Singer-songwriter Emmylou Harris, comedian Jay Leno, novelist Colson Whitehead and tribute group ABBA The Concert highlight the coming 25th anniversary season of Opening Nights at Florida State University.
The 2022-2023 season begins Aug. 3 with a performance from ABBA The Concert at Ruby Diamond Concert Hall – the pinnacle of a ‘70s Summer Celebration evening that encourages concertgoers to dress for the occasion (Bell bottoms? You bet!) and attend a pre-show dinner in the Suwannee Room dining hall.
The season continues with a lineup of heralded and emerging artists representing dance, music, film, theater, opera, comedy, the visual arts and the spoken word. FSU First Lady Jai Vartikar will serve as honorary chair this season as Opening Nights celebrates its silver anniversary.
Performances will take place in a variety of venues on and off FSU’s campus, including Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, Opperman Music Hall, Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre, the FSU President’s House, Dohnányi Recital Hall and Richard G. Fallon Theatre. Opening Nights also will host performances at LeMoyne’s Chain of Parks Art Festival, Goodwood Museum & Gardens and the Fred Turner Auditorium at Tallahassee Community College.
Collaboration partners include FSU’s colleges of Music, Fine Arts and Motion Picture Arts, plus the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and LeMoyne’s Chain of Parks Art Festival.
“The programs selected for the 25th anniversary season demonstrate Opening Nights’ continued commitment to presenting the very best,” said Jennifer Wright-Allen, director of Opening Nights. “We have curated a season for arts enthusiasts of all ages as well as collaborating with on-and-off-campus partners to present unique cultural experiences.”
Whitehead, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Underground Railroad,” appears Feb. 9 at Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Following him at the same venue will be Harris, a 14-time Grammy award winner, who performs March 4; and Leno, the former host of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” who appears March 29. The lineup also includes a Jan. 24 performance by Orlando-based a cappella group Voctave.
In collaboration with FSU’s School of Dance, ON will present “fence” by staibdance on Sept. 21-22 in the Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre. Other dance performances include highly acclaimed Step Afrika! (Feb. 7) and Momix (Feb. 14).
Film returns to Opening Nights’ lineup Sept. 29 with a screening of “1982,” by award-winning director, writer and producer and FSU graduate Oualid Mouaness. The screening is a collaboration involving FSU’s College of Motion Picture Arts.
Jazz lovers will enjoy the high energy and excitement of Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (Oct. 2), International Guitar Night (Jan. 19), Ethiopian American vocalist Meklit (Feb. 28) and the Zodiac Trio performing Benny Goodman (March 3).
Family-friendly performances include Disney Princess: The Concert, featuring renowned Broadway performers Christy Altomare, Susan Egan, Isabelle McCalla and Syndee Winters (Nov. 4) and a production of “The Jungle Book” by The Panto Company (March 23).
Fans of the Goodwood Museum & Gardens venue will enjoy the John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band (Oct. 24) and Celtic rock group Seven Nations (Nov. 17).
An acclaimed all-female Norwegian brass band, tenThing Brass Ensemble, provides a holiday program on Dec. 8.
Grammy-winning The Manhattan Transfer celebrates its 50th Anniversary & Final World Tour with special guests the DIVA Jazz Orchestra on Jan. 12 in Ruby Diamond Concert Hall.
February, the month that Opening Nights’ forerunner — the Seven Days of Opening Nights Festival — began, boasts numerous opportunities for arts and cultural experiences.
The FSU President’s House will host, on a date to be determined, a Salon Concert with a surprise artist. “The Other Mozart” (Feb. 4), an award-winning solo play telling the forgotten story of Amadeus Mozart’s sister, Nannerl, will take place in Tallahassee Community College’s Turner Auditorium. Other events include a collaboration with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra to present Queens of Soul, featuring vocalists Morgan James and Erica Gabriel (Feb. 11).
The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players will present “The Mikado,” a comedic opera, March 11.
Representing the visual arts will be FSU graduate John Ensor Parker (April 13), LeMoyne’s Chain of Parks Art Festival’s presenting artist, who will discuss “Art and Science” and how both are one and the same.
In collaboration with FSU’s College of Music, students will perform PRISM – a compilation of musical vignettes that feature 35 individual performances and more than 500 wind, brass and percussion players — in Ruby Diamond Concert Hall at 2 p.m. on April 16.
Concluding the season will be Piano Battle (April 25), featuring two pianists going head-to-head with humor and accessibility for all music lovers.
Opening Nights presents two ticket on-sale windows for the 2022-2023 season. The fall on-sale window includes performances from August to January, and the spring on-sale window includes performances from February to April.
Though they’re going fast, tickets remain on sale for ABBA The Concert. Otherwise, tickets for fall performances go on sale to the general public on Thursday, Aug. 25. Opening Nights sponsors and members may purchase tickets in advance of general public ticket sales.
To order tickets and view the full season lineup, visit OpeningNights.fsu.edu.