Aretha Franklin And Tony Award-Winning Stars Join WNO’s Trading Voices Gala

By Francisco Salazar

The Washington National Opera has announced that legendary Queen of Soul and Kennedy Center Honoree Aretha Franklin, Tony-winning Broadway luminary Brian Stokes Mitchell, and current Hamilton star Jordan Donica will perform at the 2017 WNO Opera Gala, Trading Voices.

The stars will join mezzo-soprano and D.C. native, Denyce Graves, Hamilton Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr., and, soprano Renée Fleming in a concert that will see the opera singers performing popular songs and the pop singers performing opera arias. The Concert will also feature a new short film that demonstrates both the relevance of opera and how much of the operatic repertoire is present in everyday life.

The WNO orchestra will be conducted by Music Director Philippe Auguin and Steven Mercurio in his WNO debut.

The gala will honor WNO Board Chairman Jacqueline Badger Mars for her six seasons with the company and for helping identify rising American composers and librettists.

The gala is slated for Saturday, June 3, 2017, at the Kennedy Center Opera House.