Where Catherine Filene Shouse grew crops and bred horses and dogs — also hosting Washington’s political, business and social elite — stars from Herbie Hancock to UB40 will perform this summer. Donated to the nation in 1966, Shouse’s Virginia farm became Wolf Trap, the National Park for the Performing Arts.
Wolf Trap is operated as a public-private partnership of the National Park Service and the Wolf Trap Foundation. The 7,000-seat Filene Center, an amphitheater with both covered and lawn seating, is the centerpiece of one of the most high-profile summer music festivals in the U.S., with shows featuring top performers in a range of genres.
The beautifully maintained grounds are also the setting for the 382-seat Barns at Wolf Trap, a year-round venue constructed from two 18th-century New England barns, and the delightfully snug Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods.
Here are some highlights of the upcoming summer season.
Diana Ross (what more needs to be said?) will perform in the Filene Center on Thursday, June 27.
On Sunday, June 30, fans of alternative rock can come out for Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Toad the Wet Sprocket and the Posies.
Legendary pop crooner Lionel Richie will sing the hits that defined his career — including “Endless Love,” “All Night Long” and “Hello” — on Monday, July 15.
On Thursday, July 18, all you’ll want to do is hear Sheryl Crow perform songs from her new album.
Grammy-winning genre crosser Bruce Hornsby will make some noise with the Noisemakers at a show on Wednesday, July 24, that also features Philadelphia-bred singer-songwriter Amos Lee.
On Tuesday, July 30, incomparable jazz fusion keyboardist Herbie Hancock will appear with saxophonist Kamasi Washington, who blends jazz with elements of hip hop, classical and R&B.
Speaking of crooners, on Saturday, Aug. 17, the one-and-only Tony Bennett will share his definitive interpretations of the American Songbook.
An end-of-season highlight will be reggae band UB40’s performance, with original vocalist Ali Campbell and founding member Astro, on Sunday, Sept. 1, at a show that also includes Grammy winning singer Shaggy.
In addition, Wolf Trap Opera’s 2019 productions — sung by rising stars participating in Wolf Trap’s residency program — will be: Gioachino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville,” conducted by Lidiya Yankovskaya, at the Filene Center on Friday, Aug. 9; a double-bill of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s “Merlin’s Island” and a new production of Viktor Ullmann’s “The Emperor of Atlantis,” conducted by Geoffrey McDonald, in the Barns on Saturday, June 22, Wednesday, June 26, Friday, June 28, and Sunday, June 30; and a new production of Richard Strauss’s “Ariadne auf Naxos,” conducted by Emily Senturia, in the Barns on Friday, July 19, Sunday, July 21, Wednesday, July 24, and Saturday, July 27.
Wolf Trap is located at 1551 (Filene Center) and 1635 (Barns) Trap Road in Vienna, Virginia. For details, visit wolftrap.org.