Star of Stage and Screen next Distinguished Guest
Record-Holding Award-Winner Coming to Kohler
KOHLER, Wis. – November 13, 2014 – Continuing the 2014-15 season of the Distinguished Guest Series, Kohler Foundation welcomes soprano Audra McDonald to the Kohler Memorial Theater on Friday, February 27, 2015 at 8 p.m.
In 2014 McDonald made Broadway history and became the Tony Awards’ most decorated performer when she won her sixth award for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. In addition to setting the record for most competitive wins by an actor, she also became the first person to receive awards in all four acting categories.
Born into a musical family, McDonald grew up in Fresno, California, and received her classical vocal training at the Juilliard School. A year after graduating, she won her first Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for Carousel at Lincoln Center Theater. She hasn’t looked back since.
McDonald made her opera debut in 2006 at Houston Grand Opera, where she starred in a double bill: Poulenc’s monodrama La voix humaine and the world premiere of its companion piece, Send, written by one of McDonald’s frequent collaborators, Michael John LaChiusa. She made her Los Angeles Opera debut in 2007 starring alongside Patti LuPone in John Doyle’s production of Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. The resulting recording won McDonald two Grammy Awards, for Best Opera Recording and Best Classical Album.
On the concert stage, McDonald has premiered music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams and sung with virtually every major American orchestra—including the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony—and under such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Leonard Slatkin. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1998 with the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas in a season-opening concert that was broadcast live on PBS. Internationally, she returns to the BBC Proms in London (where she was only the second American in more than 100 years invited to appear as a guest soloist at the Last Night of the Proms) and at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, as well as to the London Symphony Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic.
It was the Peabody Award-winning CBS program Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years that first introduced McDonald to television audiences as a dramatic actress. She went on to co-star with Kathy Bates and Victor Garber in the lauded 1999 Disney/ABC television remake of Annie, and in 2000 she had a recurring role on NBC’s hit series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. After receiving her first Emmy nomination for her performance in the HBO film version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit, directed by Mike Nichols and starring Emma Thompson, McDonald returned to network television in 2003 in the political drama Mister Sterling, produced by Emmy Award-winner Lawrence O’Donnell, Jr. (The West Wing) and starring Josh Brolin. From 2007 to 2011, she played Dr. Naomi Bennett on the hit ABC medical drama, Private Practice. In 2013, her critically acclaimed performance as the Mother Abbess in NBC’s live telecast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music opposite Carrie Underwood as Maria was watched by an estimated 18.5 million people across America.
McDonald’s other accolades include five Drama Desk Awards, five Outer Critics Circle Awards, four NAACP Image Awards nominations, an Ovation Award, a Theatre World Award, and the Drama League’s 2000 Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre and 2012 Distinguished Performance Award. In 2013 she was named Musical America’s “Musician of the Year” and joined the esteemed company of previous winners such as Leonard Bernstein, Leontyne Price, Beverly Sills, and Yo-Yo Ma. Besides her six Tony wins, she has received nominations for her performances in Marie Christine and 110 in the Shade.
Ticket Prices and Ordering Information
Tickets are on sale now at www.kohlerfoundation.org/tickets or by calling 920-458-1972. Listed prices do not reflect sales tax or minimal service fees. Student tickets are intended for high school age and younger.
Adult/Student A Seat- $50/$25
Adult/Student B Seat- $42/$21
The Kohler Foundation is a non-profit, private foundation that supports education, arts and preservation initiatives in Wisconsin.
Carolynn Lee, Program Director(920) 458-1972Carolynn.Lee@kohler.com