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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

Virginia Opera takes youthful approach to 'La Bohème'


By KATHERINE CALOS Richmond Times-Dispatch

Wrap up everything an opera should be in a single production, and you could call it “La Bohème.” “I think it’s kind of like the perfect opera for beginners and for veterans of opera,” said Ed Parks, who’s one of four lead singers making their local debut with Virginia Opera’s “La Bohème.” All are reprising roles they’ve performed in other productions around the world.

La Bohéme at Virginia Opera, Reviewed


Posted by Molly Simoneau on November 18, 2015 at 1:41 pm

On Saturday evening, as the world was still reeling with news of the horrific terrorist attacks that devastated Paris, Virginia Opera took the stage at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax with La Bohéme, an opera that often reads like a love song to the City of Lights. The news of the previous day’s attacks made director Kyle Lang’s somewhat dreary production, with its crumbling buildings and muted coloring, feel more mournful than it might have on any other day.

Preview: Virginia Opera’s “La Boheme” Gets an Update in 1930s Paris



Sitting at the opera at the age of 14, Elaine Alvarez knew she had found her calling: She would play Mimi in “La Boheme.” “The ability that it had to capture what we go through in our lives was something I had never experienced before,” Alvarez says of Giacomo Puccini’s classic opera. “It moved me to such a degree that [I decided] that was what I wanted to do with my voice.”