U of M to Open Revitalized Northrop with American Ballet Theatre, 4/4

U of M to Open Revitalized Northrop with American Ballet Theatre, 4/4

The revitalized Northrop will launch a series of events, beginning with the Northrop Inside Out Grand Reopening Gala April 4, 2014, which will feature American Ballet Theatre performing Giselle with live orchestra.

A post-performance dessert, reception and dance party on Northrop Plaza will be open to all audience members. University of Minnesota students, faculty and staff and the public may purchase tickets for the Northrop Plaza event. A Gala dinner and reception for donors and guests will precede the performance.

"Our vision for the new 21st-century Northrop is grounded in history but focused on the future," said Karen Hanson, the U's senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. "Northrop will become a central and prominent site of academic inquiry at the intersection of the arts, humanities, sciences and technology; a place where creative expression and scholarship will come together in new ways; and a gathering place for stimulating and productive conversations about the urgent issues and challenges of our time."

Additional programming highlights announced today include:

  • Additional performances of Giselle by American Ballet Theatre (April 5-6)
  • Former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice as part of the Distinguished Carlson Lecture Series, presented by the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs (April 17)
  • Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor (April 26)
  • Free tickets for U students will be available for some events, including CollegeHumor Live (April 10) and contemporary dance company Trey McIntyre Project (April 22)
  • Institute for Advanced Study's "Reframing Mass Violence" lecture on Argentina's art, media and politics (April 10)
  • Minneapolis International Film Festival screenings (April)
  • Osmo Vänskä and musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra (May 2), and U School of Music's University Symphony Orchestra performing Mahler's Symphony No. 2 (May 3)
  • Irish singer Daniel O'Donnell with special guest Mary Duff (June 2)
  • "100 Years of Student Drawing," selections from College of Design Drawing Archives, an exhibit of alumni work in the new 4th floor gallery

A full event listing, with more events coming soon, and ticket information are available at Northrop.umn.edu. Tickets are on sale to current Northrop subscribers and donors. General public ticket sales begin online at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23.

"'Northrop Presents' has a tradition that the University of Minnesota is justifiably proud of, dating all the way back to the Artists' Course when Northrop first opened its doors," said Christine Tschida, director of Northrop. "By putting the most compelling artists of the day on stage at the center of campus, generations of students have been inspired by exhilarating cultural experiences. We are thrilled to bring 'Northrop Presents' back to this beautifully restored gathering place that will be central to everyday life on campus."

To celebrate its new performance venues, Northrop and the School of Music are hosting a competition to compose a signature Northrop fanfare to indicate final seating for events. Eligibility for submissions, due Dec. 2, 2013, is limited to current students and recent alumni (last five years) of the School of Music.

A statewide partnership:

Dedicated in 1929 in honor of former University President Cyrus Northrop, the auditorium was badly in need of repair and updates. The revitalization project was undertaken to make Northrop central to campus academic life, enrich student learning, promote engagement beyond the classroom, develop new audiences to foster continued vitality in arts and culture, and create opportunities for cross-disciplinary discussion about local and global issues.

"This revitalization project honors Northrop's history and significance. But it also allows us to better utilize space for students, faculty and staff; increase its operational efficiency; and complete a project to last another 100 years," said Pam Wheelock, vice president for University Services.

"This would be impossible without a strong partnership between the University and the State of Minnesota, private donors and corporate sponsors-as well as the hundreds of architects and construction workers who have worked hard on this already award-winning building. We are grateful for this commitment to the long-term future of the University of Minnesota."

The $88.2 million project was financed through University funds (68 percent), State of Minnesota Higher Education and Asset Preservation and Replacement funding (21 percent) and private and corporate philanthropy (10 percent). To date, more than 70 percent of the waste generated on the project has been recycled. The former auditorium's proscenium arch-with medallions symbolizing many U colleges-decorative urns and all of the Memorial Hall entryway's lighting fixtures were preserved and restored.

New role in day-to-day campus life:

The new Northrop will be a premier venue for the performing arts and a multipurpose cultural center that is well integrated into Twin Cities campus academic life. It will feature a 2,700-seat main performance theater that provides a more intimate and improved experience for audience members, with better sight lines, vastly improved acoustics and state-of-the-art technology. The new Northrop will also feature a more intimate and interactive 168-seat theater for performances, lectures, films and other events. Northrop will continue its role as a central gathering place for important campus and community events, such as graduation ceremonies and lectures by world-renowned leaders.

Northrop's role in the day-to-day life of the Twin Cities campus will be greatly enhanced. Three resident academic programs-the University Honors Program, the Institute for Advanced Study and the College of Design's Travelers Innovation Lab-will move into expanded space for collaborative learning. Expansions also provide for gallery space, a café and coffee bar, study lounges, two lecture halls and a performance practice room, which together significantly increase study and multipurpose space for faculty, staff, students and the public.