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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

Thwarting expectations with the standard repertoire

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 December 4 at 4:11 PM 

I don’t mean to, but I often come to the Virginia Opera with low expectations. It’s a regional company, and its performances in the Washington area are at a university performing arts center, about a 45-minute drive out of town. And I often come to standard repertory works, try as I might to keep an open mind, with a certain sense of obligation. 

Review: Virginia Opera 'Barber of Seville' goes beyond memorable

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Celebrating its bicentennial, Rossini’s masterpiece “The Barber of Seville” is a staple of opera companies around the world. Presented by Virginia Opera on Friday in the Carpenter Theatre at Dominion Arts Center, this “Barber of Seville” is a perfect example of how to update and breathe new life into a beloved classic.

Review: An updated "Barber of Seville" has verve, vitality, and buckets of humor

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By M.D. Ridge

Correspondent

Virginia Opera’s new production of Gioachino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville,” which opened Friday at the Harrison Opera House, has it all: truly gorgeous singing, John Baril’s crisp conducting, Michael Shell’s inventive direction and, not least, laughs galore.