Concert on the Green

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NEW HAVEN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

In partnership with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO), we're celebrating the end of summer Festival-style with a Concert on the Green featuring Tony Award-winning star of stage and screen Brian Stokes Mitchell with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, soprano Harolyn Blackwell, and featured artists from greater New Haven.

The Concert on the Green will feature the powerhouse vocals of Stokes and Blackwell on songs including The Impossible Dream, Feelin’ Good, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, “Somewhere” from West Side Story, “Wheels of a Dream” from Ragtime, and “It Ain't Necessarily So” from Porgy & Bess. Other concert highlights will include excerpts from Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, and Valerie Coleman’s Fanfare for Uncommon Times. The program will include guest performances by cellist Johnathan Moore and other guest instrumentalists to be announced. The concert will end with an all-city performance of Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing with the entire audience as well as special guest vocal ensembles and soloists.

This concert will mark the NHSO’s first concert with the full orchestra since March 2020. NHSO Music Director Alasdair Neale says, “Following a year and a half of complete transformation as an organization, we are reemerging stronger, and with a new definition of what it means to be New Haven’s orchestra. This concert provides an example of what to expect from us in the future: more voices on stage, a broader spectrum of music, all brought to life with renewed commitment by the phenomenal musicians of the New Haven Symphony. This concert is our gift and our thank you to our entire community who have seen us through this past year, and in particular the frontline heroes and essential workers whose bravery and generosity have shepherded us all through this pandemic.”

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Dubbed “the last leading man” by The New York Times, Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell has enjoyed a career that spans Broadway, television, film, and concert appearances with the country’s finest conductors and orchestras. 

He received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards for his star turn in Kiss Me, Kate. He also gave Tony-nominated performances in Man of La Mancha, August Wilson’s King Hedley II, and Ragtime. Other notable Broadway shows include Kiss of the Spider Woman, Jelly’s Last Jam, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Shuffle Along. In 2016 he was awarded his second Tony Award, the prestigious Isabelle Stevenson Tony for his charitable work with The Actors Fund. That same year Stokes was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.   

An extremely versatile and in-demand singer, Stokes has performed at venues spanning jazz, opera, pops, country, and musical theater worlds. He has worked with John Williams, Marvin Hamlisch, Gustavo Dudamel, Keith Lockhart, Michael Tilson Thomas, The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Big Band, The Mormon Tabernacle choir and the Muppets. He has been invited twice to perform at the White House (both times aired on PBS’s Great Performances) and has performed multiple times for Presidents Clinton and Obama. 

His extensive screen credits began with a guest starring role on “Roots: The next Generations”, followed by a 7-year stint on Trapper John, MD and have continued with memorable appearances on everything from PBS’ Great Performances to The Fresh Prince, Frasier, Glee, Jumping the Broom and his most recent recurring roles on Madam Secretary, Mr. Robot, The Path, Billions and The Good Fight. Other recent TV appearances include The Blacklist, Elementary, and Bull. To learn more, visit BrianStokes.com.  

Harolyn Blackwell

One of the brightest stars on stages in the US and abroad, charismatic soprano Harolyn Blackwell has been hailed for her expressive and exuberant performances and her radiant voice, making a wide and varied career on opera, concert and recital stages of the world. 

Following study at The Catholic University of America in her native Washington, D.C., Miss Blackwell’s performing career began on the Broadway stage in Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. The transition from musical theater to opera occurred shortly afterwards, when she was selected as a finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Since that time, the soprano has performed with many of the major national and international opera companies and at festivals around the world, including numerous leading roles with the Metropolitan Opera, as well as roles with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Glyndebourne Festival, Teatro Colon de Buenos Aires, San Francisco Opera, Netherlands Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra de Nice, Miami Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Opera Orchestra of New York, New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and the Ravinia Festival, among others. 

She has appeared with many of the most distinguished orchestras in the United States and abroad including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, among many others. 

Miss Blackwell is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s 2021 Artistry Award. As an advocate for Arts Education, Miss Blackwell is a Board Member of The Metropolitan Opera Guild, The Voice Foundation, The Martina Arroyo Foundation, The George London Foundation and The Morgan Library. She is a member of The Artists Committee for The Kennedy Center Honors and has also served on the Artists Selection Committee for The Marian Anderson Competition and The NEA Awards. To learn more, visit HarolynBlackwell.com.  

New Haven Symphony Orchestra

The fourth-oldest orchestra in America, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s exceptional and accessible performances and education programs reach more than 40,000 audience members and 20,000 students each year. Innovative programming and a dedication to the commission of new works inspires deeper audience engagement and meaningful artistic and educational collaborations. Through the Harmony Fellowship for Underrepresented Musicians, as well as numerous award-winning education and community engagement programs, the Symphony strives to be a leader for racial equity in the arts. To learn more about the NHSO, visit NewHavenSymphony.org.