Friday, February 19, 2010

Virginia Opera 2010-11

The Virginia Opera has announced the four operas to be staged in its 2010-11 season: Verdi's "Rigoletto," Mozart's "Così fan tutte," Wagner’s "Die Walküre" and Puccini’s "Madame Butterfly."

Peter Mark, the Virginia Opera's artistic director, will conduct the Verdi and Wagner productions. Joseph Walsh, the company's associate artistic director, will be conductor for the Mozart and Puccini.

The South African baritone Fikile Mvinjelwa will sing the title role of "Rigoletto" in a production directed by Marc Astafan. Other vocal casting will be announced later. Other stage directors are Eric Einhorn ("Così fan tutte"), Lillian Groag ("Die Walküre") and Dorothy Danner ("Madame Butterfly").

The four operas will be sung in their original languages – the Verdi, Mozart and Puccini in Italian, the Wagner in German – with projected English captions. The Wagner will be staged in "a three-hour, audience-friendly version" that the Virginia Opera is billing as "The Valkyrie," says Danielle M. Canonico, the company's communications director.

In its 36th season, the Virginia Opera will continue with a schedule of performances on Saturday, Wednesday and Friday nights and Sunday afternoons at Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, and Friday nights and Sunday afternoons at the Center for the Arts, George Mason University, in Fairfax and the Carpenter Theatre of Richmond CenterStage.

For information on ticket subscriptions, now on sale in Norfolk and Richmond, call the Virginia Opera box office at (866) 673-7282. For information on Fairfax subscriptions, going on sale April 8, call (703) 993-2787. Information is also available on the Virginia Opera website,

The opera's 2010-11 dates:

* Verdi: "Rigoletto" – Oct. 2, 6, 8 and 10 in Norfolk; Oct. 15 and 17 in Fairfax; Oct. 22 and 24 in Richmond.

* Mozart: "Così fan tutte" Nov. 13, 17, 19 and 21 in Norfolk; Nov. 26 and 28 in Richmond; Dec. 3 and 5 in Fairfax.

* Wagner: "The Valkyrie" ("Die Walküre") Feb. 5, 9, 11 and 13 in Norfolk; Feb. 18 and 20 in Fairfax; Feb. 25 and 27 in Richmond.

* Puccini: "Madame Butterfly" – March 19, 23, 25 and 27 in Norfolk; April 1 and 3 in Fairfax; April 8 and 10 in Richmond.