Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Virginia Opera 2012-13

Virginia Opera will mount its first productions of Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers” and “A Streetcar Named Desire,” André Previn’s 1998 opera based on the Tennessee Williams drama, in its
2012-13 season.

The lineup also includes a holiday season staging of the operetta “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss II and a spring production of Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” the latter with the Richmond Symphony conducted by its music director, Steven Smith. The other three productions will employ an orchestra drawn from Hampton Roads’ Virginia Symphony.

Next season’s productions are characterized by Robin Thompson, the company’s artistic advisor, as “designed to build on the momentum of Virginia Opera's rekindled artistic profile.”

* “The Pearl Fishers” will be conducted by Anne Manson, former music director of the Kansas City Symphony and current music director of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and directed by Tazewell Thompson, both making their Virginia Opera debuts. Starring soprano Georgia Jarman as the priestess Leila, the Bizet opera will be sung in French with English captions. Performances are scheduled for Sept. 29 and Oct. 3, 5 and 7 at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk; Oct. 12 and 14 at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax; and Oct. 19 and 21 at the Carpenter Theatre of Richmond CenterStage.

* “Die Fledermaus,” sung in English with captions, will be conducted by Gary Thor Wedow and directed by Dorothy Danner. Starring roles will be filled by baritone Philip Cutlip, as Eisenstein, and soprano Christina Pier, as Rosalinde. Performance dates are Nov. 10, 14, 16 and 18 in Norfolk; Nov. 23 and 25 in Richmond; and Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 in Fairfax.

* “A Streetcar Named Desire,” conducted by Ari Pelto and directed by Sam Helfrich. Kelly Cae Hogan, the soprano last heard by Virginia Opera patrons as Brünnhilde in the company’s 2011 production of Wagner’s “The Valkyrie,” will portray Blanche DuBois. “Streetcar,” sung in English with captions, will be staged on Feb. 16, 20, 22 and 24 in Norfolk; March 1 and 3 in Fairfax; and March 8 and 10 in Richmond.

* “The Marriage of Figaro,” directed by Lillian Groag, will star the Richmond-born baritone Matthew Burns in the title role. Sung in Italian with English captions, the production’s dates are April 6, 10, 12 and 14 in Norfolk; April 19 and 21 in Fairfax; and April 26 and 28 in Richmond.

For information on season subscription packages, Norfolk and Richmond patrons may call the Virginia Opera box office at (866) 673-7282. For information on Fairfax subscriptions, available April 12 and thereafter, call the GMU Center for the Arts box office at (703) 993-2787.

More information may be found at the Virginia Opera website, http://www.vaopera.org/