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Harris Theater presents 2018-19 Mainstage Season with Opera Atelier, English National Ballet
From a Harris Theater press release

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Chicago, Ill. — The Harris Theater for Music and Dance announces its mainstage season lineup for 2018-19, as the Theater celebrates 15 years as a cultural anchor in downtown Chicago.

The nine engagements range from classical Indian dance with origins in the 2nd century, to opera masterworks of the Italian canon and French Baroque, to an iconic story ballet reimagined in a contemporary and politically-charged setting. Whether through the preservation of cultural heritage, the transformation of classic works in response to a changing world, or the creation of something entirely new, each presentation insists that great art is always relevant and has the power to transcend any boundary.

Headlining the season are: the Chicago debut of Opera Atelier, one of the leading interpreters of French baroque opera, before the company heads to the Royal Opera House at the Palace of Versailles; the exclusive US presentation of English National Ballet in Akram Khan's Giselle, winner of the 2017 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance; and the return of Teatro Regio Torino, the Italian opera house led by Gianandrea Noseda, with its acclaimed concert production ofGiuseppe Verdi's I vespri siciliani.

Explore the series and purchase subscriptions at the link: ..

This season is the first curated entirely by Patricia Barretto, who assumed the post of Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols President and CEO Endowed Chair in 2017. She had previously served as the Theater's Vice President of External Affairs, and before that, Executive Director of Opera Atelier.

"I am proud to uphold the Harris Theater's reputation for bringing the very best music and dance to Chicago audiences, while bringing my unique point of view to our presenting series," said Barretto, "The upcoming season not only features artists and ensembles of the highest caliber, but also grapples with important issues of our time and reflects a multitude of voices across cultures and continents."

The 2018—19 Mix at Six, Chamber Music Society, Beyond the Aria, and Exelon Family Series, to be announced in March, will round out the diverse lineup of artists coming to the Harris Theater's Elizabeth Morse Genius Stage next season.

2018-19 AT A GLANCE:

NOV. 8—9, 2018 Miami City Ballet

NOV. 15—16, 2018 Charpentier Actéon and Rameau Pygmalion: Opera Atelier

Porter, Airline Presenting Sponsor

DEC. 13, 2018 GOLD: The King's Singers

JAN. 11, 2019 Written in Water: Ragamala Dance Company

FEB. 21, 2019 Angélique Kidjo and Ladysmith Black Mambazo

FEB. 28—MARCH 2, 2019 Akram Khan's Giselle: English National Ballet

APRIL 5—6, 2019 Mega Israel: Gauthier Dance

MAY 6, 2019 Transfigured Nights: Inon Barnatan, piano; Sergey Khachatryan, violin;

Alisa Weilerstein, cello; and Colin Currie, percussion

MAY 17, 2019 I vespri siciliani: Teatro Regio Torino Orchestra and Chorus

Gianandrea Noseda, music director and conductor


Miami City Ballet

November 8—9, 2018 | 7:30 p.m.

Returning to the Harris following two sold-out performances in 2016, Miami City Ballet highlights new choreographic voices alongside classical ballet works. This mixed-repertoire program pairs familiar works — including George Balanchine's ConcertoBarocco and Twyla Tharp and Jerome Robbins' Brahms/Handel — with the Chicago premiere of One Line Drawn, a new original work created by Harris Theater Choreographer in Residence Brian Brooks. Hailed by the New York Times as "one of America's most beloved dance companies," Miami City Ballet is led by artistic director Lourdes Lopez.

Charpentier Acteon and Rameau Pygmalion: Opera Atelier

Porter, Airline Presenting Sponsor

November 15—16, 2018 | 7:30 p.m.

The pioneering Toronto-based company, led by founding directors Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg, brings a double bill of French baroque opera to the Harris. Selections animate familiar stories from classical mythology with a "period-minded yet strikingly refreshing" approach ( Toronto Star ). Actéon, Marc-Antoine Charpentier's 1684 pastoral, follows a hunting party's unwitting interloper and his divine retribution, while Jean-Philippe Rameau's Pygmalion ( 1748 ) recalls the story of a sculptor enamored of his own creation as an acte de ballet.

GOLD: The King's Singers

December 13, 2018 | 7:30 p.m.

The iconic British a cappella ensemble, winner of two Grammy awards, celebrates its 50th anniversary season with a year-long international tour. The festive holiday program honors the group's heritage and unending capacity to surprise audiences with "astonishing, exhilarating musicianship" ( Gramophone ), reflecting the diverse repertoire that has made the all-male sextet and its close-harmony style famous.

Written in Water: Ragamala Dance Company

Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy, artistic directors

January 11, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.

"Soulful, imaginative, and rhythmically contagious" ( The New York Times ), Ragamala Dance Company is highly acclaimed for performances that combine a contemporary Western aesthetic with an Indian ethos. Conceived by mother-daughter Artistic Directors Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy—and inspired by the second century Indian board game, Paramapadam ( the precursor to snakes and ladders )—Written in Water explores parallels between ecstasy and longing in Hindu and Sufi thought. With a score by Amir ElSaffar, Written in Water features a live music ensemble with a distinct alchemy of Iraqi, jazz, and Carnatic instruments.

Angélique Kidjo and Ladysmith Black Mambazo

February 21, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.

This program is the first-ever collaboration between two of the most prominent musical entities and forces for social change on the world stage. Kidjo, the "undisputed queen of African music" ( London's Daily Telegraph ), blends West African traditions with elements of R&B and jazz. She brings her high-energy, genre-defying concert style back to the Harris stage, performing with the five-time Grammy Award-winning choral group whose uplifting harmonies have become synonymous with Nelson Mandela's peaceful vision for South Africa.

Akram Khan's Giselle: English National Ballet

February 28—March 1, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.

March 2, 2019 | 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Britain's premier touring company, led by Artistic Director Tamara Rojo, returns to the US for the first time in three decades with a compelling new take on one of ballet's most cherished stories. Khan's interpretation of Giselle incorporates kathak, a form of classical Indian dance and storytelling characterized by gestural richness and detail. The power imbalances at the heart of the 1841 classic are alarmingly relevant as peasants and nobles become migrant factory workers and landlords. A newly commissioned score by Vincenzo Lamagna adapted from the original Adolphe Adam work and stunning sets and costumes by Academy Award-winning designer Tim Yip ( Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ) frame this "extraordinary feat of re-imagination" ( The Arts Desk ).

Mega Israel: Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart

April 5—6, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.

Gauthier Dance, the German contemporary dance company directed by Eric Gauthier and acclaimed for its "technical precision, theatrical charisma, and absolute commitment" ( Boston Globe ), will perform a mixed-repertoire program honoring works by celebrated Israeli choreographers: Hofesh Shechter's Uprising, Gai Behar and Sharon Eyal's Killer Pig, and Ohad Naharin'ssignature piece Minus 16. All choreographers have been affiliated with and influenced by Batsheva Dance Company and Gaga, the movement language Naharin has defined as its longtime artistic director.

Transfigured Nights: Inon Barnatan, piano; Sergey Khachatryan, violin; Alisa Weilerstein, cello; and Colin Currie, percussion

May 6, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.

Four visionary musicians come together on the Harris stage for a single performance of chamber pieces driven by rich emotional narratives. Anchored by transcribed versions of two 20th-century masterpieces, the program includes Ludwig van Beethoven's "Ghost" Trio Op. 70, No. 1; Arnold Schoenberg's VerklÃƒïΏ½Ã―ïΏ½ïΏ½rte Nacht for Piano Trio; and Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 15 for Piano Trio and Percussion.

I vespri siciliani: Teatro Regio Torino Orchestra and Chorus

Gianandrea Noseda, music director and conductor

May 17, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.

After making its North American debut on the Harris stage in 2014 ( deemed a "bulls-eye" by the Chicago Sun-Times ) one of Italy's oldest and most distinguished opera houses returns to Chicago. Music Director Gianandrea Noseda leads his orchestra, chorus, and soloists — an international ensemble of 155 — in Verdi's political thriller, which illuminates the struggle for national unification in the composer's own lifetime. The story that drives the opera — of relationships and loyalties tested amid a rebel uprising — is both historical and universal, and well-suited to a company known for its commitment to preserving Italian cultural heritage over nearly three centuries.

***Programs, prices, and dates are subject to change***


The 2018—19 season is made possible through the generous support of the following Presenting Sponsors:

- The Irving Harris Foundation — Harris Theater Presents Mainstage Music

- Jay Franke and David Herro — Miami City Ballet

- Porter Airlines — Opera Atelier

- Harris Family Foundation, Caryn and King Harris Dance Residency Fund — English National Ballet


Flex Pack subscriptions are available now online and at the Harris Theater Box Office. Patrons can build a Flex Pack subscription by selecting three or more of the above Harris Theater Presents performances. Subscribers gain access to the best seats and deepest discounts, and unique benefits including:

- A 40% discount on Harris Theater Presents tickets

- Access to discounted parking in the Millennium Park Garage — $16 for 7 hours — now available to purchase online

- Discounts and special offers when dining with Harris Theater Restaurant Parners, including Park Grill, Remington's, and Seven Lions

- Invitations to special events, artist talks, and receptions throughout the season

To purchase a subscription or request a brochure, contact the box office at 312.334.7777 or visit in person at 205 E. Randolph. Hours are noon to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and performance days.


The Harris Theater is Chicago's primary residence for music and dance, connecting diverse audiences with outstanding artists from across the city, the nation, and the world. The Theater's activities fall under three central strategies: support for local music and dance companies, presentation of national and international artists, and community engagement and educational programs. Now in its fourteenth season, the Theater has earned national recognition as a distinctive model for collaboration, performance, and artistic advancement.

Today, the Harris Theater's original group of 12 resident companies has grown to include 30 diverse music and dance companies, and its Harris Theater Presents series has featured world-renowned artists and ensembles including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Batsheva Dance, Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir, Hamburg Ballet,Angélique Kidjo, Paris Opéra Ballet, and Stephen Sondheim. The Harris Theater's community engagement initiatives build bridges between artists and community members, providing master classes, artist talks, and free tickets for more than 35 partner organizations throughout Chicago.

To learn more about the Harris Theater, Chicago's state-of-the-art 1,499-seat performance venue, visit HarrisTheaterChicago.organd follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram .

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