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Arts in Orlando: A 2019-20 Season Preview

This is just some of what to expect from the upcoming seasons for a selection of local arts organizations in Orlando.

On Pointe with the Orlando Ballet

Orlando Ballet’s upcoming season will feature fan favorites, such as “Vampire’s Ball” this Halloween and “The Nutcracker” during the holiday season, as well as some special performances. Visually stunning performances are expected to come out of this season, which has the largest production budget in the organization’s 45-year history. 

“Investing in the artistic vision of  Orlando Ballet  is of the utmost importance to me,” says executive director, Shane Jewell. “We want to continue our upward trajectory and deliver another exciting, high-quality season.” 

There will be guest choreographers from across the country as well as a special performance by Artistic Director Robert Hill, who is celebrating his 10th anniversary with Orlando Ballet this season. Hill will take the stage for a featured role in one of guest choreographer Jessica Lang’s pieces during the “Made in the USA: A Collection of American Works” production in March. 

“What makes this time extra special is the opportunity to work with one of the world’s greatest ballet dancers, Robert Hill, performing my signature work ‘The Calling,’” Lang says. “Robert is legendary, and to have an artist of his caliber perform my work is truly an honor and ‘pinch me moment.’ I am sure with his dignity and grace, Robert’s performance in this ballet will remain with us in our minds and hearts long after the curtain falls.”

The season will feature live music, including performances from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra for “Cinderella” in February and the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra for “The Nutcracker.” Additionally, two new dancers will take the stage: Thomas Holdsworth from the United Kingdom and Kellie Fulton from the Pennsylvania.

For more information and the full 2019-20 season schedule, visit 

Up Next at Cornell Fine Arts Museum

On Sept. 21, the museum will unveil three new exhibits that will run through Dec. 29. Here’s a look at what’s coming up for the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College.

African American Art in the 20th Century

This traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian American Art Museum features nearly 50 paintings and sculptures by 32 African American artists who came to prominence between the Harlem Renaissance and the Civil Rights Movement. 

Ut Pictura Poesis: Walt Whitman and the Poetry of Art

To mark the bicentennial of Walt Whitman’s birthday, this exhibit was curated in collaboration with Rollins College Archives and Special Collections at Olin Library and the English Department. It examines the impact of Whitman’s work on American life and culture by drawing connections between his ideas, motifs, symbolism, persona and contemporary artistic responses. 

At Leisure: Images of Repose from the Permanent Collection

This exhibit includes art from the museum’s permanent collection. The selection of works by European and American artists from the 17th to the early 20th century depicts leisurely activities in private settings and in nature to explore moments of respite and enjoyment. 

A Night at the Opera

Opera Orlando’s MainStage Series will feature a season of laughter and heart with three original productions. Performers will be joined by musicians from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Nov. 1-3 & 5, 2019

The Marriage of Figaro

Sung in Italian with English supertitles, this production tells the story of Figaro and Susanna’s wedding day, which is overrun by a perfect storm of scheming, confusion and hilarity. The cast includes executive and artistic director, Gabriel Preisser, in the title role of Figaro, and members of the Opera Orlando Chorus and Opera Orlando Youth Company will be featured as well. 

Dec. 20-22, 2019

All is Calm

Christmas 1914 is the backdrop of this remarkable true story, set during World War I at the western front. When a German soldier stepped into No Man’s Land singing “Still Nacht” (Silent Night), an evening of camaraderie, music and peace began. This production, written by Peter Rothstein with vocal arrangements by Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach, will be performed in English, a capella and in the round. 

March 27-29 & 31, 2020

The Daughter of the Regiment

Through equal parts comedy and romance, this production tells the story of an orphaned infant who was adopted and raised by a French army regiment. Orlando native and Metropolitan Opera National Competition winner Carlos Enrique Santelli takes on the role of Tonio, soprano Camille Ortiz sings the title role of Marie and bass-baritone Peter Strummer performs the role of Sergeant Sulpice. It will be sung in French with English dialogue and supertitles

Performances will be held at the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. For ticket information and details, visit

Center Stage at The Rep

The Orlando Repertory Theatre has been creating amazing experiences for audiences since 1926. The 2019-20 season will be no different. Here are just some of the highlights.

Sept. 3-29, 2019

Tuck Everlasting

A Theatre for Young Audiences Edition, this season opener follows the adventure of Winnie Foster as her life becomes entwined with the Tuck family. Based on the novel by Natalie Babbitt and adapted for the stage by Claudia Sheer and Tim Federle, Tuck Everlasting brings the audience along as Winnie faces one of the toughest decisions of her young life. 

Jan. 27, 2020 to Feb. 23, 2020

Anne of Green Gables

This dramatization of the classic novel by L.M. Montgomery tells the story of Marilla and her brother Matthew who request an orphan boy to help them work their farm. They get a fiesty red-head named Anne Shirley instead. Will the ups and down, the trials and tribulations, lead to an understanding between the family and Anne?

March 30, 2020 to May 10, 2020

Disney’s Freaky Friday The Musical

The one-act edition of this musical introduces viewers to a super organized mom and her spontaneous teenage daughter, who swap bodies and spend a day in each other’s shoes. Watch as they grow to appreciate each other more with every minute. 

For more information on these performances, and to view the full season schedule complete with special engagements, Youth Academy performances and more, visit 

CityArts Orlando Welcomes New Artist 

This month, CityArts Orlando, which is managed by the Downtown Arts District, is hosting its first artist in residence. Chris Seaber, a London-based artist, will open “Wanted on Voyage Sheets – Bindle – Pictures” at an exhibition from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sept. 19 in the Rogers Kiene building in downtown Orlando. There is no admission fee, and the exhibit can be viewed through Oct. 13. 

The work in this exhibit was selected from three current engagements: Canvas Sails; Norman Rockwell’s illustration, “The Runaway”;  and “Pictures at an Exhibition,” Mussorgsky’s musical fantasy. The starting point for Seaber’s work is diverse, and is considered a starting point,  not a destination. During his three-week residency, Seaber will continue to work on the series throughout the course of the exhibition.


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