Harris Theater and Renée Fleming Produce Series, Renée Fleming: To the Edge; First Performance: A World Premiere Evening with Renée Fleming + Patricia Barber

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Harris Theater and Renée Fleming Produce Series, Renée Fleming: To the Edge

First Performance: A World Premiere Evening with Renée Fleming + Patricia Barber



Single Tickets for ALL Performances ON SALE NOW


CHICAGO (September 22, 2015) The Harris Theater for Music and Dance is proud to announce a premier collaboration with renowned soprano Renée Fleming on the new performance series Renée Fleming: To the Edge, produced by the Harris Theater, in association with Lyric Unlimited. Renée Fleming: To the Edge is a creative work in progress which dives deeply into all that is on the cutting edge of performance, exploring the voice as it enriches a variety of artistic forms. Renée is known for her personal dedication to projects that transcend the notion of genre boundaries; born of Ms. Fleming’s role as Creative Consultant at Lyric Opera of Chicago, this series reflects her breadth and passion for performance in its entirety, outside of any expectation of the structure of opera presentation. Given the Harris’ expertise in producing and commissioning works that excite, inform, and push the envelope, this is a perfect artistic partnership and a thrilling premise for an innovative and truly special series. More details to come.


The first performance of this series is the world premiere of “Higher: Renée Fleming and Patricia Barber Perform the Music of Patricia Barber.“Higher” is a musical collaboration between Grammy winning soprano Renée Fleming and Chicago jazz vocalist, pianist, and composer, Patricia Barber for a virtuosic, adventurous, and uniquely harmonious evening of music, produced by the Harris Theater, in association with Lyric Unlimited. Just in time for the holidays, on December 14, Ms. Fleming will perform a recital program of Ms. Barber’s songs which have been newly arranged for this special engagement. In keeping with the season, Ms. Fleming and Ms. Barber will also join forces for a selection of holiday favorites. Accompanying these dynamic artists will be collaborator and pianist Craig Terry, who is also Artistic Director for the Harris Theater’s Beyond the Aria series and the Music Director of Lyric Opera’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center. The performance will then be presented at the Kennedy Center on December 16.


“When Renée sings my music, I am thrilled to discover that a musical ideal can be realized.  She inspires me to reach higher,” reflects Ms. Barber, of whom TIME Magazine says, “Cross Diana Krall with Susan Sontag, and you get Patricia Barber, whose throaty, come-hither vocals and coolly incisive piano are displayed to devastating effect.”


Ms. Fleming is as revered and respected as they come; she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama in 2013, she has graced the world’s greatest opera stages and concert halls, and she was the first ever classical artist to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Ms. Barber is an internationally acclaimed jazz star, the first songwriter ever to win a Guggenheim Fellowship in composition, and a staple in her hometown of Chicago. To see these bright stars take the stage together is to witness a historic musical event.


“Collaborating with Renée Fleming and Patricia Barber on such unique and beautiful repertoire is the kind of expansive programming that we love to create at the Harris, and we look forward to presenting much more of it in our new series, which Renée Fleming will curate in the coming months,” said Harris Theater President and Managing Director Michael Tiknis. “These two women are extraordinary artists in so many ways and their commitment to excellence mirrors our own – it was a perfect fit from the start and displays the innovative collaborations that we have become known for and are committed to here at the Harris.”


Renée Fleming said, “I’m thrilled to be performing with Patricia Barber. When I was introduced to her work years ago, I was immediately struck by her uniquely sophisticated lyrics, her musical vocabulary, which, though idiomatically jazz, evokes art songs for me, and the intimacy she conveys in performance. In developing a series for the Harris Theater, I thought, ‘How better to launch the project than by collaborating with my now friend, Patricia?’”


Tickets for this special engagement are $35–$125, now available HERE or by calling the Harris Theater Box Office at 312.334.7777.


Additionally, single tickets for ALL Harris Theater Presents and Beyond the Aria performances are on sale. The Harris is bringing the biggest names in the world in music and dance here to Chicago and there is no better place to experience this caliber of talent and entertainment. Dance companies from the Hamburg Ballet, to Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble, to the Miami City Ballet. Brilliant musicians from the Juilliard Orchestra and Itzhak Perlman, to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Pinchas Zukerman, to a world premiere with Kronos Quartet, Rinde Eckert and Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ. This season is jam packed with world class talent and is not to be missed. Purchase tickets for the performances you have been eyeing all summer, before they sell out completely. Single tickets now available at www.HarrisTheaterChicago.org or by calling the Harris Theater Box Office at 312.334.7777.



November 6, 2015

Jessica Lang Dance

February 23 + 24, 2016

Hamburg Ballet: Othello

February 26 + 27, 2016

Hamburg Ballet: Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler

March 3, 2016

Lucky Plush Productions: Trip The Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStrip

April 6, 2016

Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble: Dido and Aeneas

April 29, 2016

Miami City Ballet: Program A

April 30, 2016

Miami City Ballet: Program B



November 16, 2015

Sharon Isbin, guitar, Isabel Leonard, mezzo-soprano

December 7, 2015

Chicago Children’s Choir and Sphinx Virtuosi

December 17, 2015

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: Brandenburg Concertos

January 6, 2016

Juilliard Orchestra, Itzhak Perlman, conducting

January 13, 2016

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Pinchas Zukerman, conductor and violin

January 29, 2016

My Lai: Kronos Quartet, Rinde Eckert, tenor, Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ, traditional Vietnamese musician

February 9, 2016

Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano, Craig Terry, piano: Sing, America!

February 18, 2016

Gil Shaham, violin, The Knights, Eric Jacobsen, conductor

March 12, 2016

Academy of St. Martin In The Fields, Joshua Bell, Director and violin

March 30, 2016

Javier Camarena, tenor, Ángel Rodríguez, piano



October 12, 2015

Amanda Majeski, soprano • Luca Pisaroni, bass-baritone • Jonathan Johnson, tenor

December 1, 2015           

Heidi Stober, soprano • Thomas Hampson, baritone • Richard Ollarsaba, bass-baritone

January 15, 2016                              

Danielle de Niese, soprano • Anthony Roth Costanzo, countertenor • Bradley Smoak, bass

March 14, 2016                 

Susanna Phillips, soprano • Christian Van Horn, bass-baritone • Mingjie Lei, tenor

May 17, 2016                     

Christine Brewer, soprano • Annie Rosen, mezzo-soprano • Jesse Donner, tenor


  • •• All programs, prices, and dates are subject to change •••




The Harris Theater is proud to have the support of The Northern Trust Company as its 2015–2016 season sponsor. United Airlines is the Official and Exclusive Airline of the Harris Theater. Hyatt Regency Chicago is the Harris Theater’s season hotel partner. The Theater also gratefully acknowledges the Irving Harris Foundation for its leadership support of the Presenting Fund. The Harris Theater is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency. All performances take place on The Elizabeth Morse Genius Stage at the Harris Theater.


About Harris Theater for Music and Dance

The Harris Theater’s mission is to partner with an array of Chicago’s emerging and midsize performing arts organizations to help them build infrastructure and achieve artistic growth and long-term organizational sustainability. Opened on November 8, 2003, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance was the first multi-use performing arts venue to be built in the Chicago downtown area since 1929. Today the Theater continues to host the most diverse offerings of any venue in Chicago, featuring the city’s world-renowned music and dance institutions and the Harris Theater Presents series of acclaimed national and international artists and ensembles.


Imagine: The Campaign for Harris Theater, is a $38.8M comprehensive fundraising effort supporting the Theater’s multifaceted mission. The campaign ensures the continued growth and artistic development of the Harris Theater over the next 10 years.


The Imagine campaign is led by four transformational gifts: from The Irving Harris Foundation, Joan W. Harris; Alexandra and John Nichols; Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation, Abby McCormick O’Neil and D. Carroll Joynes; Caryn and King Harris, The Harris Family Foundation. Additional leadership gifts supporting programmatic and capital projects have been generously funded by The Crown Family, Jay Franke and David Herro, Jack and Sandra Guthman, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Neisser Family Foundation, The Northern Trust Company, Christine and Glenn Kelly, Laura and Ricardo Rosenkranz, and Marilyn and David J. Vitale.


The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust and Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust are the lead underwriters of fundraising for Imagine: The Campaign for Harris Theater.


The Harris Theater maintains a commitment to engaging Chicago residents of all ages and communities. Programs like the popular Eat to the Beat and Exelon Family Series advance access to, and understanding of, the performing arts. The Theater partners with health and human service agencies, K-12 schools, and community arts organizations, providing more than 8,800 underwritten performance tickets through the Access Tickets Program since 2009. The Theater also connects gifted young artists and students to presented artists through master classes, artist talks, and other enrichment activities.


To learn more about the Harris Theater, please visit HarrisTheaterChicago.org. Call the Box Office at 312.334.7777 to request a brochure or additional information.


The Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Chicago’s state-of-the art 1,525-seat performance venue, can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.


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