CU Presents announces 2019-20 season, featuring Grammy winners and more
CU Presents is announcing its 2019-20 season, bringing another year of specially curated music, opera, dance and theatre to the University of Colorado Boulder campus. The season features world-class professional acts in the Artist Series and the Grammy Award-winning Takács Quartet, as well as productions from CU performing arts students and faculty.
Highlights from the Artist Series include an evening of acoustic jazz with the Grammy-winning Chick Corea Trilogy, a STEM-inspired vintage circus act from Cirque Mechanics, and an examination of the 1960s civil rights movement from the 2019 Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet.
In the College of Music, the Eklund Opera Program will put on “The Marriage of Figaro” and “Béatrice et Bénédict.” Additionally, Eklund Opera will stage a new opera adaptation of “It’s a Wonderful Life” from Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer. Heggie and Scheer initially workshopped their libretto as part of the CU New Opera Workshop (CU NOW) in 2016.
The Department of Theatre & Dance will stage 19 events between its two disciplines. Notably, CU Dance’s annual fall event “[UN] W.R.A.P.” will feature works by Brian Rogers and Michelle Ellsworth. CU Theatre will present “Shakuntala,” an ancient story originally noted in the classic Indian epic Mahabharata. The production was reconceptualized with a new ending by director Jashodhara Sen and dramaturg Nolan Carey, two doctoral candidates in the department.
CU Presents will round out its annual offering with multiple holiday celebrations. In addition to the Eklund Opera production of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” next season will feature “A Broadway Christmas Carol,” Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy in “A Celtic Family Christmas” and the College of Music’s annual Holiday Festival.
Season ticket sales begin Monday, April 1, at 10 a.m. Single tickets are available beginning Monday, Aug. 19. Tickets are available at cupresents.org, by phone at 303-492-8008 and in person at the box office (972 Broadway) Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The CU Presents 2019-20 Season
For more than 80 years, the Artist Series has brought the globe’s finest jazz, classical, world music and dance performers to Boulder. Thousands of patrons come every year to experience both world-renowned and emerging artists.
Chick Corea Trilogy
with Christian McBride and Brian Blade
Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
The legendary Chick Corea brings his Grammy-winning acoustic trio to Boulder. Powerhouse bassist Christian McBride and drum master Brian Blade join Chick for a spectacular evening of Corea classics, jazz standards and boundless musical exploration.
Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
“Nobuntu”—an expression meaning feminine familial love, humility and kindness—is a female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe that has drawn international acclaim for its breathtaking performances of traditional Zimbabwean songs, afro jazz and gospel.
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Hailed as “a brilliant musician and an extraordinary visionary” (Wall Street Journal), world-renowned pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard is as recognized for his unparalleled, powerful technique as he is for his sensual interpretations of music from every age.
Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy
“A Celtic Family Christmas”
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
The holidays truly become a family affair when married duo Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy—two of the globe’s best and brightest fiddle players—invite their children onstage for an unforgettable night of holiday fun.
“42FT – A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels”
Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
Cirque Mechanics’ latest theatrical invention brings the lore of the one-ring circus to historic Macky Auditorium. With exhilarating thrills, death-defying feats and a bit of clowning around, “42FT – A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels” introduces modern audiences to the world of strongmen, acrobats and aerialists.
A Far Cry
Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
Known for its innovative, unpredictable approach, the conductor-less, Grammy-nominated string orchestra A Far Cry offers a fresh perspective on Mozart, Tchaikovsky and other masters in a performance that is “a far cry” from any classical concert you’ve been to before.
“Come to your senses.”
Monday, March 2, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
Back by popular demand! Pilobolus returns for an athletic and arresting performance that invites you to “Come to your senses.” Engage with childlike wonder in the miracle of your senses through both classic and brand new repertoire that begins by examining our biology and ends by utilizing the senses in a refreshing immersion in the biosphere.
“Music for Change: The 60s, The Years That Changed America”
Thursday, March 19, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
Kronos Quartet’s singular experimental style “has broken the boundaries of what string quartets do” (The New York Times). This season, Kronos returns to Boulder with a program exploring the social, political and cultural upheavals of the 1960s. The program includes a celebration of Pete Seeger’s music, as well as a performance of Zachary J. Watkins’ “Peace Be Till,” a work inspired by the moment just before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Saturday, April 4, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
One of the most original forces in contemporary dance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago “is going to take your breath away” (The Washington Post) with its virtuosity. Featuring adventurous, versatile works choreographed by Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Alejandro Cerrudo and more.
Dec. 6-8, 2019
Delight in the twinkling lights, seasonal greenery and beautiful music of CU Boulder’s Holiday Festival, an annual tradition that’s enchanting for all ages. The celebration brings together student choirs, bands and orchestras—along with world-class faculty performers—for a concert of holiday favorites and new surprises.
Sundays at 4 p.m. | Sept. 8, Oct. 27, Nov. 10*, Jan. 12, March 8, May 3
Mondays at 7:30 p.m. | Sept. 9, Oct. 28, Nov. 11*, Jan. 13, March 9, May 4
CU Boulder’s Grammy Award-winning string quartet-in-residence has been moving audiences and selling out concerts for more than three decades. Their irresistible blend of virtuosic technique and engaging personality has led The Guardian (London) to proclaim, “The Takács Quartet are matchless, their supreme artistry manifest at every level.”
*Featuring the Tesla Quartet: Ross Snyder and Michelle Lie, violins; Edwin Kaplan, viola; and Serafim Smigelskiy, cello.
Wide-ranging repertoire, lavish scenery, drama and amazing voices—the Eklund Opera Program has it all. Director Leigh Holman and Music Director Nicholas Carthy showcase the talent of the future.
It’s a Wonderful Life
An opera in two acts
Music by Jake Heggie
Libretto by Gene Scheer
Nov. 15-17 at Macky Auditorium
It may be Christmas, but for George Bailey it is anything but the most wonderful time of the year. Based on the 1946 movie of the same name, Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s brand new opera adaptation of “It’s a Wonderful Life” follows a young guardian angel named Clara as she attempts—with heart and just a bit of holiday magic—to prove to George what an incredible impact he’s had on his small town.
The Marriage of Figaro
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
March 13-15 at Macky Auditorium
When a lecherous count sets his sights on his servant Figaro’s fiancée, Figaro and his friends seek retribution in the form of hilarious hijinks and mischievous escapades. A rollicking combination of wit and seductive orchestrations, Mozart’s infamous Italian caper about the differences between the working and ruling classes “is subtle, witty … and immensely sophisticated—but also tuneful and infectious” (NPR).
Béatrice et Bénédict
Music and libretto by Hector Berlioz
April 23-26 at the Music Theatre
Marriage isn’t for everyone, least of all verbal sparring partners Beatrice and Benedict. But if they can be convinced to set aside their differences, each might see what their friends already know—Beatrice and Benedict are a perfect match. Based on Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Béatrice et Bénédict” is a boisterous romance about the preposterous act of falling in love.
Whether you’re interested in the classics or modern musicals, hip-hop or contemporary dance—or perhaps a bit of it all—remarkable performances are the heart of CU Theatre & Dance. The cutting-edge works brought to you by faculty, guest artists and the stars of tomorrow appeal to the heart of every performing arts enthusiast.
A Human Interest Story (Or the Gory Details and All)
By Carlos Murillo
Sept. 26-29 at the Acting Studio
“A Human Interest Story (Or the Gory Details and All)” offers an explosive look at the media’s portrayal of violence in a modern era.
Burning the Old Man
By Kelly McAllister
Oct. 10-13 at the Loft Theatre
Two brothers try to get along just long enough to fulfill their dad’s dying wish.
Written by Kalidasa
Adapted by Jashodhara Sen and Nolan Carey
Oct. 31-Nov. 3 at the Loft Theatre
A timeless epic, “Shakuntala” weaves a tale of desire, love, loss and recognition.
2018-19 New Play Festival Winner – TITLE TBA
Nov. 7-10 at the Acting Studio
A Broadway Christmas Carol
Created by Kathy Feininger
Nov. 15-Dec. 8 at the University Theatre
In this satirical mash-up of Dickens with Broadway, the famous holiday tale “A Christmas Carol” gets roasted.
The Popular Mechanicals
By Keith Robinson, Tony Taylor and William Shakespeare
Feb. 13-16 at the Loft Theatre
Shakespeare’s clowns imagined behind the scenes, with slapstick, farce, standup and more.
The Language Archive
By Julia Cho
Feb. 27-March 1 at the Acting Studio
A linguist striving to preserve languages finds speaking with those he loves to be difficult.
Book and Lyrics by Steven Sater
Music by Duncan Sheik
Based on the play by Frank Wedekind
March 6-15 at the University Theatre
An electrifying, angsty pop rock musical about the pain and perils of growing up.
A Perfect Likeness: Carroll Photographs Dickens
By Daniel Rover Singer
April 2-5 at the Acting Studio
In an imagined photo shoot between Charles Dickens and Lewis Carroll, Carroll’s darkest secrets are revealed.
As You Like It
By William Shakespeare
April 9-12 at the Loft Theatre
Shakespeare’s beloved comedy investigates the madness and effervescence of finding love.
2019-20 New Play Festival
April 15-19 at the Acting Studio
See staged readings of works by CU’s up-and-coming playwrights.
[UN] W.R.A.P. Dances That Don’t Look Like Dances
Roger’s horror-flick and Ellsworth’s plywood will expand your definition of dance.
Sans Souci: Festival of Dance Cinema
An eclectic selection of the season’s best dance films from around the world.
MFA Dance candidates use rhythmic play to examine Africanist inheritance and to upend binaries.
MFA Dance candidates whirl through worlds of fairy tales, neurodiversity and hidden spaces.
Jan. 31-Feb. 2
BFA candidates map intergenerational narratives in movement, installation and photography.
Feb. 28-March 1
New student-created dance works lilt, groove and tumble across a spectrum of styles.
Experience the dynamic works of CU dance faculty and this year’s Roser Guest Artist.
FRESH: Spring 2020
Enjoy an eclectic mix of dance genres in a showcase crafted by CU dance students.