Kennedy Center announces first in-person shows since pandemic closure

After being closed for six months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Kennedy Center has announced the return of live performances to its Opera House.

The grand return features “A Time to Sing: An Evening with Renée Fleming and Vanessa Williams” on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m.

The concert will explore the healing power of the performing arts through a collection of songs by Fleming and Williams, with music direction by Rob Mathes and a new song written specifically for this concert by Tony-nominee Andrew Lippa.

The concert kicks off the “On Stage at the Opera House” series:

  • Sept. 26: Renée Fleming and Vanessa Williams
  • Oct. 2: Musicians of the National Symphony Orchestra
  • Oct. 8: Jazz Gallery All-Stars
  • Oct. 20: The Dover Quartet and the Escher Quartet
  • Oct. 30: Musicians of the National Symphony Orchestra

Additional artists will be announced at a later date.

The entire Opera House has been redesigned to adhere to social distancing. An audience of 40 people will sit in distanced pairs on stage facing the hall’s interior.

Artists will perform on a 30-by-24-foot stage built over the orchestra-level seats.

All patrons are required to wear face coverings.

Other COVID-19 measures include frequent cleaning, reduced contact points, sanitizing stations, mobile tickets, prepaid parking and employee health screenings.

Passes to view the concert may be purchased online for $15 starting Friday.

The Kennedy Center will also livestream the event on its website.

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