Dreams of Spring. Delivered.

By DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, December 13, 2017 News & Announcements, Presenting Series

[About a 6 MIN read]

Come and See What’s Next on the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Presenting Series January through April. The season features a new interpretation of Romeo & Juliet from Grand Rapids Ballet, Broadway legend Patti LuPone, and the return of violinist Itzhak Perlman.

Here at the center, we believe that the arts are part of everyday life. Whether for fun, beauty, entertainment or learning, they’re needed to transform our lives for the better. After a successful fall season of vocal performance recitals, dance, and bandleaders singing from the depths of their souls, fans dreaming of more should now look to the Presenting Series spring season for even more. Spring delivers by bringing a diverse selection of theater, music, and dance to town. Hello, 2018!


We begin with our January 19–20 celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Higher Ground. L.A. Theatre Works tours radio-style productions of important stage plays to make world-class theater accessible to the broadest possible audience and to expand its use as a teaching tool. Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop is especially essential and poignant—2018 marks the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination. A post-performance panel, including the play’s actors, heightens the relevance for audiences.

What happened inside the Lorraine Motel’s room 306 the night before the killing in Memphis, Tennessee is a mystery. In her award-winning play, playwright Katori Hall fantasizes what may have transpired in the overnight hours between the legendary civil rights leader and a seemingly inconsequential hotel maid. In an evening of humor, political jabs, and suspense we glimpse the human side of an immortal American hero. Higher Ground concludes January 20 with UZIMA! in our ever- popular African Drumming and Dance celebration.

Then, opera and dance fans will appreciate performances by Jessica Lang Dance on January 26–27. One of the most popular oratorios known throughout the world, Lang’s production of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater poetically incorporates two opera singers into a visually stunning contemporary dance piece. An emotional story of a mother’s love and loss while witnessing her divine son’s crucifixion is a journey of the human spirit that is timeless and universal. Lang has added two pieces to the program, her signature solo of religious passion and humility, The Calling, and Thousand Yard Stare, which embodies the incredible pride, honor, and searing loss experienced by our military veterans.


Paddle to the Sea is Third Coast Percussion’s final performance as Ensemble-in-Residence at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. An evening-length program—perfect for Third Coast’s loyal following of new music seekers and families—looks at our relationship to the bodies of water that connect our lives. Performing their original score live on February 2 to the titular Academy Award-nominated film, the quartet draws upon their existing works inspired by impressions of water and the natural world plus those of composers Philip Glass and Jacob Druckman and the traditional music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe.

The 1966 children’s classic film tells the story of a Native Canadian boy who carves a wooden figure called Paddle-to-the-Sea and sets him on a journey through all five Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, and finally to the Atlantic Ocean.

Being the home of the Reyes Organ and Choral Hall, the center has long welcomed established national and international concert artists. After hosting the conference “Reformations and the Organ” featuring panels and recitals fall 2017, February 11 brings award-winner Michael Unger to DPAC as the sole performer of the season’s Organ Recital Series.

Ballet can tell a story without uttering one word. That ability of dancers and choreographer to communicate Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet through plot and movement makes Grand Rapids Ballet a must-see. Set to the soaring and evocative 1935 music of Sergei Prokofiev, young love swirls to life and, ultimately, turns into tragedy February 16–17 in Mario Radacovsky’s spare and striking contemporary ballet. Debuting in 2011 as an instant hit, lighting effects and projections give dimension, emotion, and breath to the Bard’s classic “tale of woe.”

Seraphic Fire presents Monteverdi’s Selva Morale et Spirituale this February 24. Hailing from South Florida, and led by Notre Dame alumnus, founder and artistic director Patrick Dupre Quigley ’00, this top ensemble of singers and instrumentalists from around the country perform repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant and Baroque masterpieces to Mahler and newly commissioned works by this country’s leading composers. This program is Monteverdi’s “most significant anthology of liturgical works.”


Reserve March 24 for a nostalgic performance by former Celtic Woman vocalist Chloë Agnew and the Atlanta Pops Orchestra. Both known for entertaining audiences worldwide the Atlanta Pops Orchestra and Agnew answered the demand for their program, An Irish Heart, by bringing back the selection of Irish songs, standards, movie tunes, and Broadway gems. This exclusive engagement features new arrangements to showcase Agnew’s unique vocal range and the timeless sound of the Atlanta Pops. Look for an announcement of special guests—an Irish tenor and Celtic dancer!


Two celebrations of singular forces in the performing arts close down the season with guaranteed standing ovations—Patti LuPone on April 20 and Itzhak Perlman on April 29.

In “Don’t Monkey with Broadway,” two-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone explores, through indelible interpretations of classic Broadway show tunes by the likes of Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Jule Styne, Stephen Schwartz, Charles Strouse, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter, and Irving Berlin, how her life-long love affair with Broadway began, and her concern for what the Great White Way is becoming today.

Over the years, Itzhak Perlman has shared his love of music with legions of music lovers. His 2006 Presenting Series recital was a sellout! Remarkable for the warmth Perlman exudes and the rich, burnished tone of his violin, after a career spanning 60 years (he first performed on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1958) he maintains his status as classical music’s icon. Pianist Rohan de Silva accompanies the esteemed violinist for an afternoon of anecdotes and sublime music in the acoustically perfect Leighton Concert Hall.

If spring is a time of renewal—of hopes and dreams for the New Year—find it here in a community of friends celebrating the Presenting Series and the arts at Notre Dame.