Kennedy Center Announces Spring & Summer Performances

By Francisco Salazar

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced a lineup of Spring/Summer Performances.

The center will offer free in-person activities featuring Millennium Stage’s return to the REACH campus and will also showcase the return of Washington National Opera’s Pop-up Opera Truck with the premiere of Mo Willems’s first opera. The performances will be a lead-up to its highly anticipated 50th Anniversary season and will be a mix of in-person, digital, and outdoor performances designed to safely celebrate a return to live performances for the Center, the National Symphony Orchestra, and Washington National Opera.

Here is a look at some of the programs the center will showcase this summer.

On Site Performances and Events

The Millennium Stage will present free weekly, mini outdoor festivals curated in partnership with organizations and artists across the city, beginning May 27 through Oct. 2. Collaborations include United Nations High Commission for Refugees, National Theater for the Deaf, Smithsonian Asian American Center, Creative Nomads, SAMASAMA, D.C. Legendary Musicians, Step Afrika!, members of the Drag community, as well as internal partners, the Center’s Culture Caucus, and more. All activities will take place outside at the REACH.

On May 28 and June 3 there will be performances of the NSO conducted by Gianandrea Noseda who will conduct two concerts. Both programs will be recorded and broadcast on the Kennedy Center’s Digital Stage+ platform and then subsequently released to the public.

Happenings around the DMV

Washington National Opera will bring live operatic performance to multiple communities—including special performances for health care workers, school children, and retirement home residents. The Concert Truck founded by pianists Nick Luby and Susan Zhang will return for a mini tour of performances from the WNO Cafritz Young Artists and the premiere of Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems’s first opera, “Elephant & Piggie present SLOPERA!: A Bite-Sized Opera.”

Digital Programming

On Stage at the Opera House returns with An Evening of Jazz and Dance with Alonzo King, Jason Moran, Tiler Peck, and Gregory Porter. New virtual offerings from the NSO will also include a Young People’s Concert filmed throughout the Center’s campus with award-winning poet and New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander and the WNO will offer a virtual reality offering featuring tenor Russell Thomas and soprano Tamara Wilson.

Opera Institute

The WNO Opera Institute returns, with two two-week fully virtual intensive summer program sessions for high school singers from around the nation.