Virginia Opera

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Russell P. Allen, President and CEO

Peter Mark, Artistic Director Emeritus

Virginia Opera is an opera company based in the Commonwealth of Virginia currently celebrating the company's 40th Anniversary Season. Organized in 1974 by a group of Norfolk, Virginia community volunteers, Virginia Opera presented its first productions in 1975 and in the intervening four decades has become known and respected nationwide for the identification and presentation of the finest young artists, for the musical and dramatic integrity of its productions, and for the ingenuity and variety of its education and outreach programs. The company has an annual budget of $5 million with over 30 performances, reaching nearly 50,000 attendees each season.

In March 1994, by unanimous vote of the Virginia General Assembly, Virginia Opera was named The Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia in recognition of the organization's contribution to the Commonwealth, and to the world of opera.

Organized in 1974 by founding chair Edythe C. Harrison, Virginia Opera was launched with two productions in the Norfolk Center Theater. Shortly thereafter, Peter Mark was appointed Artistic Director, a position he held for over 35 years. Peter Mark was named Artistic Director Emeritus in 2012. Russell P. Allen, appointed President and CEO in 2011, currently leads the company - returning to Virginia Opera after serving six years as General Manager previously from 1994-2000.

Virginia Opera currently presents four productions a year at four major Virginia venues – Norfolk's Harrison Opera House,[1] Richmond's Carpenter Theatre at Richmond CenterStage, George Mason University's Center for the Arts in Fairfax.,[2] and the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach. Virginia Opera is the only opera company to perform a full season of operas in multiple mainstage venues and to reach more than 150,000 students and community members each year through its innovative Education and Outreach Program.

The company's first three seasons were limited to Norfolk. Expansion to Richmond began in 1977 with the encouragement of then-Governor Mills Godwin and Mrs. T. Fleetwood (Anna) Garner, under whose leadership The Richmond Friends of Opera was formed to present Virginia Opera productions annually in Richmond. By 1983, the Richmond and Central Virginia Board of Virginia Opera was formed and a Richmond office was opened. In November 1992, the company presented its first mainstage performance at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University in Fairfax. This development was hailed as "one of the major local operatic events of the year" by The Washington Post, and deemed a special day in music history for the Washington, D.C. area by Opera News.

Virginia Opera has presented some of the nation's most promising young singers on its stages and in concert including: Luciano Pavarotti, Beverly Sills, Renée Fleming, Diana Soviero, Lawrence Brownlee, Barbara Dever, Jeannine Altmeyer, Ashley Putnam, Cristina Nassif, Frederick Burchinal, John Aler, Rockwell Blake, Randy Locke, Jake Gardner, Sujung Kim, Frank Porretta, Grant Youngblood, Fabiana Bravo, Mary Elizabeth Williams, Nmon Ford, Jeniece Goldbourne, Randall Scarlata, and Thomas Rolf Truhitte.

Attracting acclaimed directors from the theater and opera world, audiences have enjoyed the work of Gian Carlo Menotti, Gordon Davidson, Greg Ganakas, Arvin Brown, Dorothy Danner, Lillian Groag and Sam Helfrich, among others, in new productions designed by the nation's top opera and theatre designers.

The company has produced notable world and American premieres of new works, including most recently American composer Ricky Ian Gordon's Rappahannock County, a Civil War song cycle co-commissioned by Virginia Opera, the Virginia Arts Festival, the Modlin Center of the University of Richmond, and the University of Texas at Austin. Rappahannock County premiered in Norfolk on April 12, 2011, the 150th anniversary of the firing upon Fort Sumter, South Carolina.

Earlier world and American premieres included operas by Scottish-American composer Thea Musgrave: Simon Bolivar, Harriet The Woman Called Moses, Mary, Queen of Scots, and A Christmas Carol.

Virginia Opera Repertoire from 1974 through 2015

Key: N = Norfolk; R = Richmond; F = Fairfax; NN = Newport News; VB = Virginia Beach

1974–1975 (Initial Productions)

LA BOHÈME – January 1975 N

LA TRAVIATA – June 1975 N

1975–1976 (Inaugural Subscription Season)

TOSCA – October/November 1975 N

LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR – January 1976 N

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE – March/April 1976 N

1976–1977

RIGOLETTO – October/November 1976 N

IL TROVATORE – January 1977 N

THE IMPRESARIO/PAGLIACCI – March/April 1977 N

1977–1978

MADAMA BUTTERFLY – October/November 1977 N

COSÌ FAN TUTTE – January/February 1978 N

MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS – April 1978 N

1978–1979

CARMEN – October/November 1978 N

DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT – January 1979 N

DON GIOVANNI – March/April 1979 N

1979–1980

LA BOHÈME – October/November 1979 N

A CHRISTMAS CAROL – December 1979 N

DON PASQUALE – January/February 1980 N

THE TALES OF HOFFMANN – March 1980 N

1980–1981

PORGY AND BESS – October/November 1980 N, R

HANSEL AND GRETEL – December 1980 N

WERTHER – January/February 1981 N

I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI – March/April 1981 N

1981–1982

FAUST – October/November 1981 N

CINDERELLA – December 1981 N

LA TRAVIATA – January 1982 N

THE MAGIC FLUTE – March 1982 N

1982–1983

DIE FLEDERMAUS – October/November 1982 N, R

AMAHAL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS – December 1982 N

MACBETH – January 1983 N

THE ELIXIR OF LOVE – March 1983 N

1983–1984 (Inaugural Subscription Season Richmond)

NORMA – October 1983 R

GIANNI SCHICCHI/SUOR ANGELICA – December 1983 R

RIGOLETTO – January 1984 N, R

GIRL OF THE GOLDEN WEST – February/March 1984 N

1984–1985

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO – October/November 1984 N, R

AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS – November/December 1984 N

MADAMA BUTTERFLY – January/February 1985 N, R

HARRIET, THE WOMAN CALLED MOSES – March 1985 N, R

1985–1986

A MASKED BALL – October/November 1985 N, R

HANSEL AND GRETEL – November/December 1985 N, R

TOSCA – January/February 1986 N, R

THE MERRY WIDOW – February/March 1986 N, R

1986–1987

CARMEN – October/November 1986 N, R

A CHRISTMAS CAROL – November/December 1986 N, R

LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR – January/February 1987 N, R

MAN OF LA MANCHA – March 1987 N, R

1987–1988

DON GIOVANNI – October/November 1987 N, R

LA BOHÈME – November/December 1987 N, R

MANON – January 1988 N, R

CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA/ PAGLIACCI – March 1988 N, R

1988–1989

FAUST – October 1988 N, R

THE MAGIC FLUTE – November/December 1988 N, R

ANNA BOLENA – January 1989 N, R

LA TRAVIATA – March 1989 N, R

1989–1990

IL TROVATORE – October 1989 N, R

TALES OF HOFFMANN – November/December 1989 N, R

TURN OF THE SCREW – January 1990 N, R

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE – March 1990 N, R

1990–1991

ARIADNE AUF NAXOS – October 1990 N, R

LA CENERENTOLA – November/December 1990 N, R

ROMÉO ET JULIETTE – January 1991 N, R

COSÌ FAN TUTTE – March 1991 N, R

1991–1992

MADAMA BUTTERFLY – October 1991 N, R

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO – November/December 1991 N, R

CUT 67/THE MEDIUM – January/February 1992 N, R

PORGY AND BESS – March 1992 N, R

1992–1993

CARMEN – October 1992 N, R, F

DON PASQUALE – November 1992 N, R, F

THE NOT MIKADO – January 1993 N, R, F

TOSCA – March 1993 N, R, F

1993–1994

TURANDOT – November 1993 N, R, F

NORMA – January 1994 N, R, F

DON GIOVANNI – February/March 1994 N, R

WEST SIDE STORY – April 1994 N, R

1994–1995

LA TRAVIATA – October 1994 N, R, F

SALOME – November 1994 N, R

SIMÓN BOLÍVAR – January 1995 N, R

LA BOHÈME – March 1995 N, R, F

1995-1996

RIGOLETTO – October 1995 N, R, F

DIE FLEDERMAUS – November/December 1995 N, R

THE FLYING DUTCHMAN – January/February 1996 N, R

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE – March 1996 N, R, F

CAROUSEL – April 1996 N

1996–1997

LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR – October 1996 N, R, F

THE MAGIC FLUTE – November 1996 N, R

JULIUS CAESAR – January/February 1997 N, R, F

I PAGLIACCI – March 1997 N, R

OKLAHOMA! – April 1997 N

1997–1998

MADAMA BUTTERFLY – October 1997 N, R, F

THE ELIXIR OF LOVE – November 1997 N, R

THE TENDER LAND – January/February 1998 N, R, F

IL TROVATORE – March 1998 N, R

H.M.S. PINAFORE – April/May 1998 N, R

1998–1999

ROMÉO ET JULIETTE – October 1998 N, R

THE MERRY WIDOW – November 1998 N, R

ORFEO AND EURIDICE – January/February 1999 N, R, F

COSÌ FAN TUTTE – March 1999 N, R

THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE – April 1999 N, R, F

1999–2000

OTELLO – October 1999 N, R

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO – November/December 1999 N, R, F

RODELINDA – February 2000 N, R

TURANDOT – March/April 2000 N, R, F

PORGY AND BESS – April/May 2000 N, R, F

2000–2001

CARMEN – October 2000 N

WEST SIDE STORY – November/December 2000 N, R, F

DON GIOVANNI – January/February 2001 N, R, F

DON PASQUALE – March 2001 N, R

LA TRAVIATA – April/May 2001 N, R, F

2001–2002

TOSCA – September/October 2001 N, R, F

THE MIKADO – November/December 2001 N, R, F

ELEKTRA – January/February 2002 N, R

A MASKED BALL – March 2002 N, R

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE – April/May 2002 N, R, F

2002-2003

DIE WALKÜRE – September/October 2002 N, R, F

A CHRISTMAS CAROL – November/December 2002 N, R, F

ANDREA CHÉNIER – January/February 2003 N, R

DIE FLEDERMAUS – March/April 2003 N, R, F

LA BOHÈME – April/May 2003 N, R, F

2003-2004

MADAME BUTTERFLY – October 2003 N, R, F

MAGIC FLUTE – November/December 2003 N, R, F

RIGOLETTO – January/February 2004 N, R, F

FIDELIO – March/April 2004 N, R, F

2004-2005

TURANDOT – October 2004 N, R, F

THE MERRY WIDOW – November/December N, R, F

TRISTAN & ISOLDE – January/February N, R, F

FAUST – April N, R, F

2005-2006

LA TRAVIATA - September/October 2005 N, R, F

ROMEO & JULIET - November/December 2005 N, R, F

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO - January/February 2006 N, R, F

NORMA - March/April 2006 N, R, F

2006-2007

SUSANNAH - November/December 2006 N, R, F

CARMEN - September/October 2007 N, R, F

AGRIPPINA - January/February 2007 N, R, F

CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA/PAGLIACCI - March, 2007 N, R, F

2007-2008

TALES OF HOFFMANN – September/October 2007 N, R, F

PIRATES OF PENZANCE – November/December 2007 N, R, F

EUGENE ONEGIN – February 2008 N, R, F

LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR – March/April 2008 N, R, F

2008-2009

IL TROVATORE - October 2008 N, R, F

THE ELIXIR OF LOVE - November/December 2008 N, R, F

TOSCA - January/February 2009 N, R, F

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE March/April 2009 N, R, F

2009-2010

LA BOHÈME - October 2009 N, R, F

THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT - November/December 2009 N, R, F

DON GIOVANNI - February/March 2010 N, R, F

PORGY & BESS - April/May 2010 N, R, F, NN

2010-2011

RIGOLETTO - October 2010 N, R, F

COSÌ FAN TUTTE - November/December 2010 N, R, F

THE VALKYRIE - February 2011 N, R, F

MADAMA BUTTERFLY - March/April 2011 N, R, F

RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY - May 2011 N, R

2011-2012

AIDA – October 2011 N, R, F

HANSEL AND GRETEL – November/December 2011 N, R, F

ORPHÉE – February 2012 N, R, F

THE MIKADO – March/April 2012 N, R, F

2012-2013

THE PEARL FISHERS - September/October 2012 N, R, F

DIE FLEDERMAUS - November/December 2012 N, R, F

CAMELOT - January 2013 VB, NN, R

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE - February/March 2013 N, R, F

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO - April 2013 N, R, F

CAROUSEL - May 2013 N

2013-2014

FALSTAFF - September/October 2013 N, R, F

THE MAGIC FLUTE - November/December 2013 N, R, F, VB

ARIADNE AUF NAXOS - February/March 2014 N, R, F

CARMEN - April 2014 N, R, F, VB

2014-2015

SWEENEY TODD - September/October 2014 N, R, F

HMS PINAFORE - November/December 2014 N, R, F, VB

SALOME - January/February 2015 N, R, F

LA TRAVIATA - March/April 2015 N, R, F, VB

References[edit]

  1. ^ Annas, Teresa (2008-11-21). "Virginia Opera cuts budget by $500,000". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  2. ^ "35th Anniversary Season includes big titles, bigger changes" (Press release). Virginia Opera. 2008-11-11. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 

External links[edit]