The diva, the duke and the dance |

The diva, the duke and the dance

Daily Staff Report
Special to the Daily Vocalist Jessye Norman will join forces with choreographer Trey McIntyre in a dance set to live music at the Vail International Dance Festival Sunday.

VAIL – During the opening night of the 2006 Vail International Dance Festival, the worlds of opera and dance will join forces for “The Diva, The Duke and The Dance,” featuring vocalist Jessye Norman and the world premiere choreography of Trey McIntyre.”The festival’s opening night will be a wonderful sensory experience of both sight and sound,” Katherine Kersten, producing artistic director for the Vail International Dance Festival, said. “I can guarantee that this is a performance that you may never see anwhere else in this country or abroad.”Trey McIntyre Project will open the evening with a rendition of “Just,” featuring dancers Alison Roper, Anne Mueller, Artur Sultanov and Jonathan Jordan. The work premiered in 2000, with music by Henry Cowell.Norman, who received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award this past February, will take the stage with her accompanists for a trio of Duke Ellington favorites, dubbed “Ellington’s Best.” Selections will include “Sophisticated Lady,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and “It Don’t Mean A Thing If You Ain’t Got That Swing.”

Following intermission, Norman and McIntyre will team up for the evening’s showcase piece, a unique combination of live music and dance, titled “Sacred Ellington.” Specially created for the Vail International Dance Festival, the piece will be comprised of six segments of music by Norman and dance with Trey McIntyre Project.Trey NcIntyre’s world premiereThe world premiere of McIntyre’s “Go Out” will follow, chronicling the various ways that humans depart their earthly existence. The accompanying music for the premiere will feature the bluegrass spirituals of composers such as The Clinch Mountain Boys, The Stanley Brothers, John Hartford and Ralph Stanley.The evening will come to a close as Norman performs her signature rendition of Amazing Grace.

Born in Augusta, Georgia, Norman launched her American operatic career in 1982, singing “Jocasta” in “Oedipus Rex” and “Dido” in “Dido” and “Aeneas” at the Opera Company of Philadelphia. In 1983, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Cassandra in Berlioz’s “Les Troyens,” in a production that opened the company’s 100th anniversary season. Her signature roles include Aida and Emile Marty in Janacek’s “The Makropoulos Case.”In recent years, Norman has rarely made opera appearances. Her many bestselling recordings include lieder, opera and jazz.

A native of Wichita, Kansas, McIntyre was named as the choreographic apprentice to the Houston Ballet in 1989, a position that was created specifically for him. The following year, at the age of 20, he created his first work, while in 1994, he was the youngest choreographer selected from an international field to participate in New York City Ballet’s prestigious Diamond Project

He has choreographed works for companies both domestically and abroad, including Stuttgart Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and Ballet de Santiago (Chile). His most recent accomplishment was the foundation of his own company, Trey McIntyre Project, in 2005.Tickets for “The Diva, The Duke and The Dance” are priced from $17 to $85 and are available by calling 845-TIXS (8497) or 888-920-ARTS (2787), as well as online at, Colorado

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