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Audra McDonald

Audra McDonald

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has announced that Audra McDonald has signed on as the official host of the landmark PBS series Live From Lincoln Center. McDonald will host seven broadcasts from December 2012 through spring 2013 including “The Richard Tucker Opera Gala” on Thursday, December 13, and the New York Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve Gala, “One Singular Sensation: Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch,” on Monday, December 31. She will also perform in the New Year’s Eve live telecast.

McDonald said, “I grew up watching Live From Lincoln Center and Beverly Sills, the great soprano who used to regularly host the series, was such an inspiration to me. Ever since I moved to New York to attend The Juilliard School, I’ve spent so much of my life at Lincoln Center that I consider it my home away from home. Needless to say, I was incredibly honored when Live From Lincoln Center invited me to become the host for this season.”

“Audra’s Lincoln Center roots run deep and wide,” said Elizabeth Scott, Chief Media and Digital Officer for Lincoln Center, and the executive in charge of the series. “She’s performed on every major Lincoln Center stage, and her appearances on Live From Lincoln Center are among the most enduring presentations in the series’ 37-year history. We’re thrilled that this consummate artist–whose passion for the performing arts is infectious–will be the new face of Live From Lincoln Center. We can’t imagine a more perfect match.”

McDonald made her Broadway debut in The Secret Garden while still a classical voice student at The Juilliard School. Before long, she earned her first of five Tony Awards for her role in Lincoln Center Theater’s 1994 production of Carousel. McDonald’s Live From Lincoln Center performances include “Stephen Sondheim’s Passion” with Patti Lupone; “Audra McDonald and Friends: Build a Bridge” and “Audra McDonald Sings the Movies” with the New York Philharmonic. Most recently, she hosted “The Philharmonic Opening Night Gala with Itzhak Perlman.” Upcoming programs will be announced shortly.

Earlier this year, McDonald won the Tony Award for Best Actress for her role in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and in so doing became the youngest actor, and first African American, to earn five Tonys, joining Julie Harris and Angela Lansbury as the only performers in Tony history to win five awards. She has recorded four solo albums for Nonesuch Records: Way Back to Paradise (1998), How Glory Goes (2000), Happy Songs (2002), and Build a Bridge (2006). McDonald, who was born into a musical family and grew up in Fresno, California, is an ardent proponent of marriage equality; she has been featured in campaigns for Freedom to Marry, NOH8 and PFLAG NYC.

For additional details, visit lincolncenter.org, and to find Live From Lincoln Center on a PBS station near you, visit pbs.org.

::: SOURCE: Nonesuch.com [Journal] :::