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Virginia Opera, The Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, is proud to join opera organizations nationwide to celebrate NATIONAL OPERA WEEK (October 26 – November 4), with free performances in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Fairfax. Seating for all events may be reserved at www.vaopera.org. 

Coordinated by OPERA America—the national service organization for opera—with support of the National Endowment for the Arts, National Opera Week celebrates the vibrancy of opera in America today, and brings the inventiveness and excitement of opera to a national audience. The strength and diversity of established opera companies, community opera ensembles and opera training programs across the United States will be shared through free, dynamic activities designed to engage novices, opera lovers and everyone in between.

OPERA America and participating organizations are thrilled to announce legendary artist and opera lover ARETHA FRANKLIN as the program’s Honorary Chairwoman. “I may be known as the Queen of Soul, but I love opera, which is why I’m delighted to be the Honorary Chairwoman of National Opera Week,” declared Franklin. “It would be wonderful to see more people involved in classical music. It truly is enriching.” A brief welcome statement from Ms. Franklin is available at http://bit.ly/OperaWeekVideo.

Virginia Opera’s National Opera Week Event Details:

Hansel and Gretel at Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art
Saturday, October 27 at 11:00 AM
Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art: 2200 Parks Ave., Virginia Beach, Va 23451
Children are sure to enjoy this family-friendly production of one of the most beloved works in the operatic repertoire, based on the favorite Grimm Brothers fairy tale. This musical spectacle features all of your favorite characters including Hansel, Gretel, Mother, the Sandman, and of course, that wily witch! It's sure to be a "sweet treat" for all who attend!

An Evening of Arias and Duets
Thursday, November 1 at 7:00 PM
Stacy C. Sherwood Center: 3740 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, Va 22030
Join the Virginia Opera for this delightful musical event featuring arias and duets from your favorite operas and operettas, including selections from our 2012-13 Season. This unique collection of popular song selections will be performed by Virginia Opera Main Stage and Emerging artists.

Open Rehearsal of Die Fledermaus
Saturday, November 3 at 6:30 PM
Harrison Opera House: 160 E. Virginia Beach Blvd., Norfolk, Va, 23510
Join Virginia Opera for a behind-the-scenes look at a Technical Rehearsal of Johann “Waltz King” Strauss’ famous operetta, as this "stunning and successful" revival production moves from the Rehearsal Studio to the Main Stage. Includes commentary and insight by Virginia Opera Staff, as well as access to a staging rehearsal on the set.

For more information about National Opera Week events around the country, please visit www.operaamerica.org/operaweek. Join the National Opera Week conversation on Twitter with #OperaWeek.


The Latest

The Washington Post: Virginia Opera’s ‘Orpheus in the Underworld’ is almost heaven


By Robert Battey Freelance Writer

Fairfax, VA, October 4, 2015 – The Virginia Opera, the Richmond-based company, opened its George Mason University season on Saturday with a superb production of Jacques Offenbach’s “Orpheus in the Underworld.” Of the four or five Virginia Opera shows I’ve seen, this was the most consistently solid in conception and execution.

DC Metro Theater Arts: Virginia Opera’s ‘Orpheus in the Underworld’ by Jacques Offenbach at George Mason University


By Sam Hall

Fairfax, VA, October 4, 2015 – I was expecting to be entertained by the Virginia Opera’s rendition of Jacques Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, directed by Sam Helfrich, which played at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts last night, but I wasn’t expecting to be delighted. I was.

Fairfax CONNECTION: Sharp Irreverent Fun | “Orpheus in the Under world” from Virginia Opera at the Center for the Arts.


By David Siegel

VA, October 1-7, 2015 – Have no fears of flying off into Offenbach’s delicious musical parody of the legend of Orpheus pursuing his wife Eurydice into the Underworld. Be swept away with light, sparkling opera music and terrific voices as well as some naughty mythological Greek gods and a bored married couple. All sung in English with plenty of contemporary touches in this battle of wits and the sexes.