Monday, October 26, 2020
Audra McDonald, Powerhouse Stars to Headline Sun Valley Music Festival Gala
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Brian Stokes Mitchell performed in the Sun Valley Pavilion in 2018. PHOTO: Karen Bossick
   
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Three of Broadway’s biggest stars will perform at the Sun Valley Music Festival’s 2020 fundraising Gala Concert in August.

Award-winning performer Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Kelli O’Hara will team up for the first time ever for the gala, which takes place at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3, at the Sun Valley Pavilion.

“’I’m delighted that this once-in-a-lifetime collaboration is coming to Sun Valley,” said the festival’s music director Alasdair Neale. “Audiences here know and love Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell. And, with Kelli O’Hara joining, I can barely imagine how incredible the energy will be on stage. This will be a performance to remember.”

 
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Kelli O’Hara flew to London for a rendezvous with “The King & I” immediately after performing in Sun Valley in 2015. PHOTO: Karen Bossick
 

None of the three are strangers to Sun Valley.

Six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald performed at the festival’s gala in 2015. She threw herself into her performance, using every bit of her body from her expressive face to her churning arms to help tell the stories her powerhouse of a voice sang.

Tony Award winning New York City baritone Brian Stokes Mitchell appeared with Sutton Foster in a Salute to American the Beautiful Concert in 2018 presented by Sun Valley Opera and Thomas S. Perakos. It was a toe-tapping concert filled with pop and patriotic favorites that set the endorphins in motion. Mitchell has appeared with the Sun Valley symphony before, as well.

And Kelli O’Hara combined with Nathan Gunn and the American Festival Orchestra in Sun Valley Opera’s Salute to Broadway in 2016. She braved a cool evening in a sleeveless evening gown as she sang “Getting to Know You” and other songs from “The King and I.” And she and Gunn brought the house down with “Tonight” from “West Side Story.”

 
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Audra McDonald could easily have won a seventh Tony and third Grammy for her last performance with the Sun Valley Music Festival.
 

  • Audra McDonald, who has won a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards and an Emmy Award, received a 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama the year she sang in Sun Valley. She also was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people that year.

    She starred opposite Michael Shannon in “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” on Broadway in 2019 and can currently be seen as Liz Lawrence on CBS All Access’s “The Good Fight.”

    Upcoming roles include that of Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire:” this summer at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and in MGM’s Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect.” The Julliard-trained soprano recorded her last solo album “Sing Happy” live with the New York Philharmonic.

  • Brian Stokes Mitchell has been dubbed “the last leading man” by the New York Times. He is a four-time Tony nominee who won a Best Actor Tony for “Kiss Me Kate.’ He appeared for seven years on “Trapper John, M.D.,” and had a recurring role as Dr. Frasier Crane’s upstairs neighbor and nemesis on “Frasier.” He has released three solo albums and provided voice-overs for dozens of characters on animated TV episodes.
  • Kelli O’Hara, praised as “Broadway’s golden girl and luminous star,” by the New York Times, won the 2015 Best Leading Actress award for “The King and I,” which she filmed immediately after singing in Sun Valley.

A Grammy nominee, she has recorded two solo albums. She received an Emmy nomination for her role in “The Accidental Wolf” and has received seven Tony Award nominations.

Her Broadway credits include “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” “South Pacific,” “The Pajama Game” and “The Light in the Piazza.” Film and TV credits include Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why,” “Sex & The City 2,” “Masters of Sex” and the animated “Car Talk.”

Tickets range in price from $85 on the lawn and in the Pavilion to $1,750 for the Artist Package, which will be limited to 30 tickets. The Artist Package includes premium reserved concert seats, a pre-concert cocktail reception, VIP parking and a private post-concert dinner with the three performers in an intimate setting.

A $1,250 Sponsor Package includes a pre-concert reception, VIP parking and seated post-concert dinner with an artist meet-and-greet and photo op. Tickets at the $275 and $550 levels include the pre-concert cocktail reception and preferred seating in the Pavilion. Reserved Pavilion seating costs $110 and $85.

The concert will be broadcast live on the Pavilion lawn’s 25-foot LED screen.

Funds raised from the gala support the Sun Valley Music Festival’s year-round programs, including free concerts during the summer and winter seasons, tuition-free educational programs in summer and music education programs offered in partnership with the Blaine County School District throughout the year.

Tickets go on sale to Festival donors at the $1,250 level and up and Encore Society members at 9 a.m. March 11 by phone only at 208-622-5607.

Sales open to the general public at 9 a.m. April 8, online at www.svmusicfestival.org or by calling 208-622-5607.

Public sales for general admission lawn tickets will be available online only.


 

 

 

 

 

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