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January 9, 2003

Renowned Metropolitan Opera star to perform at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Denyce Graves, the Metropolitan Opera star famed for her portrayal of Bizet's "Carmen," will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, in Loeb Playhouse.

Admission is $42 and $28 for general public, $25 and $18 for Purdue students and children K-12. Tickets can be purchased at Purdue box offices or charged by phone at (765) 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW. Tickets also are available at all Ticketmaster outlets. Graves is presented by Purdue Convocations.

As part of it's Centennial Celebration, Convocations also is offering a special ticket price that includes a meet-the-artist reception after the performance. These tickets will be $100 for general public, $58 of which is a tax-deductible donation. For Purdue students and children K-12, these tickets are $75, $50 of which is tax-deductible.

Recognized worldwide as one of today's most exciting vocal stars, mezzo-soprano Graves continues to gather popular and critical acclaim in performances on four continents.

USA Today identified her as one of the "singers most likely to be an operatic superstar of the 21st century," and for a recent performance in Atlanta, the Journal-Constitution wrote, "put simply: if the human voice has the power to move you, you will be touched by Denyce Graves."

The combination of her expressive, rich vocalism, stage presence and theatrical abilities allows Graves to pursue 20 operatic portrayals as well as delight audiences in concert and recital appearances.

In the days after Sept. 11, 2001, Graves was invited by President George W. Bush to participate in the National Prayer Service in Washington's National Cathedral. Her moving interpretation of "America" during the service, which was broadcast worldwide, exposed the Washington, D.C., native to her largest audience yet.

Graves has become well-known to operatic audiences for her portrayals of the title roles in "Carmen" and "Samson et Dalila." These signature roles have brought Graves to the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Royal Opera-Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, and the Opera Nationale de Paris, among others.

Graves made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in the 1995-96 season in the title role of Carmen. She returned the following season to lead the new Franco Zeffirelli production of this work, conducted by James Levine, and she sang the opening night performance of the Metropolitan Opera's 1997-98 season as Carmen opposite Placido Domingo. She was seen again that season as Bizet's gypsy on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera for Domingo's 30th Anniversary Gala.

Graves is also among the music world's most sought after recitalists. Her programs include classical repertoire of German Lieder, French Melodie and English Art Song, as well as the popular music of Broadway musicals, crossover and jazz, together with American spirituals.

For her New York debut recital at Kauffmann Recital Hall, The New York Times wrote, "Her voice is dusky and earthy. She is a strikingly attractive stage presence and a communicative artist who had the audience with her through four encores."

In 1997 Carmen Productions released a video and audio recording titled "Denyce Graves: A Cathedral Christmas," featuring a program of Christmas music from Washington's National Cathedral. This celebration of music, including chorus and orchestra, is shown each year on PBS during the Christmas season.

She has been a frequent guest on Sesame Street, and in 1996 she was the subject of an Emmy-award winning profile on CBS' "60 Minutes."

CONTACT: Larry Sommers, Purdue Convocations, (765) 494-5045, lsommers@purdue.edu.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photograph of Denyce Graves is available at ftp://ftp.purdue.edu/pub/uns/graves.d.jpeg.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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