ANN ARBOR, MI — Tickets to individual performances on the University Musical Society’s 141st season will go on sale to the public on Wednesday, August 7, 2019. With appearances by internationally renowned orchestras, chamber musicians, dance groups, jazz and global music artists, and international theater ensembles, the UMS season spans the complete spectrum of the performing arts. A complete listing of performances in the 2019-20 season can be downloaded below as part of the full press release.
Events will take place in Ann Arbor at Hill Auditorium, the Power Center, the Michigan Theater, Rackham Auditorium, Arthur Miller Theatre, Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, the Video Studio at the James and Anne Duderstadt Center, as well as the Detroit Opera House and Jam Handy in Detroit.
Season highlights include:
Two big season-opening events in September: Snarky Puppy, which launches the season on Sunday, September 8; and a screening of the popular 1984 film Amadeus, with live music by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the UMS Choral Union (Sunday, September 15)
No Safety Net 2.0, a festival featuring four theatrical works focused on contemporary social issues in January-February 2020
The return of the biennial UMS Song Remix, which explores the art of the song in several different guises; the series features Zauberland (October 24-25), a theatricalized version of Schumann’s Dichterliebe with opera singer Julia Bullock, directed by Katie Mitchell; John Cameron Mitchell (November 2) singing songs from Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Stew and The Negro Problem (November 22-23), with their new work Notes on a Native Song, based on a James Baldwin collection of short stories; two concerts with Martin Katz and a quartet of opera singers performing Hugo Wolf’s complete Mörike lieder (January 10 and 12); and Cécile McLorin Salvant and Aaron Diehl performing songs from the Great American Songbook (two sets on February 6).
With immigration and refugees at the core of our national discourse, UMS presents three works related to this timely social issue: South Africa’s Isango Ensemble makes its UMS debut with Jonny Steinberg’s A Man of Good Hope (October 18-20), which traces a Somali refugee who flees his country’s civil war, encountering human trafficking, migration, poverty, and xenophobia during his odyssey to South Africa (the company also performs its abbreviated version of The Magic Flute October 16-19); Zauberland, a US premier and UMS co-commission, which combines Schumann’s Dichterliebe with new songs by Bernard Foccroulle that trace a woman’s journey from Syria to Germany, where she seeks safety from the violence that she faced in Aleppo (performed by Julia Bullock and directed by Katie Mitchell, October 24-25); and As Far As My Fingertips Take Me (January 24-February 9, created by Tania El Khoury and performed by Basel Zaraa), a deeply personal one-on-one experience in which a refugee draws on each audience member’s arm while the audience member listens to the refugee’s story through headphones. Note that due to extremely limited availability, Fingertips will go on sale later this fall.
A focus on artists from the Arab World, including the aforementioned As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, which will be done in both Ann Arbor and Dearborn and jazz artist Tarek Yamani in the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre (March 13). UMS is also partnering with the Arab American National Museum to present several other Arab artists; details to be announced.
Two versions of Swan Lake: the traditional version co-presented with Michigan Opera Theatre featuring American Ballet Theatre (April 16-19); and the second an Irish dance-theater adaptation of the story that takes a darker turn and features live Irish music, by the company Teaċ Daṁsa (November 15-16).
Two appearances by the young cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, in recital with his sister Isata (December 10), and with the British-based Chineke! Orchestra, which is composed of Black and minority musicians (April 23).
A suite of holiday programs, including the annual performances of Handel’s Messiah (December 7-8); a Thanksgiving weekend holiday concert by Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (December 1); and Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce, an irreverent, and sometimes shocking, takedown of the holiday season (December 14-15).
An evening of Beethoven piano trios with Yo-Yo Ma, Leonidas Kavakos, and Emanuel Ax (March 3)
In addition to the previously announced lineup, UMS will also continue its partnership with the Michigan Theater to bring high‐definition broadcasts of five productions by the National Theatre of London and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater. The broadcasts include All About Eve (written by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and adapted for the stage by Ivo van Hove, September 22), The Lehman Trilogy (a co-production of the National Theatre and Neal Street Productions, October 13), William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (directed by Nicholas Hytner, November 24), Arthur Miller’s All My Sons (starring Sally Field and Bill Pullman, January 19), Alexei Ratmansky’s Giselle (performed by the Bolshoi Ballet, February 23), and Noël Coward’s Present Laughter (a production of The Old Vic, March 22).
Tickets to all events will go on sale to the public on Wednesday, August 7 at 10 am. Tickets are available for purchase online at ums.org, in person at the Michigan League Ticket Office (911 North University Avenue) or by calling the UMS Ticket Office at 734.764.2538 (toll‐free 800.221.1229). Ticket Office hours are 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. Beginning Tuesday, September 3, the Ticket Office will resume extended hours: Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday 10 am to 1 pm. Venue box offices open 90 minutes before the published start time of each performance.
Student tickets ($12 and $20) go on sale on Thursday, August 29, 2019, and Kids Club tickets (up to two $10 kids’ tickets with the purchase of at least one adult ticket at $20) go on sale on Thursday, September 5, 2019. Additional information about UMS’s Kids Club and student ticket programs can be found at ums.org/kids and ums.org/students respectively.
A recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts, UMS (also known as the University Musical Society) contributes to a vibrant cultural community by connecting audiences with performing artists from around the world in uncommon and engaging experiences. One of the oldest performing arts presenters in the country, UMS is an independent non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Michigan, presenting over 70 music, theater, and dance performances by professional touring artists each season, along with over 100 free educational activities. UMS is committed to bold artistic leadership, engaged learning through the arts, and access and inclusiveness. Since 1990, the organization has co-commissioned and supported the production of nearly 80 new or reimagined works. Matthew VanBesien became the organization’s seventh president in July 2017.