Wolf Trap Foundation Celebrates Conclusion of Robust Summer Season, Looks Ahead to Continued Growth

Filene Center Performance

Vienna, Virginia (September 30, 2015)Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts has concluded a highly successful Summer 2015 season marked by unprecedented diversity in programming, strong sales and attendance, and record-breaking fundraising activities. From May 22 through September 19, 2015, nearly 400,000 fans visited Wolf Trap for performances at the Filene Center, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, and The Barns at Wolf Trap.

“This was an exceptional summer season in all respects,” stated
Arvind Manocha, president and CEO of Wolf Trap Foundation. “While we are of course thrilled by strong sales, fundraising and attendance numbers, I am more pleased by what those numbers represent: a growing, thriving and diverse fan-base that considers Wolf Trap a vital part of the greater-Washington cultural community.”

When Manocha began his tenure in 2013, he pledged to honor Wolf Trap’s history as a beloved urban oasis for arts and culture, while introducing fresh acts that are relevant to new audiences. Highlights of the Summer 2015 season that are representative of new programming include A.R. Rahman, Lindsey Stirling, David Gray and Amos Lee, Jill Scott, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, and Lenny Kravitz – all sold-out or nearly sold-out.

Wolf Trap fans have responded enthusiastically: overall capacities at the Filene Center are at an all-time high and tickets sold are up an average of 13% per show. First-time Wolf Trap patrons are also at an all-time high, drawn by an increasingly eclectic lineup. Returning fans, and particularly Wolf Trap members (donors), enjoyed sold-out performances by John Fogerty, Sheryl Crow, and Santana.

With a renewed emphasis on the fine arts, Wolf Trap presented two operas at the Filene Center, the fully staged
Madama Butterfly and Aida in Concert, featuring internationally acclaimed alumni of Wolf Trap Opera’s young artist training program. Wolf Trap Opera sold out all opera performances at The Barns at Wolf Trap, including the Washington-area premiere of the contemporary opera The Ghosts of Versailles. The National Symphony Orchestra performed eight programs at Wolf Trap this summer, with per-show attendance up 33% since 2013.

The number of Members – those donors who support Wolf Trap’s nonprofit mission and receive benefits including presales – are at an all-time high of more than 8,600, an increase of 20% in just two years. The summer season officially concluded September 19 with the Wolf Trap Ball, which raised a record-breaking $1.2 million in support of Wolf Trap’s national arts education programs, which reach 78,000 young people, teachers, and caregivers each year.

The 2015 Season By the Numbers:

  • 116 performances in 124 days, including 71 paid performances at the Filene Center
  • Nearly 400,000 Wolf Trap fans between May and September 2015
  • 20 sold-out performances at the Filene Center (capacity 7,028)
  • More than 40 artist debuts, including A.R. Rahman, “Weird Al” Yankovic, the National Ballet of China, First Aid Kit, Switchfoot, Culture Club, Little Big Town, and Lenny Kravitz

A sense of fun and community underlay every Wolf Trap performance, and to that end, Wolf Trap’s 2015 Summer season also included a number of onsite activities to enhance the patron experience. Examples include:

  • Onsite DeLoreans for Back to the Future with the National Symphony.
  • Appearances by Darth Vader and Storm Troopers for The Music of John Williams with the National Symphony.
  • A costume parade in conjunction with Disney in Concert, which brought more than 800 children and families onto the Filene Center stage.
  • VIP seating upgrades at PNC Nights on sold-out performances.
  • Tweet seats for select performances by Wolf Trap Opera

“On behalf of the Foundation, thank you to our partners at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts and the National Park Service, and to the nearly 1,000 staff, interns and volunteers who come together to run the marathon that is summer at Wolf Trap. And special thanks to the hundreds of thousands of new and returning Wolf Trap fans who so enthusiastically showed their support. It is a great honor to present art and artists who reflect the diverse culture and musicals tastes of our community,” commented Manocha. “Looking ahead, we begin the Barns season in October, and we are already booking Summer 2016 performances that will go on sale to members soon.”

Wolf Trap’s fall-winter-spring season at The Barns at Wolf Trap begins October 9 with Broadway star Megan Hilty, and features a similar diversity of programming, attention to quality, and warm community atmosphere that distinguishes the Wolf Trap summer experience. Visit wolftrap.org for complete program calendar and tickets.


Wolf Trap’s Summer 2015 season is made possible by generous support

Wolf Trap Foundation Official Sponsors and Partners, including:

PNC, Premier Sponsor, 2015 Summer Season – celebrating 10 seasons of partnership
Dan and Gayle D’Aniello, Wolf Trap Opera Season Underwriters
The Boeing Company Major Sponsor, Rock Legends

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:

High-resolution images and video footage are available upon request.  

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