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Welcome Back to the Mann 2021

Press Release


Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK enchants with a free sound art installation; BalletX makes its Mann debut; Wawa Welcome America stages July 4th concerts; The Philadelphia Orchestra returns home for summer classics and Movies @ the Mann; Opera Philadelphia showcases brilliant vocalists

PHILADELPHIA (June 2, 2021) – After a year of pivots to all things virtual, live music is back at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. The region’s premier outdoor music destination located in Fairmount Park is safely welcoming music fans back for a summer season of the classics, featuring The Philly POPS, Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK, BalletX, Wawa Welcome America, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia. 

Audiences began their highly anticipated return to the Mann in May for the first live performances at the TD Pavilion at the Mann since the fall of 2019. Opera Philadelphia kicked off the season with The Drama of Tosca (May 5, 7 and 9), and The Philadelphia Orchestra marked its return to live performance with audiences – the first since March 2020 – with its “thank you” Hail to the Heroes concert on May 15, provided free to essential workers and conducted by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. On Memorial Day weekend, The Philly POPS’ Memorial Salute with fireworks presented by Comcast NBCUniversal returned in honor of America’s servicemembers, marking the fifth year of this free holiday favorite at the Mann.

“Live music and arts performances are back at the Mann, and we could not be happier!” said Catherine M. Cahill, president and CEO of the Mann. “Seeing our gates open and our campus come back to life with audiences and artists, live and in person, is such an extraordinary light at the end of a very long tunnel. We invite you back again and again to enjoy the best of world-class outdoor entertainment that you can only get at the Mann; let the magic and the music begin!”

The resumption of celebrated summer performances continues when dance takes center stage in June with the Mann debut of BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet company, which will be welcoming audiences for its 15th anniversary season. In July, the Wawa Welcome America Festival comes to the Mann with performances by Bebe Rexha, Flo Rida, and the Philly POPS; and The Philadelphia Orchestra takes the stage again at its summer home at the Mann for three shows, including the North American premiere of Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story In Concert and the Tchaikovsky Spectacular, which will be capped with a fantastic fireworks display.  Later this summer, Opera Philadelphia brings opera tenors Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres together for the first time in the U.S. for a live concert performance of Amici e Rivali. All throughout the summer, beginning June 4, visitors to the Mann and Fairmount Park can experience Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK, a free, interactive, audio art installation that crisscrosses more than 280 acres of the park.  In addition, parking at the Mann will be free all season.

All of this season’s performances will be held in accordance with the City of Philadelphia’s health guidance to ensure the safety of patrons and performers. Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing stations are now standard protocol as are contactless ticketing and a temporary pause on concession availability. 

Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK, a free, public sound art installation from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid and co-commissioned by the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in association with Fairmount Park Conservancy and others, will debut in June. Reid’s compositions, recorded by musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra and the SOUNDWALK Ensemble, are meticulously programmed for Fairmount Park and the Mann’s campus, and can be experienced for free via a GPS-enabled mobile app. The installation, funded in part by the PNC Foundation through the PNC Arts Alive initiative, begins June 4 and will run through Sept. 30.

THURSDAY, JUNE 24 – SATURDAY, JUNE 26: BalletX Summer Series
BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet, takes the stage for a limited four-show engagement featuring new, never-before-seen works by choreographers Hope Boykin, Matthew Neenan and Dwight Rhoden. Boykin, whose piece is called “IN The Distance,” describes her work as a walk along the intertwining paths of our individual and collective abstract journeys. Neenan took inspiration for his piece from “the unique rhythms” of adaptations of famous Stephen Sondheim works, such as “Finishing the Hat” by Steve Reich and “That Old Piano Roll” by Wynton Marsalis. And for his work, Rhoden deconstructs and reimagines iconic selections of music from JS Bach and other classical composers with choreography that inspires the BalletX dancers to move with passion, athleticism and contemporary ideals.  Picnics on the Mann’s Great Lawn are welcomed for these performances as part of the Mann’s Summer Picnic Series.

SATURDAY, JULY 3: POPS on Independence with The Philly POPS
The Philly POPS continues its 42-year Independence Day tradition with POPS on Independence at a new location: the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. The POPS will perform an original program created and conducted by Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell, featuring Grammy & Tony nominee, Hamilton star Joshua Henry. The program will feature patriotic standards, pop favorites, and more. A Philadelphia tradition, this performance is part of The Philly POPS Salute Series, honoring our nation's traditions, values, and commitment to service. Pre-registration required.

SUNDAY, JULY 4: Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert
The legendary July 4th Concert returns starring Bebe Rexha, with a special performance by Flo Rida, and a feature performance by the Philly POPS, hosted at the TD Pavilion at the Mann for the first time ever. General admission and lawn access will be available for in-person guests and the concert will be broadcast live on NBC10 and TeleXitos. In-person FREE tickets are limited and pre-registration is required. 

THURSDAY, JULY 22: Tchaikovsky Spectacular with The Philadelphia Orchestra
This beloved summer tradition at the Mann returns once again on July 22. The grace and arching beauty of Swan Lake, the warmth and romantic charm of the Rococo Variations, and the mounting drama of the ever-popular 1812 Overture culminate in a splendid explosion of sound and fireworks. Assistant Conductor Erina Yashima leads The Philadelphia Orchestra with Principal Cello Hai-Ye Ni as the featured soloist.  Picnics on the Mann’s Great Lawn are welcomed for this performances as part of the Mann’s Summer Picnic Series.

FRIDAY, JULY 23: Pictures from an Exhibition: An Evening of Classics with The Philadelphia Orchestra
The Mann’s summer residency with The Philadelphia Orchestra continues on July 23 with Pictures from an Exhibition: An Evening of Classics. This performance transforms the Mann into a sonic art gallery for Modest Musorgsky’s most famous work, Pictures from an Exhibition, as well as works by Camille Saint-Saëns (with Principal Second Violin Kimberly Fisher as soloist) and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.  Picnics on the Mann’s Great Lawn are welcomed for this performances as part of the Mann’s Summer Picnic Series.

SATURDAY, JULY 24: Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story In Concert with The Philadelphia Orchestra
Movies @ the Mann returns this summer with the North American premiere of Disney and Pixar's Toy Story In Concert, featuring a complete screening of the first film of this groundbreaking franchise and Oscar® and Grammy®-winning composer Randy Newman’s musical score performed live along with the film by none other than The Philadelphia Orchestra. The Toy Story films are beloved worldwide for their compelling characters, extraordinary storytelling, stunning visuals and the music of Randy Newman. The composer and songwriter is behind signature songs, including “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” “Strange Things” and “I Will Go Sailing No More.”  Picnics on the Mann’s Great Lawn are welcomed for this performances as part of the Mann’s Summer Picnic Series.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 26: Amici e Rivali with Opera Philadelphia
In 2018 at The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, two of today’s most brilliant tenors, Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres, engaged in a dazzling encore duet of “Ah! Vieni nel tuo sangue” from Gioachino Rossini’s Otello, video of which went viral. The buzz led to the development of the groundbreaking Warner Classics album, Amici e Rivali, – Friends and Rivals – comprising more than a dozen arias, duets and trios from seven of the composer’s operas, from the popular The Barber of Seville to the rarely heard Ricciardo e Zoraide. The “dueling tenors” album, conducted by Opera Philadelphia’s Corrado Rovaris, was released in 2020 to critical acclaim, with Opera News raving “Spyres is riveting” and “Brownlee is awesome in his dazzling technical ease and sheer grace.” For the first time in the U.S., Brownlee and Spyres reunite for a live concert performance of Amici e Rivali, joined on stage by Rovaris and the Opera Philadelphia Orchestra and Chorus. This one-night-only pre-season concert, held at the outdoor TD Pavilion at the Mann, will be the summer’s biggest display of vocal fireworks.

For a full list of shows that have been announced to date for summer 2021, and to purchase tickets, visit

May 5, 7, 9            The Drama of Tosca with Opera Philadelphia
May 15                  Hail to the Heroes with The Philadelphia Orchestra
May 29                  The Philly POPS: Comcast NBCUniversal Presents Memorial Salute
June 4                   Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK opens
June 24, 25, 26     BalletX Summer Series
July 3                    POPS on Independence with The Philly POPS
July 4                    Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert with Bebe Rexha and Flo Rida
July 9, 10              The Disco Biscuits Present City Bisco
July 22                  Tchaikovsky Spectacular with The Philadelphia Orchestra
July 23                  Pictures from an Exhibition: An Evening of Classics with The Philadelphia Orchestra
July 24                  Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story In Concert with The Philadelphia Orchestra
July 29                  Brothers Osborne: We’re Not For Everyone Tour
August 1               Rise Against: Nowhere Generation Tour
August 5               NPR Presents Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me
August 7              HoagieNation 2021
August 20            Jason Mraz: Look For The Good Live! Summer Tour 2021
August 21            3 Doors Down: The Better Life 20th Anniversary Tour
August 22            XPN Welcomes Wilco & Sleater-Kinny
August 26            Amici e Rivali with Opera Philadelphia
September 5       ALT 104.5 Presents Sad Summer Festival presented by Journeys
September 8       My Morning Jacket & Brittany Howard
September 9       Lord Huron
September 10     The Struts: Strange Days Are Over Tour
September 11     Outlaw Music Festival
September 21     XPN Welcomes The Avett Brothers
September 23     Bleachers: Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night Tour
September 24     Rebelution: Good Vibes Summer Tour 2021
September 28     Glass Animals: Dreamland Tour

About the Mann Center for the Performing Arts
As one of the foremost outdoor music centers in the country, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, a leading non-profit organization, has a historical legacy of artistic excellence as a world-class entertainment destination presenting premier artists, now in association with Live Nation Entertainment. Each summer season, renowned symphony orchestras, iconic rock stars and the latest touring artists in indie rock, hip hop, R&B and pop take the stage here. The Mann is the summer home of The Philadelphia Orchestra and has presented critically acclaimed performers in every decade since the 1930s. Located in the heart of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, the Mann hosts more than 200,000 visitors annually. Signature concert experiences are surrounded by Philadelphia’s stunning skyline and include seats beneath the Mann’s acoustically acclaimed TD Pavilion; picnics, blankets and music under the stars on its Great Lawn or at the top of the hill at the Skyline Stage; and dining in Crescendo, the venue’s spectacular tented restaurant. In addition, the Mann’s Education & Community Engagement Program reaches tens of thousands of young people annually through free programming and educational initiatives as well as its virtual Mann Music Room. For more information, visit

About the Philly POPS
The Philly POPS, the largest standalone pops orchestra in the United States, delights audiences with the inspired performance of American popular music. The POPS celebrates this distinctive musical heritage through an expanding repertoire of innovative concert performances and a robust set of educational and engagement initiatives. As the official POPS orchestra of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia’s partner in civic celebration, The Philly POPS serves a consistently growing audience of over 250,000 annually. The 65-piece Philly POPS orchestra keep listeners tapping their toes to an impressive repertoire of songs—from American traditional music up through to today’s chart-toppers.  For more information, please visit 

About Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK
Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK is a free GPS-enabled work of public art that uses music to illuminate the natural environment. Created by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid, SOUNDWALK is tailor-made for its setting, created to encourage calm reflection and introspection, and can be experienced while following social distancing guidelines.  Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK was co-commissioned by the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in association with Fairmount Park Conservancy, the New York Philharmonic, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, and the Britt Festival Orchestra.  For more information, visit
About BalletX
BalletX, celebrating its 15th Anniversary Season as Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet, commissions choreographers from around the world to create new ballets that are “fresh, inclusive, and connect to what people want” (Philadelphia Citizen). Led by Artistic & Executive Director Christine Cox, BalletX has been recognized by The New Yorker as a “place of choreographic innovation” for producing more than 100 world premiere ballets by more than 50 choreographers in its 15-year history. In addition to virtual works, main-stage performances, and international touring, the company offers free community pop ups, dance classes, artist Q&As, open rehearsals, and in-school dance education, designed to bring its audiences and the nation closer to dance. Among its many accolades and honors, BalletX was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine’s October 2019 issue under the headline “BalletX is Taking All the Right Risks.” To learn more about BalletX’s programming and dancers, please visit and follow the company on social media.

About Opera Philadelphia
Opera Philadelphia, the only American finalist for both the 2016 International Opera Award for Best Opera Company and the 2020 International Opera Award for Best Festival, is “the very model of a modern opera company” (Washington Post). Committed to developing opera for the 21st century, the company is recognized as “a hotbed of operatic innovation” (New York Times). For more information, visit

The Opera Philadelphia Channel creates a digital space in which artists can perform and explore, through a series of new commissions by visionary composers and dynamic performances produced for the screen. Season subscriptions priced at $99 are offered along with pay-per-view rental options for individual performances. The channel is available for viewing on computers and mobile devices, and on TV screens via Chromecast and the Opera Philadelphia Channel app on AppleTV, Android TV, Roku, and Amazon FireTV. For more information, visit

The Opera Philadelphia Channel has been made possible by the Disosway Foundation, Inc., and by Wyncote Foundation at the recommendation of Frederick R. Haas and Rafael Gomez. Major Support has been provided by Ms. Robin Angly, Maureen Craig and Glenn Goldberg, Joel and Sharon Koppelman, and Ellen Steiner. Additional Support has been provided by Al and Laura, Mr. Jeffrey P. Cunard and Ms. Mariko Ikehara, Katie Adams Schaeffer and Tony Schaeffer, and the Howard and Sarah D. Solomon Foundation.
About The Philadelphia Orchestra

About Welcome America, Inc. 
Welcome America, Inc. is a 501c3, non-profit organization engaged in a public-private partnership with the City of Philadelphia. Welcome America, Inc.’s goal is to promote American history, education, and the City of Philadelphia as global tourist destination. Each year, Welcome America, Inc. produces Wawa Welcome America, a multi-day festival featuring art, culture, community engagement and entertainment - it is the nation's premier Independence Day celebration! Welcome America was founded in 1993, and celebrates its 29th festival in 2021. Visit to learn more. 

About PNC Arts Alive
PNC Arts Alive is a multi-year, multi-million-dollar grant initiative of PNC and the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Now in its twelfth program year, PNC Arts Alive challenges visual and performing arts organizations to put forth their best, most original thinking in expanding audience participation and engagement. In 2020, more than 40 arts organizations from across the Greater Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware region were selected to receive PNC Arts Alive program support –including several first-time grantees, through a newly expanded initiative to support smaller, community-based arts and cultural organizations. For more information on PNC Arts Alive and the grant recipients visit