A pillar of our community.’ Fort Worth’s Bass Hall is hosting 2 free events as it turns 25
See full Fort Worth Star-Telegram article by Rick Mauch here.
On May 1, 1998, Fort Worth joined the nation’s elite in performing arts venues with the opening of the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall. Downtown now had a crown jewel.
A quarter century later Bass Hall, as it has come to be called, is renowned throughout the country. Artists from Broadway to Los Angeles and all points in between have performed there.
Fleetwood Mac guitarist/vocalist Lindsey Buckingham’s performance at Bass Hall on Jan. 27, 2007, was recorded on his live album, “Live at the Bass Performance Hall.”
And, built entirely with private funds at a cost of $65 million (estimated around $116 million today), Bass Hall continues to fulfill its mission to serve as a permanent home to the major performing arts organizations of Fort Worth, to advance arts education and enhance the cultural scene of Fort Worth and all of North Texas.
The 2,042-seat multipurpose Hall is characteristic of the classic European opera house form. An 80-foot diameter great dome tops the Founders Concert Theater while two 48-foot-tall angels grace the Grand Facade. The angels have become cultural icons.
As part of the 25-year celebration are two upcoming events, a Resident Company Showcase at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 8 and a rare behind-the-scenes look at the Hall from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, April 16. Both events are free, but a ticket reservation is required and can be obtained by visiting basshall.com/25.
Bass Hall is owned and operated by Performing Arts Fort Worth and is the permanent home to the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Opera, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and the Cliburn resident company. Each resident company operates independently and sets its own schedule.
“For 25 years, Bass Performance Hall has been a theater, a classroom and a pillar of our community,” said Performing Arts Fort Worth President and CEO Dione Kennedy. “Whether you’re new to the area or have been with us since the very beginning, I invite you to join us as we commemorate this great milestone not just for the Hall, but for Fort Worth.”
In the Resident Company Showcase, each resident company will present a 20-minute exhibition on the Bass Hall stage under the Great Blue Dome.
The Community Open House will allow visitors to experience the sights and sounds of Bass Hall up close and personal. At this come-and-go event, patrons will be given a behind-the-scenes look into the renowned venue and its mission with guided backstage and front-of-house tours and interactive displays from resident companies. Plus, they will hear from various administrative staff on what exactly puts the business in show business.
The 25th anniversary season of Bass Hall started in the fall of 2022 and has included to date “A Tribute to Peace — North Texas Welcomes Kyiv City Ballet,” which Performing Arts Fort Worth presented in partnership with Texas Ballet Theater; the sensory friendly performance of “Disney’s The Lion King,” the first performance of this kind for the Hall.
Over the years countless folks have taken in a performance at the Hall. From symphonies to ballets, operas to classical piano competitions, and Broadway shows to concerts, Bass Hall is the performing arts cornerstone for the community.
“Bass Performance Hall has been a cultural cornerstone both in Fort Worth and across North Texas since its opening, its programs serving as the backdrop of so many cherished memories for residents and visitors alike,” Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said.
“The city has seen immense positive impact from the private investment that brought Bass Hall to Fort Worth all those years ago, and I look forward to Bass Hall’s next 25 years of continued success as a center for performing arts and arts education in the heart of our city.”
In addition to owning and operating the Hall, Performing Arts Fort Worth also presents national touring Broadway productions under the Broadway at the Bass Series presented by PNC Bank, as well as intimate concerts, holiday specials and family entertainment in the BNSF Popular Entertainment Series.
Through student matinees, virtual programming, master classes, summer camps and more, the Children’s Education Program has become one of the pillars of Bass Hall and offers a variety of free performing arts educational opportunities to students and educators. The Hall has served as a classroom to over 1.7 million students since 1998, according to Performing Arts Fort Worth.
The Hall has also played a large role in putting Fort Worth in the national spotlight.
“Beyond the economic impact, performing arts centers are, alongside universities and hospitals, anchor institutions in their respective communities. Performing arts centers are at the core of the cultural ecosystem of a community, their health and capacities to support partners and make space (literally and strategically) for other organizations in the market are critical to the longevity of a community’s cultural ecosystem,” Kennedy said.
“Over the last 25 years, Bass Performance Hall has served as one of those anchors. We look to the future with optimism and purpose as we strive to further strengthen the cultural ecosystem of Fort Worth and the North Texas region.”