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Carolina Performing Arts Announces 15th Anniversary Season

May 15, 2019
University Communications

On May 15, 2019, Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced its 15th anniversary season, which will celebrate CPA’s evolution from a performing arts presenter to an experience curator. The 2019-2020 season will continue collaborations with artists in the creation of new work to further establish CPA as a global artistic leader.

Programming throughout the 2019-2020 season will amplify the creative leadership of women, through performances by icons and trailblazers, unique collaborations and programs featuring art created by women. A conversation with Misty Copeland, principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre, opens the 15th anniversary season on September 6, 2019 at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Memorial Hall. Later in the season other engagements will feature renowned artists including Emmylou Harris, Meredith Monk, Wendy Whelan and Cristina Pato. These performances and others honor the upcoming centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted many American women the right to vote.

“I am energized by the experiences to come for our 15th anniversary,” said Emil Kang, executive and artistic director of Carolina Performing Arts. “As we welcome long-time friends and invest in groundbreaking artistic experiences, the season reflects the evolution of the institution. My hope is that the work we do inspires curiosity in all who experience the power of the arts.”

Affirming CPA’s commitment to evolution, the season features many firsts:

  • “1971,” an art installation honoring women who have worked to expand voting rights in North Carolina created by Craig Walsh in partnership with the Carolina Women’s Center and Southern Oral History Project;
  • An artist takeover of CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio, featuring performative installations exploring the intersection between the Martha Graham Dance Company’s “Lamentations” and cutting-edge technology made by software developer and artist Tyler Henry during the company’s Google residency;
  • Collaborative work by Creative Futures artists-in-residence, supported by a $1.5M grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to design a new framework for community-based engagement;
  • “The Future is Female,” a five-hour performance installation by pianist Sarah Cahill honoring female composers;
  • World premiere of Flutronix’s “Discourse,” an immersive musical performance featuring oral histories from residents of Chapel Hill;
  • A performance by legendary artist Meredith Monk, in a concert version of “Cellular Songs” with her vocal ensemble;
  • The North Carolina debut of the London Symphony Orchestra with Music Director Sir Simon Rattle performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 4.

This anniversary season also features returning artists and ensembles including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, violinist Johnny Gandelsman, pianist Mitsuko Uchida and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and pianist Lang Lang performing the complete “Goldberg Variations” by Johann Sebastian Bach.

CPA commissioned several new works for its anniversary including “The Day,” a collaboration between cellist Maya Beiser and dancer Wendy Whelan featuring new choreography by Lucinda Childs and music by David Lang. A second commissioned work, “Edna Lewis,” is a work-in-progress play about the late, Southern culinary icon, created by New Yorker writer Hilton Als. “Discourse,” the immersive musical performance by Flutronix, is another of the season’s commissioned pieces.

Building on longstanding campus and community partnerships, CPA’s 2019-2020 season includes collaborations with UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, the Arts Everywhere initiative and others. The chamber opera “As One” will feature local advisors and cast members, including bass-baritone Marc Callahan from Carolina’s music department and Raleigh-based contemporary music ensemble earspace, led by Carolina alumnus Vincent Povázsay. CPA will also collaborate with Durham Independent Dance Artists to host three post-performance discussions: following “Rosas danst Rosas” by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and Rosas, “Loch na hEala (Swan Lake)” by Michael Keegan-Dolan and Teaċ Daṁsa, and “Antigonick” by Annie B-Parson and Big Dance Theater.

Single tickets and new subscription packages for the general public are available starting June 5, 2019. Ticket sales for current season subscribers, Carolina staff, faculty and students begin May 29. Carolina students are eligible for $10 tickets to all performances. Staff and faculty receive a 15% discount on single tickets or an additional 10% discount on subscriptions. For full performance listings, event details, pricing and venue information visit the CPA website.

The full season listing can be found below and the 2019-2020 season brochure is available on the CPA website.



Sept. 6 – Misty Copeland in Conversation

Sept. 7 – 29 Daily, at dusk – 1971, Craig Walsh

Sept. 13 – Tierra Whack

Sept. 27 – 29 – CURRENT Takeover: Martha Graham Dance Company



Oct. 2 – Intuition: Songs from the Minds of Women, Alicia Olatuja

Oct. 9 & 10 – Rosas danst Rosas by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Rosas

Oct. 15 – The Day, Maya Beiser, Wendy Whelan, Lucinda Childs and David Lang

Oct. 22 – An Evening with Chris Thile

Oct. 30 – Golda Schultz, soprano, Jonathan Ware, piano



Nov. 8 – Emmylou Harris

Nov. 13 – Sarod Trilogy

Amjad Ali Khan, Master of the Sarod

Amaan Ali Bangash, sarod

Ayaan Ali Bangash, sarod

Nov. 16 – The Future is Female, Sarah Cahill, piano

Nov. 20 & 21 – Loch na hEala (Swan Lake), Teaċ Daṁsa, Created by Michael Keegan-Dolan



Dec. 7 & 8 – The Nutcracker, Carolina Ballet

Dec. 13 – Freedom and Faith, PUBLIQartet



Jan. 10 – Fanm d’Ayiti, Nathalie Joachim with Spektral Quartet

Jan. 17 – INVISIBLE(s), Cristina Pato with Mazz Swift

Jan. 24 – 26 – Antigonick, Big Dance Theater, text by Anne Carson

Jan. 30 – The EVE Project, Martha Graham Dance Company



Feb. 1 – Lucia Lucas, baritone

Feb. 6 & 7 – Edna Lewis, Written by Hilton Als, Directed by Tea Alagić

Feb. 9 – Johnny Gandelsman, violin

Feb. 11 & 12 – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Feb. 19 & 20 – As One, chamber opera by Laura Kaminsky

Feb. 22 – Maria Schneider Orchestra

Feb. 25 – Isabel Leonard with the UNC Symphony Orchestra


MARCH 2020

March 5 – Cellular Songs Concert, Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble

March 16 – Meklit

March 19 & 20 – HOME, Created by Geoff Sobelle

March 24 – Mitsuko Uchida and Mahler Chamber Orchestra

March 27 – Visions for Frida Kahlo, Melissa Aldana


APRIL 2020

April 2 & 3 – Discourse, Flutronix

April 9 – The Soul Rebels with special guest Big Freedia

April 18 – she is called, Brooklyn Youth Chorus

April 23 – Kiran Ahluwalia


MAY 2020

May 5 & 6 – London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle, Music Director

May 15 – Goldberg Variations, Lang Lang, piano

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