Saturday, December 10, 2016

Name change in Charlottesville

Ash Lawn Opera is changing its name to Charlottesville Opera.

The company, founded in 1978, formerly staged its productions in the boxwood garden of Ash Lawn, the home of James Monroe outside Charlottesville. Singers and audiences soon became accustomed to performances at the mercy of variable summer weather, and often with obbligato vocalizing by the peacocks resident on the grounds.

After 24 years of the troupe being supported by the College of William and Mary, which owns and operates Ash Lawn, organization and financing were assumed by the Ash Lawn Opera Festival Foundation, established in 2002.

In 2009, productions were moved to the Paramount Theater in downtown Charlottesville.

The company stages two productions each summer, and other performances and educational activities during the rest of the year. In March 2017, it will present the East Coast premiere of “Middlemarch in Spring,” an opera based on the George Eliot novel, composed by Allen Shearer with a libretto by Claudia Stevens, and will stage Verdi’s “Rigoletto” and the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical “Oklahoma!” next July and August.

For more information on the company, visit