Denyce Graves lifts the curtain on the creative process in a public master class
Mezzo-soprano and native Washingtonian Denyce Graves lifts the curtain on the creative process in a public master class, presented by Washington Performing Arts
The event on Monday, December 4 at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater honors Graves as recipient of Washington Performing Arts’
2017 Ambassador of the Arts Award
(via Bucklesweet Media) Washington, D.C. – On December 4, 2017 at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, Washington Performing Arts presents internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves in a public master class with two of her protégés from the Peabody Conservatory. Graves – a native Washingtonian who was raised in Southwest D.C. and graduated from Duke Ellington School for the Arts – is no stranger to local audiences, having last starred in Washington National Opera’s production of Champion. In her frequent master classes, Graves’ sparkling personality and peerless artistry shine through. She has a remarkable ability to simultaneously convey valuable advice on technique and expression to the young singers she coaches, while incorporating levity and humor to make each event accessible and enjoyable to audiences of varying musical backgrounds. A passionate mentor, Graves shares a deep connection and camaraderie with each student who joins her on stage.
Of her teaching career, Graves commented, “Teaching has made all of the difference to my singing and continued work and study. Teaching has made me a better singer and singing made me a better teacher. It has kept me sharpened and made me much more accountable and mindful of my practices and behaviors.”
Graves’s relationship with Washington Performing Arts goes back to the early days of her career; the organization arranged for Graves’ first professional recital and presented her in her Kennedy Center Concert Hall debut. To acknowledge her contribution to both the local community and the national arts scene, Washington Performing Arts presented Graves with the 2017 Ambassador for the Arts Award in January. Ambassador for the Arts Award recipients are given the opportunity to curate a performance on Washington Performing Arts’ season, and Graves chose to give this master class in recognition of her longstanding commitment to developing the next generation of artists. Leon Fleisher, the 2014 Ambassador for the Arts, presented a similar master class on Washington Performing Arts’ 2015/16 season.
Graves has brought her powerful voice to audiences far beyond the opera house or concert hall. Through her work as a citizen-artist, she follows in the footsteps of luminaries like Marian Anderson; Anderson, in fact, presented Graves with the Marian Anderson Award in 1991 to honor her positive impact on society. Graves demonstrated her civic engagement in performances at Washington National Cathedral’s memorial service honoring victims of September 11th, the second Inauguration of President George W. Bush, and the opening ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. She gives back to the opera world through her support of new work – including Champion, in which she originated the role of Emelda Griffith – and of course, through her dedication to teaching. Emma Dickinson and Simone Brown, the two students Graves selected for the Washington Performing Arts masterclass, are promising young singers with busy careers. Audiences will be fortunate to watch as Graves uses her gifts to mold future opera stars.
This performance is made possible through the generous support of Catherine and Douglas Wheeler.
Washington Performing Arts is committed to making every event accessible for persons with disabilities. Please call the Washington Performing Arts Ticket Services Office for more information on accessibility to the various theaters in which our performances are held.
Who: Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano (not performing)
Emma Dickinson, mezzo-soprano
Simone Brown, soprano
Andrew Harley, piano
When: Monday, December 4, 2017, at 7:30pm
Where: Kennedy Center Terrace Theater (2700 F St NW, Washington D.C. 20566)
Tickets: $40, available at washingtonperformingarts.org or 202-785- 9727