Patti LuPone, Tituss Burgess, and More Announced as Part of WNO Gala

Patti LuPone, Tituss Burgess, and More Announced as Part of WNO Gala

Washington National Opera (WNO) today announced the date and partial casting for its 2018 WNO Gala, which takes place on Sunday, May 20 in the Kennedy Center Opera House. The annual Gala concert features a world-class cast starring Tony® and GRAMMY® Award-winning actor Patti LuPone; Emmy®-nominated singer and actor Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, 30 Rock); and stars from WNO's current season-mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard (Rosina inThe Barber of Seville) and soprano Kathryn Lewek (Cunegonde in Candide)-as well as members of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists Program and other special guests to be announced at a later date. Renowned baritone Nathan Gunn will host and perform, alongside his wife, pianist Julie Gunn.

Conductor John DeMain leads the WNO Orchestra in this event honoring the centennial of iconic composer, conductor, educator, and humanitarian Leonard Bernstein's birth. The WNO Gala is the culminating event in this season's Center-wide celebration of the musical genius, and Jamie Bernstein, the composer's eldest daughter, will also participate in the festivities.

Gala packages for the full evening include a cocktail reception on the Kennedy Center's River Terrace at 4:30 p.m., followed by the 6 p.m. performance. The event concludes with elegant dinners hosted by Ambassadors and foreign dignitaries at embassies and residences throughout Washington.

The Chairs of the WNO Gala are Eric and Susanne Larsen.

The Gala is WNO's largest fundraiser and one of Washington's most anticipated events of the year. Proceeds from the Gala play a crucial role in advancing the WNO's award-wining artistic, educational, and engagement programs.


Tickets for the Gala concert, starting at $49, are on sale starting February 15 at 10 a.m. to Kennedy Center members. Tickets go on sale to the general public on February 22 at 10 a.m.

Tickets will be available online, in person at the Kennedy Center Box Office, and by calling(202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324. For all other ticket-related customer service inquiries, call the Advance Sales Box Office at (202) 416-8540.

Gala ticket packages start at $1,000, and include the VIP cocktail party, priority seating for the Gala concert, and seating at private embassy dinners following the performance. Information is available online or by contacting the Special Events office at (202) 416-8496or

ABOUT Leonard Bernstein AT 100

Born on August 25, 1918, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Leonard Bernstein became a towering figure of 20th-century music and culture. Bernstein was world-renowned as the composer of West Side Story, Candide, and On the Town, among numerous stage and orchestral works; as the celebrated music director of the New York Philharmonic and other leading orchestras, with whom he created a trove of acclaimed recordings; as an educator whose televised Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic created more than one generation of music lovers; and as a lifelong humanitarian who spoke out whenever he witnessed injustice.

"Leonard Bernstein at 100" is a year of local, national, and worldwide events that pay tribute to this iconic artist whose influence and impact on arts and culture in the U.S. and around the world have transcended both genres and generations. Throughout the centennial celebration, which begins at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., performances of theater, classical, jazz, choral works, dance, and education events will explore and celebrate the many facets of Leonard Bernstein as musician, composer, educator, and humanitarian.

While truly a citizen artist to the world, Washington, D.C. was one of Leonard Bernstein's creative homes. Bernstein frequented the Kennedy White House, regularly composed for and conducted Washington ensembles and at area venues, served as emcee for the fundraiser for the National Performing Arts Center (later named the Kennedy Center) and premiered lasting and notable works such as MASS-at the opening of the Center-andWest Side Story here in the nation's capital.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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