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Denyce Graves to perform at ACU Tuesday

For immediate release
April 14, 2003

ABILENE – World-renowned operatic singer Denyce Graves will perform Tuesday, April 15, at 8 p.m. as the signature opening performance of the recital hall in Abilene Christian University’s new Williams Performing Arts Center. Graves was originally scheduled to perform at ACU on Jan. 21 but postponed the concert due to illness.

A limited number of tickets for Tuesday’s performance are available to the public at $50 and $100 prices by calling 915-674-2737. The concert and reception afterward are black tie.

“Seldom, if ever, does Abilene have the opportunity to hear an international star of this magnitude – much less in a new, beautiful and intimate setting like this recital hall in the new performing arts center,” said Dr. Paul Piersall, chair of the Department of Music.

Pianist J.J. Penna will accompany Graves.

Graves is internationally known and in high demand to perform around the world.  She is particularly well known for her title roles in “Carmen” and “Samson et Dalila.” 

Graves made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in the 1995-96 season in the title role of Carmen and returned the following season to lead the new Franco Zeffirelli production of that work, singing the opening night performance of the Metropolitan Opera’s 1997-98 season opposite Placido Domingo.

She continually appears in a broad range of repertoire in leading theaters in North American and Europe, and she has worked with leading symphony orchestras and conductors throughout the world.

 Graves also appears regularly on television as a musical performer and celebrity guest. In 1997 PBS Productions released a video and audio recording titled, “Denyce Graves: A Cathedral Christmas” featuring Graves in a Christmas music program from Washington’s National Cathedral. She has also been seen on a BBC special, a televised concert at the Nobel Peace Prize Awards, and on television shows including Sesame Street, The Charlie Rose Show, Larry King Live and 60 Minutes.

In 1999 Graves became an exclusive recording artist with BMG Classics. Her recordings have included opera arias, Latin songs, spirituals, French aria and full opera recordings.

Graves has also been the recipient of awards such as the Gran Prix du Concours International de Chant de Paris, the Eleanor Steber Music Award in the Opera Columbus Vocal Competition, and a Jacobson Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.

A native of Washington, D.C., Graves attended Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts and continued her education at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the New England Conservatory. In 1998 she received an honorary doctorate from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. She was named one of the “50 Leaders of Tomorrow” by Ebony magazine and was one of Glamour Magazine’s 1997 “Women of the Year.”

For more information on Denyce Graves, visit


If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Wendy Kilmer, university news coordinator.

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