Season Preview: Six-Time Tony Winner Audra McDonald to Headline 25th Anniversary Gala Concert

June 16, 2021

Prior to the announcement of the full 2021-22 UGA Presents season on June 23, we are sharing an advance look at some of the upcoming performances each Wednesday.

The Performing Arts Center will celebrate 25 years with a special gala performance by acclaimed singer and actor Audra McDonald in Hodgson Concert Hall on Sunday, April 24, 2022. McDonald’s performance will inaugurate a week of special events commemorating the opening of the venue, concluding with a performance by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on May 1.

Tickets for all performances go on sale to season subscribers on July 12 and to the general public on August 23. Additional key dates can be found online here.

Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actor. In addition to a record-breaking six Tony Awards—distinguishing her as the most decorated performer in American theater—she is the recipient of two Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, and a 2015 National Medal of Arts bestowed on her by President Barack Obama. Blessed with a luminous soprano and an incomparable gift for dramatic truth-telling, she is as much at home on Broadway and concert stages as she is on film and television. As a recording artist, she has released six solo albums.  Her training in classical voice at Juilliard has led to appearances with leading opera companies and orchestras around the world. A founding member of Black Theatre United, board member of Covenant House International, and prominent advocate for LGBTQAI+ rights, her favorite roles are those performed offstage – as an activist, wife to actor Will Swenson, and mother.

The Juilliard-trained soprano’s celebrated performances on Broadway include Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, and Shuffle Along. Film and television credits include Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast, The Good Wife, The Good Fight, Private Practice, and The Sound of Music Live! She has served as host of PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center since 2012.

“We are excited to welcome the incomparable Audra McDonald to Hodgson Concert Hall to help us celebrate this significant milestone in the history of our beloved venue next spring,” says Performing Arts Center Director Jeffrey Martin. “Her beautiful voice and captivating stage presence has enthralled people all over the world for many years and will surely result in an unforgettable experience right here in Athens. Additionally, we look forward to welcoming our friends from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra back during this very special occasion. The orchestra has been with us since the very beginning, and we have all come to look forward to this wonderful ensemble’s performances on campus.”

Details of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s performance will be available when the full 2021-22 UGA Presents season is unveiled.

The Performing Arts Center’s inaugural celebration took place April 13-19, 1996, and included a sold-out recital by soprano Jessye Norman as well as performances by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, UGA Symphony Orchestra, and others.

Read our COVID-19 safety protocols here.

Stay tuned for the full announcement of the 2021-22 UGA Presents season on Wednesday, June 23!


Photo: Michael Orenstein