juliet, and Cory Stearns as Romeo (additional casting to be announced).

In residence since Wolf Trap’s founding in 1971, the National Symphony Orchestra’s (NSO) summer season will feature a blend of classical repertory and popular concerts. Highlights include the Wolf Trap debuts of pianist Yuja Wang and conductor Lionel Bringuier in a program featuring Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major, and violinist Chad Hoopes and conductor Stéphane Denève in a program featuring Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Emil de Cou, the NSO at Wolf Trap Festival Conductor, will lead America the Beautiful, a multimedia celebration honoring the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary and featuring excerpts from iconic America composers, including Copland and Bernstein. Other NSO programming includes DreamWorks Animation in Concert, a special 35th anniversary screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark with John Williams’ film score performed live, Pink Martini and Seth MacFarlane.

Throughout the summer at Wolf Trap and venues across the region, Wolf Trap Opera will offer additional programming, including
The Lucretia Project, a series of free community events. In partnership with Shakespeare Theatre Company, Taffety Punk, and other arts organizations, the project will use Lucretia-inspired works of art, including those by Shakespeare, Handel, Titian and Rembrandt, to delve into the social issues raised in the Lucretia story. See calendar for dates and performance venues.

Other Wolf Trap Opera concerts and recitals include
Overtures at Evermay Estate, Vocal Colors at The Phillips Collection, the Studio Spotlight scenes performance, and the popular Aria Jukebox, in which patrons vote on the songs they wish to hear, and the artists perform on-demand. Steven Blier of the New York Festival of Song returns to lead Wolf Trap Opera soloists in The Great Outdoors, an afternoon of song in honor of the Centennial of the National Park Service, with repertoire featuring arias and art songs inspired by nature. New this summer, Wolf Trap Opera artists will present Improper Opera, a raucous evening of operatic improvisation, at AMP by Strathmore in North Bethesda, Maryland.

Wolf Trap Opera alumnus and internationally renowned bass-baritone
Alan Held will serve as Wolf Trap Opera’s 2016 Artist in Residence, mentoring the 20 Filene Artists and the 16 Studio Artists that compose Wolf Trap Opera’s company. Wolf Trap Opera artists are singers on the verge of international careers, chosen from more than 1,200 applicants to train with Wolf Trap. Many go on to have major careers, including past Artists in Residence Eric Owens (2014) and Michelle DeYoung (2015).

“It is Wolf Trap’s honor and responsibility to preserve and advance opera, ballet and symphonic music – all important threads in our cultural fabric. As we celebrate this centennial year of the National Park Service, Wolf Trap is fulfilling its role as the only national park for the performing arts with a monumental lineup, including a fine arts season featuring a world premiere, iconic works and exceptional talent,” stated
Arvind Manocha, president and CEO of Wolf Trap Foundation.

Tickets for all announced performances go on sale to the public on Saturday, March 19 at 10:00 a.m. Additional performances for the 2016 season, including all
Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods shows, will be announced April 7.

Ticketing and On-Sale Information

  • Tickets for these performances go on sale to the public on Saturday, March 19 at 10 a.m.
  • Tickets for performances at the Filene Center start at $10. Pricing varies by performance and seat location. See individual performance listings online or the calendar below for prices.
  • Wolf Trap members have access to exclusive presales and may purchase tickets in advance of the general public. Memberships start at $75. For more information, visit wolftrap.org/membership.

Beginning Saturday, March 19 at 10 a.m., tickets may be purchased:

  • Online at WolfTrap.org
  • By phone at 877.WOLFTRAP
  • In-person at the Filene Center Box Office, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna, VA

Wolf Trap’s 2016 season is made possible by generous support from the following

Wolf Trap Foundation Official Sponsors and Partners:

Dan and Gayle D’Aniello, Wolf Trap 2016 Season Underwriters

The PNC Foundation, Premier Sponsor, 2016 Summer Season

The Boeing Company, Major Sponsor, Rock Legends Series

American Airlines, Official Airline

E. & J. Gallo Winery, Official Wine and Champagne

Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, Official Hotel

WAMU 88.5, Official Media Sponsor, A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor in association with Minnesota Public Radio, Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, and Ira Glass


Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues: the outdoor Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, located down the road from the national park and adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. The 7,028-seat Filene Center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and annually showcases an extensive array of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theatre, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns at Wolf Trap is operated by the Wolf Trap Foundation year round, and during the summer months is home to the Grammy-nominated Wolf Trap Opera, one of America’s outstanding resident ensemble programs for young opera singers. Wolf Trap’s education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, grants, and a nationally recognized internship program.

Media Information

(Please do not publish contact information)

Emily Smalling, Coordinator, Public Relations
703.255.4096 or emilys@wolftrap.org

Michelle Pendoley, Director, Public Relations
703.255.1917 or michellep@wolftrap.org

  • High-resolution images are available in Wolf Trap’s online newsroom or may be provided upon request.
  • Complete performance information is online at WolfTrap.org, and included in the attached press calendar.
  • Interviews with artists may be available upon request and by arrangement with the Wolf Trap PR team.
  • Requests for complimentary Press Tickets will be accepted beginning April 25, 2016.