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The Kennedy Center is starting to welcome guests back for in-person concerts

The first event is invite-only, with livestream tickets available to the public.

WASHINGTON — Vocalists Renée Fleming and Vanessa Williams will headline the Kennedy Center's first performance with a live audience in more than six months on Sept. 26. The concert launches the "On Stage at the Opera House" series designed to safely reintegrate audiences, while following social distancing protocols. 

"The configuration of the theater has been re-imagined to place the artists on a 30 x 24-foot stage extension built over the orchestra-level seating area," the Center's press release said. "An invited audience of 40 people will enter through the wide loading doors on the Center’s front plaza and will sit in physically-distanced pairs on the stage facing the iconic red interior of the hall."

The concert, titled "A Time to Sing," will explore the healing power of performing arts, and includes a new song written specifically for the performance by Tony Award-nominee Andrew Lippa.

Though this first performance is invite-only, with live stream tickets available to the public, future in-person concerts include: 

  • October 2: Kennedy Center Chamber Players (comprised of principal players of the NSO)
  • October 8: Jazz Gallery All-Stars
  • October 20: the Dover Quartet and the Escher Quartet
  • October 30: Kennedy Center Chamber Players

Masks will be required at all in-person concerts and the Kennedy Center is working to reduce the number of contact points by implementing mobile tickets, encouraging prepaid parking, and eliminating cash transactions.

Credit: Courtesy Kennedy Center
"A Time to Sing," will explore the healing power of performing arts, and the resilience and hope needed in current times.


The Kennedy Center announced the cancellation of its remaining 2020 calendar in late June. 

"As we continue to prioritize the health and well-being of our patrons, artists, volunteers, staff, and community at-large amidst the ongoing effects of COVID-19, we have canceled most previously announced performances and events through the end of 2020, with some planned programs moving to spring 2021 and beyond," a press release said. "It is with heavy hearts that we share this news. Your health is our priority, but we miss you in our theaters and sharing the joy of the live performing arts together." 

"A Time to Sing: An Evening with Renée Fleming and Vanessa Williams" will be livestreamed via the Kennedy Center’s website, and passes to view the concert may be purchased for $15 in advance beginning Friday by clicking HERE.

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