The Grand announces opening concert with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, OperaDelaware and Broadway’s Brian Stokes Mitchell
The Grand, Delaware Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and OperaDelaware announce a season-opening performance, showcasing the talents of their respective musicians and performers alongside Broadway legend and Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell.
This program was originally announced as a New Year celebration in 2021, but had to be postponed due to the COVID Omicron outbreak. The three organizations decided to reassemble the concert as a joint celebration of the opening of their first full “post-pandemic” seasons.
“We are thrilled to be part of this collaboration, which we see as a message of hope to the entire community that the arts are fully back and ready to entertain our community,” said Grand Executive Director Mark Fields.
“The past few years have been tough for anyone who loves, supports, creates and performs live music,” said Brendan Cooke, CEO of OperaDelaware. “We are thrilled to bring together the collective talents of these organizations and celebrate the return to a full season of artistic performances.”
“We are thrilled to partner with our colleagues at the Grand Opera House and OperaDelaware to bring a terrific season opener to Wilmington,” said JC Barker, Executive Director of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. “We can’t think of a better way to celebrate Delaware’s wealth of talent than to partner with these fantastic institutions to kick off the 2022-2023 arts season.”
The evening will consist of a two-act program, beginning with Viennese waltzes and polkas. “Since this is a delayed New Year’s Eve concert,” says Barker, “we thought it would be fun to keep the musical selections light-hearted in the same spirit, a kind of ‘New Year’s Eve in September “!” The second act will feature the talents of Mr. Stokes Mitchell and will be a celebration of Broadway standards over the years.
Dubbed “The Last Leading Man” by the New York Times, two-time Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell has had a career that spans Broadway, TV, film and performing with top chefs. of orchestras and orchestras of the country. He received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for his starring role in Kiss Me, Kate. He also gave Tony nominated performances in Man of La Mancha, August Wilson’s King Hedley II and Ragtime. Her other notable Broadway shows include Kiss of the Spider Woman, Jelly’s Last Jam, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Shuffle Along. In 2016, he received his second Tony Award, the prestigious Isabelle Stevenson Tony for his charity work with The Actors Fund. That same year, Stokes was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.
His many screen credits began with a guest role on Roots: The Next Generations, followed by a 7-year stint on Trapper John, MD and continued with memorable appearances on everything from PBS’s Great Performances to The Fresh Prince, Frasier, Glee, Jumping the Broom and his most recent recurring roles on Madam Secretary, Mr. Robot, The Path, Billions and The Good Fight. Other recent TV appearances include The Blacklist, Elementary and Bull. As a voice-over artist, he has played dozens of characters in animated television episodes, including performing “Through Heaven’s Eyes” in Dreamwork’s The Prince of Egypt.
In addition to the talents of Mr. Stokes Mitchell, several stellar soloists (all OperaDelaware audience favourites) will delight audiences with highlights of opera and operetta, as guests of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra , conducted by maestro David Amado. Soprano Vanessa Becerra, tenor William Davenport and baritone Eric McKeever are all returning to OperaDelaware for this special celebration at The Grand.
Tickets for the concert – a fundraising event that will benefit all three organizations – are $75 per person and are available for purchase now at www.TheGrandWilmington.org. All tickets issued for the original New Year’s Eve concert will be honored for this program.