Arts Society & Culture

Soprano Kathleen Battle to perform African-American hymns and spirituals at UGA

Kathleen Battle PAC headshot-v
Kathleen Battle

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Performing Arts Center will present soprano Kathleen Battle Nov. 9 at 3 p.m. in Hodgson Concert Hall. The five-time Grammy winner will perform The Underground Railroad, a program of spirituals and hymns celebrating the roots of African-American freedom. She will be joined by UGA’s Hodgson Singers and choir members from Hill Chapel Baptist Church, Timothy Baptist Church and Ebenezer Baptist Church, West.

Battle has performed leading roles with opera companies throughout the world. For her Covent Garden debut as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, she became the first American to be honored with a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a New Opera Production. The Washington Post has called Battle’s voice “without qualification, one of the very few most beautiful in the world.”

Battle has performed for presidents and dignitaries around the globe and has made numerous television appearances as an ambassador for classical music. Her performance on the PBS broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera’s 1991 season opening gala won her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Classical Program.

A native of Portsmouth, Ohio, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. She is the recipient of seven honorary doctoral degrees and has been inducted into the NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame.

Tickets for the concert are $50 to $75 with discounts for UGA students and can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center, online at or by calling the box office at 706-542-4400 or toll free at 888-289-8497.

The concert is part of Spotlight on the Arts at UGA.

Spotlight on the Arts
Presented by the UGA Arts Council, the third annual Spotlight on the Arts features more than 60 events in the visual, literary and performing arts. The nine-day festival, scheduled for Nov. 6-14, includes museum tours, discussions with writers and concerts. For the complete schedule, see Follow the Arts at UGA on Facebook or Twitter.