The Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts announces its 2008 to 2009 season, offering patrons the chance to see an impressive line-up of prominent performing artists, lecturers and musicians, as well as emerging talents and newcomers in other numerous fields.
The new season, which is the center’s seventh, runs from October through June and will feature 66 events and 87 performances. Some of the large acts of the upcoming season include Linda Ronstadt in concert, a performance of Hamlet by Shakespeare & Company and a lecture from activist Gloria Steinem.
Some acts are so popular that they sell out completely on ticketholder subscriptions before tickets are available to the general public, leaving out those who want to buy single tickets later on. This is often a problem for students, who either do not know about the subscription option or find it incompatible with their changing schedules, saidpublic relations manager Joe Martin.
“We know that a lot of students feel a bit alienated from certain high profile events, like the recent Jane Goodall lecture, which sold out on subscription,” Martin said. “It is unfortunate, and we are trying to figure out ways rectify this problem.”
Thus, for popular events, the center will now set aside about 10 percent of their ticket offerings exclusively for students, ensuring that those who didn’t have the option of buying a subscription still have a chance to attend. Martin also pointed out that the center’s website offers a free webcast for certain events, such as the Goodall lecturethat many students are deeply interested in but were not able to see live.
The performance of world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma is one of these exceedingly popular events that is expected to sell out very quickly. Although the musician has played with the ensemble Silk Road in the past, this is the first time the musician has played solo in Davis.
“To have an extraordinary artist play extraordinary music is exactly what we are supposed to be doing,” said associate executive director Jeremy Ganter.” As a center, part of our job is to bring the very best, and he is certainly a symbol of that.”
Also expected to sell out quickly is the visit of master violinist Izthak Perlman. Although this is his fourth visit, this year’s performance is particularly special as it is part of his Golden Anniversary Tour, marking the 50th anniversary of his U.S. debut on the Ed Sullivan show. This classic appearance “put him on the map” to the larger public, Ganter said.
“He is alone is one of the world’s greatest violinists, so to give people a chance to see him on a special occasion such as this one is really big,” Ganter said.
Also in store for the season is the opportunity to hear the story of author, lecturer and former child soldier from Sierra Leone, Ishmael Beah. Kidnapped by rebel armies at the age of 13 in West Africa, the now author and lecturer will recount the horrific experiences detailed in Beah’s book, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.
“It’s mostly about his journey – from being given drugs, machine guns, and being brainwashed into a monster thug and then back into a normal, productive person after being rescued,” Martin said. “It brings well deserved attention to the political situation in Africa that mostly gets thrown on the backburner.”
For those interested in seeing the vibrant glamour of circus arts with music and dance, Canadian dance company Cirque Éloize is coming back to the center for the third time. Similar in style to Cirque du Soleil, the show was hugely popular with past audiences at Mondavi, for example, when they were able to simulate “raining” on stage.
“It’s not quite as big and Vegas-y and glitzy as Cirque du Soleil, but it’s along the same lines – acrobatics, music, songs, jokes, a storyline, juggling, trapeze arts,” Martin said. “It’s a really marvelous show.”
Those interested in particular subjects or mediums – for example, dance, jazz music or distinguished speakers, can now purchase “series subscriptions,” allowing them to buy in bulk for a number of performances of the same type. In addition to a 20 percent discount off regular single ticket prices, subscribers get the “first crack” at seats.
Also available are “Choose-Your-Own Plan” or CYO subscriptions, which offer ticket holders the ability to select five or more performances of their choosing for 15 percent off the regular price as well as priority seating.
For more information on how to buy single event tickets or series subscriptions, call 754-2787. For complete information on the season, including a full listing of events, subscription series, ticket prices and more, visit mondaviarts.org.
SONIA PARECADAN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.