It is open! The opening of the long-awaited Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University has occurred. The grand opening celebration, March 19, drew a sold-out gathering to Musco Center for a celebratory performance in the 1,044-seat Julianne Argyros Orchestra Hall. Featured was world-renowned singer/actor/conductor Placido Domingo, along with opera stars Deborah Voigt and Milena Kitic, and an array of distinguished artists and Chapman alumni. The L.A. Opera Orchestra and a150-voice chorus accompanied the singers and was conducted by Grammy Award-winning conductor John DeMain. Following the well-received performance, a magnificent champagne toast and gourmet dinner was held in a festive tent set up in front of Memorial Hall on the historic campus.
Thanks to the incredible generosity of philanthropists Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco, whose generous donation anchored and launched a multi-year drive to open the $78-million facility debt-free, the public is invited to experience dazzling international virtuosos and ensembles that define excellence, as well as allowing Chapman students the opportunity to shine on a professional, world-class stage. Designed by preeminent architects Pfeiffer Partners, with acoustics by world-renowned Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics, Musco Center boasts an intimate seating chamber on three levels and a full-scale stagehouse capable of grand spectacle or lush symphonic sound with its unique orchestral shell in place.
The following is a sampling of upcoming performances:
• Musco Center Distinguished Piano Series, presenting the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Gold Medal‑winning concert pianist Vadym Kholodenko
• Great Voices Series with renowned American opera baritone Rod Gilfry
• Opera Chapman performing Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi”
• Chapman Theatre Department presenting Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”
• The Stan Kenton Legacy Band, joined by Chapman’s Big Band and Jazz Ensemble
• A dance festival, “EmC x BD,” featuring renowned dance troupe Backhausdance