Nickelback, Lady Antebellum and Lionel Richie. They'll all be at Ravinia this season.

 
 
Updated 3/14/2019 8:54 AM
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  • Country band Lady Antebellum makes its Ravinia Festival debut on Wednesday, July 10.

    Country band Lady Antebellum makes its Ravinia Festival debut on Wednesday, July 10. Courtesy of Ravinia Festival

Ravinia Festival has announced its 2019 season, which includes the debuts of Lady Antebellum and Lionel Richie and the returns of Josh Groban, Sting and Ringo Starr.

More than 70 artists make their festival debut in Highland Park this summer, including the bands Lady Antebellum (July 10) and Nickelback (Aug. 13 and 14). Hip-hop and rap stars Kesha (Sept. 8), T.I. (July 2) and Queen Latifah (on a double bill with Common on Aug. 31) are in the mix, as are pop hit makers Lionel Richie (June 11 and 12) and Morrissey (Sept. 14).

Returning artists include Josh Groban (June 7), Pentatonix (Aug. 15), Sting (Aug. 23 and 24) and Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band sharing a bill with The Beach Boys (Aug. 3 and 4).

Lionel Richie makes his Ravinia Festival debut with his "All the Hits" tour on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 11-12.
Lionel Richie makes his Ravinia Festival debut with his "All the Hits" tour on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 11-12. - Associated Press, 2017

New at Ravinia this summer is the RaviniaMusicBox Experience Center, a building housing both a 65-seat wraparound theater and interactive museum gallery spaces. It's all in the service of music education, officials say.

"This is the 150th anniversary of Highland Park, and we're opening up this important new piece of Ravinia," said Ravinia president and CEO Welz Kaufmann. "The timing worked out nicely."

Conductor Marin Alsop was a protégé of the late composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein, and she is actively involved in Ravinia's Bernstein 101 classical programming.
Conductor Marin Alsop was a protégé of the late composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein, and she is actively involved in Ravinia's Bernstein 101 classical programming. - Courtesy of Adriane White

Ravinia also presents a series of Bernstein 101 concerts and exhibits, which are a continuation of last year's centenary celebrations of the famed American composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). On the docket are Bernstein's comic operetta "Candide" (Aug. 28) and one-act suburban opera "Trouble in Tahiti" (go on Aug. 22 to hear Highland Park mentioned in the lyrics), plus the return of the expansive oratorio "Mass" (July 20), a sold-out hit last year at Ravinia.

Returning Chicago-area music makers include Ramsey Lewis (May 31), Buddy Guy (on a shared June 14 bill with Blues Traveler and Shemekia Copeland), Chaka Khan (on a shared July 6 bill with Michael McDonald) and the band Chicago (Aug. 10 and 11). Grammy and Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson returns to make her Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut for the Ravinia Women's Board annual Gala Benefit Evening on Sunday, July 14.

Chicago native and Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson performs with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Ravinia's Women's Board gala on Sunday, July 14.
Chicago native and Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson performs with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Ravinia's Women's Board gala on Sunday, July 14. - Courtesy of Ravinia Festival

Ravinia also presents the last work by composer/conductor Andre Previn on July 28. "Penelope" was a Previn collaboration with playwright Tom Stoppard and will be performed by soprano Renee Fleming and the Emerson String Quartet.

Ravinia donors get early access to tickets starting on Tuesday, March 19. General sales for shows from May to July begin on Tuesday, May 7, while August and September performances go on sale Wednesday, May 8. For more information and a full Ravinia schedule, call (847) 266-5100 or visit ravinia.org.

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