HIGHLAND PARK, ILOn Saturday, August 7, the Ravinia Festival and Jeffrey P. Haydon, its President and CEO, will officially unveil the Ravinia Music Box (RMB) and its immersive theater experience, titled Bernstein's Answer, and fully open the experience center to the public.
The RMB features an immersive, 65-seat, wraparound 4D theater with a museum gallery space, created by BRC Imagination Arts, the experience design and production company behind the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, and the Ryman Auditorium Backstage Tour in Nashville, among many other brand and cultural destinations.
BRC worked closely with Ravinia's previous President and CEO Welz Kauffman, whose creative inspiration for this project launched the decade-long collaboration with the festival's leadership, board, staff, and donors, as well as Jamie Bernsteinthe eldest daughter of the iconic composer, conductor, educator, and humanitarian, Leonard Bernstein. The goal of the project is to introduce, in an engaging, fun, and interactive way, new listeners to classical music, as well as to offer new insights to those who are already fans.
Admission to the RMB will be free to concertgoers at any Ravinia performance. The RMB will be open on all concert nights from the time the park opens until the concert starts. It will also be available for field trips during the school year.
In celebration of this opening, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) performance that evening, Saturday, August 7, features an all-Bernstein program titled Unboxing Bernstein: A Live Revue, led by rising American conductor Teddy Abrams in his Ravinia and CSO debuts, with guest artists Morgan James, Sheléa, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Tony Yazbeck, and Vocality. Author and narrator Jamie Bernstein will also participate. The program features selections from Leonard Bernstein's expansive catalogue of stage and orchestral works, including On the Town, Wonderful Town, Candide, West Side Story, and Serenade (after Plato's 'Symposium').
Tickets ($10-$125) are available at Ravinia.org .
In addition, WTTW (Chicago's local PBS station) will rebroadcast Ravinia's 2019 production of Leonard Bernstein's MASSstarring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop, and Tony-winning baritone Paulo Szotwhich was mounted during the Bernstein Centennial year, on September 12, 2021, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the piece. A mini-documentary chronicling the 'making-of' Ravinia's MASS can be viewed here.
Ravinia is grateful to the following donors who provided vital funding for the Ravinia Music Box experience center: BMO; Winnie and Bob Crawford Foundation; Elizabeth Crown and Bill Wallace; Ravinia Associates Board; Steans Family Foundation; In honor of Welz Kauffman; Ravinia Women's Board; Jennifer W. Steans and James P. Kastenholz; Christopher Noon; Megan P. and John L. Anderson; Susan and Don Civgin; Shawn M. Donnelley and Christopher M. Kelly; Betsy and Arthur Holden; Tera and Richard McBlaine; The Edward and Lucy R. Minor Family Foundation; Diana and Bruce Rauner; Mr. and Mrs. E. Scott Santi; Paul and Mary Yovovich; and Nancy Zadek.
As always, guests can bring their own picnics, including food and liquor. A full range of dining options is available at the park, from casual carts to fine dining. Ravinia performances occur rain or shine. Visit the website for the most up-to-date programming and protocols.
Artists, dates, and programs are subject to change.