Sheldon Harnick, one of the co-writers of the newly-commissioned opera, Lady Bird: First Lady of the Land, will receive a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre during this year’s Tony Awards.
The 2016 Tony Awards, hosted by James Corden, will air June 12 on CBS.
Harnick, a Pulitzer Prize winner best-known as the lyricist for Fiddler on the Roof and She Loves Me, created the libretto for Lady Bird. Lady Birdpremieres April 28 in the Performing Arts Center at Texas State University.
Performances are 7:30 p.m. April 28-30, with a 2 p.m. matinee May 1.
The opera, directed by Sam Mungo, focuses on Johnson as a national peacemaker during the tumultuous decade of the 1960s. The narrative focuses on her train trip through the Deep South, after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This 1,600-mile journey reached 500,000 people in eight states over four days and was instrumental in turning the tide in favor of racial equality in America. This was also the first time a first lady had traveled or campaigned on her own, making Lady Bird Johnson a strong role-model for the growing feminist movement.
Opera composer Henry Mollicone writes often on American cultural themes including Gabriel’s Daughter, the story of a freed slave separated from her daughter through slave trade, and Children of the Sun, the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Admission is $15 for adults, $8 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased online at txstatepresents.com or by phone at (512) 245-6500. The event is supported by Hill Country Opera and Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts-Art Works.