WNO Celebrates THE MAGIC FLUTE by Presenting OPERA IN THE OUTFIELD, 5/3, and an Exhibition by Jun Kaneko, 4/9-5/19
Washington National Opera (WNO) today announced two free special events in conjunction with its forthcoming production of The Magic Flute. WNO celebrates its sixth season of free opera simulcasts at Nationals Park with the M&M'S® Opera in the Outfield performance of Mozart's classic The Magic Flute on Saturday, May 3, 2014. Gates open at 5 p.m. for "pregame" activities for the entire family. The Magic Flute, which will be performed in English in a new eye-popping production featuring sets and costumes by Japanese-American artist Jun Kaneko, will be broadcast live from the Kennedy Center Opera House to the high- definition screen at the ballpark at 7 p.m. WNO will also present a free exhibition of large-scale ceramic works by Mr. Kaneko in the Kennedy Center Hall of Nations, April 9 to May 19, 2014.
M&M'S® Opera in the Outfield-The Magic Flute, Saturday, May 3, 2014
The May 3 M&M'S® Opera in the Outfield presentation of The Magic Flute will begin at
5 p.m. with special "pregame" entertainment, including Taiko drumming, a meet-and-greet with M&M'S® Ms. Brown, photo opportunities with the living statue of Babe Ruth and cut-outs of characters from The Magic Flute, a costume trunk and face painting play area, chances to win prizes from M&M'S® and Washington National Opera, and more. The opera will begin at 7 p.m. Free seating will be available on the outfield grass and in the stands. The event will take place rain or shine.
The Magic Flute is a delightful fairy tale, a fantastic adventure filled with danger and temptation, and a profound reflection on spiritual enlightenment. Sung in English and featuring a colorful kaleidoscope of sets and costumes by Japanese-American artist Jun Kaneko, it is a perfect opera for the entire family. More information is available now at OperaintheOutfield.org.
Jun Kaneko Exhibition-Kennedy Center Hall of Nations, April 9 to May 19, 2014
Artist Jun Kaneko, the set and costume designer for WNO's The Magic Flute, is best known for pioneering the field of monumental ceramic sculpture, and his works balance elements of both American and Japanese aesthetics. The installation Mr. Kaneko has created for the Kennedy Center's Hall of Nations is representative of his past and present artistic
practices. Displayed works include HEADS, a pairing of massive human figures; his signature Dangos (meaning "rounded form" or "dumpling" in Japanese) that are covered in a variety of bold shapes and patterns; and Tanuki, or "raccoon dogs," which feature special traits that are believed to bring good fortune, including big eyes to perceive the environment and help make good decisions, a big belly that symbolizes bold and calm decisiveness, and a friendly smile. More information on the exhibition is available here.
In addition to this special exhibition, the art of Mr. Kaneko will be celebrated at WNO's Opera Ball, which will be hosted by His Excellency the Ambassador of Japan and Mrs. Kenichiro Sasae at their official residence in Washington on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Animated projections from The Magic Flute designed by Mr. Kaneko will decorate the fac?ade of the residence for the Opera Ball. Dr. Sachiko Kuno and Ms. Phebe N. Novakovic will be the Co-Chairmen of the Opera Ball. Makiko Ueshima Tanaka will serve as International Chair, and Constance Milstein de La Haye St. Hilaire will serve as Honorary Chair. The Opera Ball is WNO's largest fundraiser, and one hundred percent of the proceeds from the Opera Ball support the Opera's award-winning artistic, educational, and outreach programs. More information on the Ball is available here.
ABOUT JUN KANEKO
Jun Kaneko was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1942 and came to the United States in 1963 to study at Chouinard Institute of Art in Los Angeles, California. He was attracted to the world of ceramics and became a part of what later came to be known as the Contemporary Ceramics Movement. His technical skills and tendency for pushing artistic boundaries have led him to extraordinary accomplishments in public art, set design, and architectural projects. He has taught at universities all over the United States, and his work is featured in more than 70 museum collections. He has designed three operas since 2003-Mozart's The Magic Flute, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, and Beethoven's sole opera Fidelio-which have been part of an artistic rethinking of classic operas. He has resided and worked in Omaha, Nebraska with his wife Ree Kaneko since 1986.
ABOUT WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA
Washington National Opera (WNO) is one of the leading opera companies in the United States. Founded in 1956 and now an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the company boasts numerous artistic highlights, including world premieres, commissioning of new works and new productions, international tours, and performances by some of opera's most admired artists. WNO productions have been heard around the world, through radio and television broadcasts on WETA-FM, NPR, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and PBS, as well as through audio and video recordings.
WNO recently launched the American Opera Initiative, a comprehensive new commissioning program that brings contemporary American stories to the stage while fostering and developing the talents of new American composers and librettists. WNO contributes to the future of opera through two other signature artist-development programs: the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program is a leading resident-training program for artists on the verge of international careers, and the WNO Opera Institute nurtures the ambitions of high-school age singers and pianists from across the nation during an intensive three-week summer program.
WNO's education and access initiatives include year-round programs in public schools throughout the region; Generation O, a popular discount-ticket initiative for young people; and a variety of lectures and discussions for every production on the season calendar. Among the most popular of WNO's community programs is M&M'S® Opera in the Outfield, which brings free, live simulcasts of opera to Nationals Park for thousands of opera fans as well as new audiences.