Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Celebrates 25th Anniversary

On January 1, 1985 the city of Saint Paul, Minn. joyously celebrated the grand opening of its newest treasure, the originally named Ordway Music Theatre. In celebration of 25 years of performances, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, along with its resident arts partners, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Schubert Club and Minnesota Opera, will host a free open house on January 17, 2010 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to thank the community for its continued support.

Sally Ordway Irvine, who inspired the creation of the performing arts center, originally envisioned the need for a multi-functional home for all varieties of performing arts. For years Irvine supported numerous local theaters and the artistic community in the Twin Cities, and she recognized the need for an established, first-rate theater in downtown Saint Paul, Minn. After rallying local government officials, philanthropists and arts enthusiasts, Irvine's dream became a reality and the Ordway Music Theatre opened to a fanfare of celebration.

At the Ordway's 25th anniversary open house patrons can expect a similar fanfare of excitement, history and a joyful look into the future of the performing arts center from all four arts partner organizations. On display for viewing will be a variety of artifacts, letters, drawings and renderings by architect Ben Thompson. Participants can partake in self-guided tours of the theater, complimentary refreshments, special ticket discounts and live performances from all arts partner organizations, along with costume and make-up demonstrations.

Open house visitors also get the chance to share their own Ordway memories and be immortalized on the Main Hall stage. Available in Ordway's Box Office Lobby is the newly created KARE-11 Ordway Memory Booth. Patrons can record a 30-second video of their favorite memory at the Ordway and share with others their joyful experiences. For those wishing to demonstrate their artistic talents on the Ordway's Main Hall stage, the open house offers a unique 25 seconds of fame experience. During the 25th anniversary open house patrons can sing, dance, tell a story, or perform their unique talent as the stage will be open for 25 seconds (or so) of fame per person. Ordway will provide a piano and accompanist, battery-operated boom box and iPod hookup for usE. Ordway will also capture performances on video, which we will highlight on our website and YouTube channel throughout the year.

As Ordway looks into the next 25 years, plans and architectural drawings will be unveiled for the proposed 1,100 seat concert hall the Ordway plans to add in the coming years. These renderings will be on display for the first time to the general public.

The Ordway looks forward to this celebration and the next 25 years of bringing joy to Saint Paul and the greater Minnesota community.

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
The Ordway is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading not-for-profit performing arts centers and Saint Paul's most elegant and inviting performance space. The Ordway's Main Hall and McKnight Theatre stages attract diverse audiences with an array of productions encompassing the finest in American musical theater, world music, dance, jazz, and vocal performance. In addition, each year the Ordway presents its Flint Hills International Children's Festival and serves over 50,000 children and adults through its Ordway Center Education programs. The Ordway is part of a unique Arts Partnership with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera and the Schubert Club, hosting their renowned productions each season. The Ordway is also proud to sponsor the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, a professionally guided academic and artistic environment that trains aspiring pre-professional performing artists in the areas of instrumental and vocal music, theater and dance. For more information, visit ordway.org.

Minnesota Opera
Minnesota Opera brings together world class artists five times a year to create spectacular productions on the Ordway stage. Considered America's most exciting opera company, Minnesota Opera is internationally renowned for staging new works and treasures from the Bel Canto era. For more information, visit mnopera.org.

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, now in its 51st season, is the nation's only full-time professional chamber orchestra and is widely regarded as one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world. In collaboration with four artistic partners - Roberto Abbado, Douglas Boyd, Dawn Upshaw and Christian Zacharias - the 35 virtuoso musicians present more than 150 concerts and educational programs each year, and are regularly heard on public radio's Performance Today which reaches 1.1 million listeners each week on 242 stations, and SymphonyCast reaching 340,000 listeners each week on 124 stations nationwide. The SPCO has released 67 recordings, commissioned 122 new works, and performed the world premiere of 49 additional compositions. The SPCO has earned the distinction of 14 ASCAP awards for adventurous programming. Renowned for its artistic excellence and remarkable versatility of musical styles, the SPCO tours nationally and internationally, including performances in premier venues in Europe, Asia and South America. Launched in 1995, the SPCO's award-winning CONNECT education program reaches 6,000 students annually in 16 Minneapolis and St. Paul public schools. For more information, visit thespco.org.

Schubert Club
Founded in 1882, The Schubert Club is Minnesota's oldest performing arts organization. As one of the country's few recital-presenting institutions, it maintains a highly regarded national and international reputation among leading classical music performers. Its Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser International Artists Series has brought Jascha Heifetz, Arthur Rubinstein, Cecilia Bartoli, Isaac Stern, Beverly Sills and Yo-Yo Ma, among many others, to the Twin Cities to perform in recital for sold-out audiences. The Schubert Club's programs include the Early Music Series, the Hill House Parlor Concerts, Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel, the Courtroom Concert Series, the Museum of Musical Instruments and Manuscripts, and various educational outreach and scholarship programs. The Schubert Club is a member of the Arts Partnership, programming a vibrant future for the performing arts in downtown St. Paul together with The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, the Minnesota Opera and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. The organization's Web site is schubert.org.

Ordway's 25th Anniversary Open House
Sunday, January 17, 2010
11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
345 Washington Street
Saint Paul, MN 55102

Box Office: 651.224.4222
Groups: 651.282.3111

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