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Three premier soloists included in BYU Bravo! 2015-16 Performing Arts series

SHARE Three premier soloists included in BYU Bravo! 2015-16 Performing Arts series

Three leading female soloists across three different fields of music — Renee Fleming, Kelli O’Hara and Nnenna Freelon — will headline the BYU Bravo! 2015-16 Performing Arts series.

“I really wanted to focus on showcasing women in performance who achieved greatness in their genre,” said Jeff Martin, Bravo! executive producer. “It’s going to be really great to experience opera and Broadway and jazz from women at the top of their form who are working continuously.”

Leading the series is soprano Fleming, known as “the people’s diva,” whose concert is set for Feb. 23, 2016.

“She truly is the superior opera singer of our day,” Martin said. “I saw her at the Metropolitan Opera in January, and she just has had a remarkable career. With a strong opera performance program at BYU, we had wanted to bring her to campus for quite some time.”

Broadway leading lady O’Hara will perform a concert of her signature songs, show tunes and Great American Songbook classics Sept. 4.

“Kelli O’Hara has become the premier interpreter of the Rodgers and Hammerstein roles for a new generation, and she has such a beautiful voice and a truth and honesty to her performances,” Martin said.

For her acclaimed role as Anna in the current Lincoln Center Broadway revival of “The King and I,” O’Hara recently received a Tony Award for Best Actress, following five nominations.

The concert with Freelon, whom the Los Angeles Times reviewed as “in the very top echelon of jazz vocalists,” will be Sept. 23.

“Nnenna has performed at all the big venues in the U.S. and has been a pioneer in her own way of charting a course for being a jazz musician,” Martin said. “It will be tremendous to hear her honor the legacy of many of the women jazz artists of the 20th century.”

Her program will include songs made famous by jazz greats Lena Horne, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.

“I plan each year to have a series that is dynamic and far-reaching and includes people from many different areas because BYU has such an interest in a variety of artists,” Martin said. “And it’s fun for me to put all these different artists together into a season and showcase some of the great work that is happening out there.”

Returning after last year’s sold-out concert dates is the famed British a cappella group The King’s Singers on Feb. 17-18, 2016. Martin revealed he has commissioned a medley of LDS Church Primary children’s songs that the singers will premiere at the BYU performance.

While currently listed on the Bravo! website as a to-be-announced performer, popular Broadway composer Frank Wildhorn, known for such shows as “The Scarlet Pimpernel” and “Jekyll & Hyde,” will premiere a concert titled “This Is the Moment: The Musicals of Frank Wildhorn.” The event will include noted Broadway performers with accompaniment by Wildhorn on the piano and the BYU Symphony Orchestra.

“A patron would have to travel to many of the major cities to see all of these artists — including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and London,” Martin said. “And of course, to go to all of these venues, they would have to pay a lot more for their tickets.”

A new series, titled Destination: Austria, will feature performances by the Vienna Piano Trio and encore concerts by the Vienna Boys Choir and the Salzburg Marionette Theatre. The Off the Map international theater festival will feature productions from Germany, Denmark and Canada.

Details of the 15-part concert series can be found on the Bravo! website at arts.byu.edu/bravo-201516. Season ticket sales have begun, and single tickets will be available approximately four weeks prior to each performance at the BYU Ticket Office in the Harris Fine Arts Center and Marriott Center, at 801-422-4322 and online at byuarts.com.