Virginia Opera announces 2016-2017 season

The Virginia Gazette
Virginia Opera pushes envelope with recently announced 2016-2017 season

Virginia Opera's recently announced 2016-2017 season will blend tradition and innovation in four scheduled performances: "Turandot," "Der Freischütz," "The Barber of Seville" and double bill "The Seven Deadly Sins" and "Pagliacci."

In its 42nd season, the company will also continue the First of Firsts series, currently in its sixth year, and recent artistic initiative The Puccini Cycle.

"Expect the unexpected on Virginia Opera stages across the state – from brand new productions of traditional repertory, to innovative and engaging selections of opera fare never before experienced by our patrons," wrote Russell Allen, Virginia Opera president and CEO, in a prepared release.

• The season kicks off with a rare pairing, Kurt Weill's "The Seven Deadly Sins" and Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci."

"The Seven Deadly Sins" continues Virginia Opera's First of Firsts series – each season opens with a new production of an opera new to the company's repertory. The production features internationally-known Weill specialist Ute Gfrerer.

Following intermission, "Pagliacci" includes one of opera's most famous tenor arias, "Vesti la giubba," in a classic tale of revenge.

Performances occur Sept. 30, Oct. 2 and 4 at Harrison Opera House in Norfolk; Oct. 8 and 9 at George Mason University's Center for the Arts in Fairfax; and Oct. 14 and 16 at The Carpenter Theatre in Richmond.

• The season lightens up with Rossini's "The Barber of Seville," one of the most popular comic operas.

Virginia Beach native Will Liverman makes his Virginia Opera debut in this production, conducted by John Baril, music director of Central City Opera in Colorado.

Performances occur Nov. 11, 13, 15 at Harrison Opera House in Norfolk; Nov. 18 and 20 at George Mason University's Center for the Arts in Fairfax; and Dec. 3 and 4 at The Carpenter Theatre in Richmond.

• Virginia Opera takes a bold step with Carl Maria von Weber's "Der Freischütz," a work never seen on the company's stage and rarely seen in America. Further, the supernatural tale is presented in a specially commissioned English translation.

Issachah Savage leads a talented cast – "The Washington Post" recently recognized Savage as one of the "Stars of Tomorrow."

Performances occur Jan. 27, 29, 31 at Harrison Opera House in Norfolk; Feb. 4 and 5 at George Mason University's Center for the Arts in Fairfax; and Feb. 17 and 19 at The Carpenter Theatre in Richmond.

• Finally, Puccini's "Turandot" concludes the season. The production is next in Virginia Opera's Puccini Cycle, which launched in 2015 with sold-out performances of "La Bohème" and continues until 2020.

An internationally recognized cast, led by Kelly Cae Hogan and Roger Honeywell, will perform Puccini's stirring score, including "Nessun dorma."

Performances occur March 17, 19, 21 at Harrison Opera House in Norfolk; March 25 and 26 at George Mason University's Center for the Arts in Fairfax; and March 31 and April 2 at The Carpenter Theatre in Richmond.

Subscription tickets, starting at $66 for all four productions, are now on sale for Norfolk and Richmond performances.

For more information, visit vaopera.org or call 866-673-7282.

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