Special Event Explorations of The American Dream Part I

Event Information

  • Dates: May 20, 2023 Free event, no tickets required
  • Who:
  • Venue: CWRU Tinkham Veale University Center Ballroom A Cleveland, OH

Event Dates and Tickets

Saturday, May 20, 2023 12:00PM

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Event Sponsors

Presented in partnership with Case Western Reserve University

2023/24 Classical Season Announced! Preview the season here


About the Event

CWRU Tinkham Veale University Center, Ballroom A
11038 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, Ohio

Presented in partnership with Case Western Reserve University

Join the first of two robust conversations about the American Dream by participants sharing diverse viewpoints from across political, social, economic, and cultural spectrums. A performance of the opera, La Fanciulla del West, follows the day’s presentations.

12:00pm – 2:00pm | Puccini’s La fanciulla del West and its influences: placing the opera into a perspective
With Allison Loggins-Hull, Kira Thurman, Douglas Shadle
Elena Dubinets, moderator

Presentations/discussions by leading musicologists studying the opera, its time, reception, and influences. Kira Thurman, author of Singing Like Germans, will speak about the American Dream from a perspective of an African-American scholar studying the musicianship of black artists. Douglas Shadle, author of Orchestrating the Nation: The Nineteenth-Century American Symphonic Enterprise and co-author of a forthcoming book about Florence Price, will address institutional problems related to underrepresented composers in the United States. Allison Loggins-Hull is The Cleveland Orchestra’s Daniel R. Lewis Composer Fellow, and Elena Dubinets is Curator of the Mandel Opera & Humanities Festival: The American Dream.

Learn more about the second part of this conversation, Cleveland’s Cultural DNA and The American Dream: Past, Present, and Future at
3:00 – 5:00pm.


About the Festival

The American Dream festival will aspire to engage conversation from different perspectives around timeless questions including: what is the relevance of the American Dream today? what does it mean to the greater Cleveland community?

From what was at first a yearning for self-rule, religious freedom, and democracy, the American Dream evolved to a universal concept that anyone in coming America would be able to succeed through opportunity and hard work — to forge a better life for themselves and their family, to achieve success from your own initiative and efforts.

The American Dream remains an aspirational concept related to the promise of a country that embraces optimism for the future and the ability to shape it, as well as recognition of every person’s potential as a dignified and free human being. However, while achievable for some, for many others the American Dream remains an unattainable dream, a cruel illusion, an unfulfilled promise. The Cleveland Orchestra’s 2023 Mandel Opera & Humanities Festival: The American Dream will acknowledge and engage these subjects and offer an opportunity to explore and reflect on the American Dream of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.


View Festival Page Festival Program Book


Accessibility Services

Below is a list of the features and services that The Cleveland Orchestra has made available in the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Concert Hall at Severance for this concert.


Wheelchair Access & Seating

Our venue’s seating has reserved special areas for those attending with the use of a wheelchair. These seating options are available during your seat selection across seating price levels. Ushers are available to assist, especially in the event of a General Admission concert.

There is barrier-free entry to Severance Music Center with automatic sliding doors at our garage entrance on Lower Level One in the CWRU Campus Center Garage. There is an elevator for wheelchair access in the center of the garage for traveling from Lower Level Two (the lowest level) to Lower Level One (the level of our arrival entrance). The Euclid Avenue entrance to Severance is best suited for wheelchair entry, with a convenient drop-off area designated at the curb.

Companion Wheelchair Seating

Wheelchair companion seating is available for purchase online and through Severance Ticket Services. Look for a "C" shape on the seating map when making your selection. 


Assistance for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Infrared Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are available without charge for most performances in the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Concert Hall. Please request one in advance online or by calling the House Manager’s office. You will be asked to provide a driver’s license or ID card upon arrival, which will be held until the return of the device. Head Ushers can explain how to use the ALD.

Interpretive services may be available for certain events at Severance.  Prior arrangements should be made four weeks in advance. Appropriate seat locations may be necessary. TTY line access is available at the public pay phone in the Security Office located at the garage entrance.


Assistance for the Blind or Persons with Low Vision

Large Print Programs are available for most Cleveland Orchestra performances in the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Concert Hall.  These are available at the Coat Room locations or from Head Ushers on each level of the Concert Hall, and at Concert Previews.

For select vocal performances, Braille texts may be available on request with 2 weeks’ notice.


Service Animals

Trained guide dogs and service animals are welcome at Severance. If you have any questions, please contact the Ticket Office or the House Manager.



All Smith Lobby restrooms are fully accessible. In addition, private family-accessible restrooms are located in the Smith Lobby and off the Dress Circle Lobby.


Additional Information

The Cleveland Orchestra is strongly committed to making our facilities and performances accessible to all patrons. For more information regarding all of our accessibility services, please visit our Accessibility page.