TRAVERSE CITY — The City Opera House has a new season and a new five-year agreement with the Wharton Center for Performing Arts to go with it.
The 2013-14 Performing Arts Series season kicks off Sept. 15 with Canadian Brass and its newest member, 2006 Interlochen Arts Academy graduate Caleb Hudson. The innovative ensemble has thrived for four decades, selling more then 2 million albums and regularly climbing their way to the top of the Billboard Classical Charts.
“Every young brass musician grows up listening to the Canadian Brass and fantasizing about playing in a group like this,” Hudson, a trumpet player, recently told Interlochen’s Crescendo magazine. “To see this happening in my own life is surreal.”
Other season headliners include folk musician and storyteller Arlo Guthrie (Oct. 4), the eldest son of American folk legend Woody Guthrie, and Yamato: Drummers of Japan (Nov. 4), a contemporary yet traditional Wadaiko drumming troupe.
Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster will return with husband Donnell Leahy, of the Leahy family band, in Masters of the Fiddle (Nov. 6). The Canadian pair are masters of French, Celtic, American bluegrass and Cajun fiddling styles.
Musical acts also include tribute bands honoring Johnny Cash and the Rat Pack, and bluegrass and big band holiday shows.
Besides music, the season includes theater (Henry & Mudge), dance (Eisenhower Dance: Red, Hot and Blue) and comedy (Robert Dubac’s The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron?).
The Performing Arts Series is one of two Opera House series including Live at the Opera House, an ongoing series that books shows as they tour through the region. Opera House Director of Operations and Marketing Kristi Dockter said that series will include a holiday show by Second City, the musical version of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and a return Traverse City appearance by comedian Paula Poundstone.
The Opera House has been managed by Wharton Center for the Performing Arts at Michigan State University since 2009. Under a renewed contract agreement, Wharton will continue to serve as the nonprofit arts center’s operations manager through the 2018 season, with a focus on collaboration, community and kids.