"Something for everybody" is how Kay Shouse, founder and program chairman of Wolf Trap, characterized the upcoming summer season at the country's only national park dedicated to the arts. Preliminary details of the program were made public yesterday.
The 13-week season -- which also marks Wolf Trap's 10th anniversary -- will kick off June 1 with the annual gala benefit, a revue featuring stage and screen celebrities to be produced by Zev Bufman. On July 1, a special 10th birthday program will combine jazz and classical music featuring violinists Yehudi Menuhin, Stephane Grappelli and pianist Eubie Blake.
The National Symphony Orchestra's summer performances at the park will be launched June 5 with a concert conducted by Julius Rudel, with soloists Shirley Verrett and Justino Diaz partizipating in excerpts from "Mefistofele" and "La Forza del Destino." What follows during the rest of the summer will be Wolf Trap's typically eclectic mixture of symphony, opera, operetta and chamber music, jazz, folk, country, pop and bluegrass music, musicals, choral concerts, recitals, mime and dance.
Among the season's highlights will be a number of "mini-festivals," focused this summer on the music of Bach, country-folk music, jazz and mime.The National Fold Festival will return for its annual visit the weekend of Aug. 7, and once again the park will host an International Children's Festival.
A new, day-long International Mime Festival on July 2 will involve mime troupes from around the globe, plus such notables as Sid Caesar and other guest artist. A jazz festival June 20 and 21 will feature Richard Davis, Slide Hampton, Junior Mance, Shelly Manne, Billy Taylor and others, plus impromptu jam sessions. The Bach festival, including a performance of the St. Matthew Passion with the University of Maryland Chorus, will take place July 25 and 26.
The New York City Opera, under the direction of Beverly Sills, will present "Tosca," Carmen," "The Student Prince" and "Attila," during a six-day engagement starting July 28. The Wolf Trap Company will offer "The Marriage of Figaro" on Aug. 13 and 15, in a production to be directed by Met baritone Donald Gramm.
The dance attractions will include the Sydney Dance Company from Australia, making its first American tour, June 6; the Joffrey Ballet, July 6-9; the Netherlands Dance Theater, in five performances July 15-18; "No Maps on My Taps," a program of live and filmed tap dance with Chuck Green, Bunny Briggs and Sandman Sims, June 23; the American Dance Machine in a program of Broadway dance, July 23; and a special dance spectacular with Peter Martins, Heather Watts, Ib Andersen and another soloist to be announced, July 26.
The National Symphony will be making 13 appearances during the summer, under conductors Rudel, Fruhbeck de Burgos, Hugh Wolff, Sarah Caldwell, Aaron Copland and Franz Allers, as well as NSO artistic director Mstislav Rostropovich, Zubin Mehta will led the New York Philharmonic in two programs, Aug. 19 and 20. Other groups and artists to be performing this summer include Sarah Vaughan, Earl Wild, Renata Scotto, Count Basie, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Kingston Trio, Johnny Cash, Gerry Mulligan, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Judy Collins, Ben Vereen, Odetta, Tex Beneke, Harry Belafonte and Oscar Peterson, among others.