One of the greatest operas ever written, The Marriage of Figaro is a witty, yet profound tale of love, revenge and forgiveness. Figaro, valet to Count Almaviva, and Susanna, maid to the Countess, are set to be married…but the Count has his own designs on Susanna’s virtue! Naturally, Figaro is determined to prevent the Count from compromising his fiancée. What follows is a hilarious exercise in duplicity that leads to a blissful, memorable finale all set to Mozart’s timeless music.
This grand event marks the Virginia Opera conducting debut of Steven Smith, Music Director of the Richmond Symphony. Company favorite Lillian Groag will bring both insightful exploration of character and wildly funny stage action to this classic. Lyric soprano Katherine Whyte and Aaron St. Clair Nicholson (The Mikado, 2012) play the Count and Countess opposite Virginia-native, Matthew Burns (Orphée, 2012) as everyone’s favorite rascal, Figaro and Metropolitan Opera soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird as his bride-to-be, Susanna.
Figaro is happily measuring the room he and Susana will share. Susana is not as pleased with the room – it is far too close to the room of Count Almaviva, who has been making advances on her. She tells Figaro the Count intends to reinstate the law he abolished, the "droit du seigneur," which would allow him to take her to his bed the night before her wedding. Figaro is livid, and plans to outwit his master.
Marcellina is discussing her case with Dr. Bartolo – Figaro had promised to marry her if he could not repay a debt. Dr. Bartolo has a grudge against Figaro for helping Almaviva wed Rosina (way back in "The Barber of Seville"), and agrees to help Marcellina. Susanna trades insults with Marcellina, pointing out Marcellina's impressive age, and Marcellina storms off.
The young page Cherubino is enamored with all women (as young men are wont to be), but has a particular fixation on the Countess. With her unavailable, he has been dallying with the daughter of the gardener, Barbarina. The count caught him, and plans to punish him, so Cherubino is asking Susanna to help him. The Count storms in searching for Cherubino, and Cherubino hides behind a chair. Finding Susanna alone, he takes the opportunity to proposition her. The Count is interrupted when Don Basilio enters, and hides behind the chair just vacated by Cherubino, who is now hiding behind Susanna's skirts.
Basilio takes the opportunity to gossip with Susanna, mentioning Cherubino's love for the Countess. Hearing this, the Count leaps out from behind the chair, and Cherubino is only saved by the entrance of Figaro, leading a chorus of the Count's subjects singing his praises for renouncing the "droit du seigneur." Figaro asks the Count to grant his blessings on Figaro's marriage to Susanna, and the Count evades him. The Count tells Cherubino that he is forgiven, but he is to be sent to the army. Figaro teases Cherubino, giving him advice about the harsh army life with no women in sight.
The Countess is in her bedroom, lamenting that her husband has been unfaithful. Figaro and Susanna wish to help her get some revenge, and Figaro has set the plot in motion, sending an anonymous letter warning the Count that the Countess has a lover. He also encourages the ladies to dress Cherubino as Susanna, so he can pretend to seduce the Count.
The Countess and Susanna begin to dress up Cherubino, and Susanna heads into her adjoining room to fetch a ribbon. While she is gone, the Count knocks at the door, demand that it be opened, and Cherubino runs to hide in a closet. The Count comes in and hears noise from the closet, which the Countess claims is Susanna trying on her wedding dress. The Count doesn't believe it, and takes the Countess with him to find tools to force the door. Once they are gone, Susanna slips back in, sends Cherubino out the window, and hides in the closet. The Count and Countess return and are equally shocked to find that it actually is Susanna in the closet. It seems that they have gotten away with fooling the Count, when Antonio the gardener shows up complaining of a young man destroying his flowers while jumping from the window. Figaro, who has rushed in to say that the wedding is ready, claims that it is he who jumped out the window. The Count does not believe him, and when Marcellina, Bartolo, and Basilio show up brandishing a court order for Figaro, the Count takes the opportunity to postpone the wedding.
Susanna promises to meet the Count later, but he then overhears her conspiring with Figaro. In revenge the Count sentences Figaro to marry Marcellina to pay off his debt. Figaro protests that he cannot be married because he needs his parent's permission, and because he was stolen as a baby, he does not know his parents. Marcellina realizes that Figaro is actually her and Bartolo's long-lost child. They embrace, and although Susanna is momentarily confused, she accepts this new situation. Bartolo promises to marry Marcellina in a grand double wedding with Figaro and Susanna that evening.
Susanna and the Countess hatch a new plan to catch the Count. The Countess dictates a letter for Susanna to deliver, which requests a meeting in the garden and asks that the Count send the pin back to the sender. A group of young people, including Cherubino dressed as a girl, come to serenade the Countess. The Count arrives and spots Cherubino in the crowd, and goes to grab him when Barbarina intervenes. She loudly recalls that the Count had once promised her "whatever she wanted" and she wants to marry Cherubino. Embarrassed, the Count agrees. The wedding gets underway, and Susanna takes an opportunity to deliver the fake letter to the Count.
The count has headed to the garden, sending the pin back to Susanna with Barbarina. When Figaro and Marcellina come upon Barbarina, she is searching desperately for the pin, which she lost. When Figaro hears that the pin is Susanna's, he becomes jealous, and asks his newfound mother to help him get revenge. Marcellina warns him to not be hasty, but Figaro ignores her. Marcellina decides to warn Susanna.
Susanna and the Countess have switched clothes to fool the Count. The Count arrives for his meeting with Susanna, but is frightened away by Figaro. Figaro begins to warn the "Countess," but hearing her voice he realizes that it is actually Susanna. At first Susanna does not realize that Figaro has recognized her and becomes angry, but when he lets her know, they sing with even greater ardor. Furious, the Count emerges and asks everyone to witness his wife's infidelity. One by one the guests all arrive, and finally the real Countess reveals herself. The Count begs her forgiveness, and the evening ends in celebration.
-Claire Marie Blaustein
So many operas are about relationships, not only for the characters, but also the creators. Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, not only tells the story of two couples through the trials of marriage, it also demonstrates the importance of the relationship between a brilliant composer and his equally brilliant librettist—Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte.
Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro marks the beginning of two important stages in his musical career. Premiering in 1786, it was the start of one of his most prolific operatic periods, which would produce operas including Così Fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, and The Magic Flute. It was also his first collaboration with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, who would also write the libretti for Così and Don Giovanni.
Da Ponte had had a fascinating, if somewhat less than respectable life before his work with Mozart. He had studied at seminary and been ordained as a Roman Catholic priest, but never quite settled into a priestly life. While living in Venice, he had a child with a married woman, and was even responsible for arranging entertainment in a nearby brothel. On top of that, he wrote some terribly offensive (at least to the church) poetry, for which he was expelled from Venice.
He found himself in Vienna, and became the official poet of the court of Emperor Joseph II. Pierre Beaumarchais. In the first, The Barber of Seville, Figaro helps In that capacity he wrote many librettos for operas by a number of composers. It was there that he was introduced to the young Mozart. The three operas he worked on with Mozart are both of their greatest successes.
The story of The Marriage of Figaro is not original to Da Ponte. It was based on the second of three incredibly popular Figaro plays by Pierre Beaumarchais. In the first, The Barber of Seville, Figaro helps the Count woo the lovely Rosina away from her lecherous guardian. This story was set to music by several composers, though most famously by Giaoccino Rossini in 1816.
The Marriage of Figaro, the second play, picks up where Barber leaves off—The Count and Rosina did get married, but after three years the Count is already getting bored. Figaro, now the Count’s servant, wishes to wed Susanna, who is the Countess Rosina’s lady’s maid. The crux of the story is an old law, called the droit de signeur or primae noctis, which allowed a lord to bed a woman under his command the day before she marries, therefore laying claim to her before her husband has a chance (it should be noted that this law may or may not have ever existed—but it does make for excellent drama). Figaro and Susanna must use their wits and wiles to outsmart the Count, appease the sad Countess, and eventually also get married.
It is an incredibly complicated story, which this brief description and even the synopsis cannot fully contain. But through all the twists and turns—seduction, disguise, young love, long-lost-parents, a lost pin, and so much more—the story hangs together on the strength of the finely crafted characters, and the evocative and playful music.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is considered one of the world's greatest musical geniuses and composers. Although he created some of the most glorious music known to us, Mozart dies poor and unrecognized by his peers, and was buried in a an unmarked pauper's grave.
Opera was Mozart's favorite form of music to compose, but he also created a vast number of great works for piano, voice, orchestra, and chamber groups. Born in Salzburg, Austria, on January 27, 1756, Mozart was a gifted and active pianist, violinist, and conductor. His father, Leopold, was a court musician for the Archbishop of Salzburg and the family grew up in an atmosphere filled with musical discussion, practice and rehearsals. Leopold Mozart realized that his son was a musical genius when the boy was only three years old. At that early age he would climb up on the piano bench and play, by ear, difficult pieces that he had heard his father rehearsing with other musicians. Within a year or two he picked up a violin and played that too, expertly. By the age of six, little Wolfgang had already composed minuets and other pieces of serious music, and his performance at the piano and violin was so brilliant that his father wanted to promote him around the world. The elder Mozart set off with Wolfgang and his young sister Maria Anna (called Narrerl) on a tour of Europe, where the children played for important nobleman. In each country Mozart was greeted as a "wonder child." His improvisations and compositions, as well as is ability to read anything at sight, astounded all who heard him. But while audiences admired the young prodigy and his sister, the Mozarts made little money from the tour, and Leopold's plan for financial success came to an end.
Between the ages of 10 and 17, Mozart composed music for special occasions at his school in Salzburg. At 12, he wrote his first opera. And, even at the young age of 14, he displayed a genius for musical drama that leading composers of the period did not have and that few before had shown.
Leopold hoped that the Archbishop of Salzburg would give his son a permanent job, but the Archbishop did not understand Mozart's unique musical talent and offered him no position. Mozart went to live in Munich and then in Paris with his mother, who traveled with him to help keep his house. In Paris, they suffered in dreadful conditions of poverty; unable to get any commissions for operas, Mozart turned to composing chamber music (music for small groups of instruments), a far more marketable commodity. He also gave music lessons, which depressed him even more than his squalid living conditions; most of his pupils were children of aristocracy and had neither talent nor interest in music, studying only because it was fashionable. Throughout his life, a suitable position worthy of his talent was to elude Mozart. Returning to Salzburg at the age of 23, Mozart was given a job as a court organist, but he was still treated menially and with disdain. Finally, in 1780, he was given a commission from the Munich Opera for a full-length work. He composed Idomeneo, a story based on ancient Greek heroes, following the popular tradition of serious opera at that time. The modest success of the opera encouraged the composer to leave Salzburg, which he found stifling, and to take up residence in Vienna, where he lived for the remainder of his life.
During the next ten years, he composed an incredible number of pieces, including his most famous piano concerti, the remarkable last symphonies (numbers 35-41), ten of his most beautiful string quartets, the clarinet concerto, and his monumental Mass in C Minor. By 1782, he had married Constanze Weber, who was also from a musical family. Although they were happy together, Constanze was unfortunately extravagant and disorganized, making their financial situation even more precarious.
In the last few years of his life, Mozart collaborated with a brilliant Italian librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte, who provided the words for three of the composer's greatest operas, adapting them from plays and other sources. Despite the brief successes of these operas –The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi Fan Tutte – Mozart was still unable to make a decent living or secure a steady job. The pressure of this bleak economic outlook contributed to Mozart's declining health, and by the time he wrote his last opera, The Magic Flute (1791), he was near physical and emotional collapse. Despite this, he also undertook the composition of what was to be his masterpiece, a Requiem Mass.
The story of this Requiem, depicted in the popular play and film Amadeus, is one of the strangest in Mozart's biography. A mysterious man, wearing a mask, appeared one day at Mozart's door and offered the composer a commission for a Requiem (a special work for chorus and soloists to be sung during funeral services in the Catholic Church). The unknown visitor stipulated one condition, however – his identity would remain secret, even to Mozart. The composer began to work, but he became obsessed by the suspicion that the devil or some supernatural force had asked him to write this Requiem and that it would be for Mozart's own funeral. He never lived to learn that a wealthy man had commissioned the work in secret so that he might later pass it off as his own composition.
By the end of 1791, Mozart was too broken in health and spirit to continue writing. He died at the age of 35 in December of that year, from what is believed to have been typhus. Since his wife was also sick at the time and unable to make proper funeral arrangements, he was buried in a unmarked grave in a pauper's cemetery.
If Mozart had lived in a different era, his life as a composer might have been far easier. In the mid-18th century in Germany and Austria, the only secure jobs for musicians were players or composers in the courts of important people, either nobility or clergy. In addition to playing in small orchestras in such households and composing music for special events, composers also hoped to get "commissions" form opera houses or orchestras for larger works. If, for example, an opera company wanted to put on a new work for a special holiday, the manager would commission a composer to write the piece, paying him an appropriate sum of money.
In the 18th century, there were – as there are now –more talented musicians than good paying jobs, making the support of a patron essential for financial security. In Mozart's case, his sometimes stubborn, wayward disposition and the jealousy of other players and composers prevented him from finding success. Mozart was not willing to cultivate the favor of the rich; he preferred to concentrate his energies on his art –and his fellow musicians were only too anxious to snap up the good-paying jobs, even if it meant resorting to various political intrigues. It is both tragic and ironic that one of the most beloved composers of all time died in poverty and unhappiness, without so much as a deathstone to mark his resting place.
Mozart's compositions, conceived by such a difficult genius, are appreciated by even the most simple of men. They are unsurpassed in beauty, wit, and technical mastery, and eloquently express the whole range of human emotions. All of Mozart's works, in their amazing depths and variety, encompass the vast extent of the human condition and confirm his place at the head of the world's greatest composers.
Countess Almaviva • Katherine Whyte
Count Almaviva • Aaron St. Clair Nicholson
Susanna • Anne-Carolyn Bird
Figaro • Matthew Burns
Cherubino • Karin Mushegain
Doctor Bartolo • Jeffrey Tucker
Marcellina • Margaret Gawrysiak
Don Basilio • Drew Duncan
Don Curzio • Patrick O’Halloran
Antonio • Aaron Ingersoll
Barbarina • Ashley Logan
Bridemaid • Natalie Polito
Bridemaid • Hilary Ginther
Soprano Katherine Whyte has performed on opera and concert stages across her native Canada, the United States, and Europe. In the current season, Ms. Whyte returns to the Metropolitan Opera for the new production of Parsifal. She is also heard in performances of Handel’s Messiah with the National Symphony in Washington D.C., as well as Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the Vancouver Symphony and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the National Chorale. This past season, Ms. Whyte made her debut with the Canadian Opera Company in the title role of Iphigenie en Tauride and returned to the company as Isis in Semele.
Baritone Aaron St. Clair Nicholson made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Schaunard in La Boheme conducted by Domingo, followed by Papageno in Die Zaubeflöte conducted by Levine. In demand as Don Giovanni (title role), Pirate King (Pirates of Penzance), Mercutio (Romeo et Juliette) and Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), he created the role of Scottie in the World Premiere of Lillian Alling for Vancouver Opera. Recent seasons have included roles and concerts with New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, L’Opéra de Montreal, Pacific Opera Victoria, Calgary Opera, Vancouver Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, and the Rochester Philharmonic.
No one shone brighter than Anne-Carolyn Bird...her stage presence [is] nothing short of magnetic” says The Seattle Times of this soprano who has already graced the stages of major opera houses worldwide. This season, Anne Carolyn returns to the MET to sing Giannetta in the Opening Night Gala Production of Bartlett Sher’s new L’elisir d’amore. In addition, this season’s engagements include a reprisal of her Handel’s Messiah with the Dayton Philharmonic, and a concert with the New York Festival of Song at the Gardner Museum in D.C. and at Merkin Hall in New York.
In 2012-13 Matthew Burns sings in Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Messiah with Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra; Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Dayton Opera; debuts with Palm Beach Opera as Alidoro in La Cenerentola, and with Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Hubicka and Otec in Smetana’s The Kiss. Recent highlights include title role in Gianni Schicchi (Opera Southwest), Kuno in Der Freischutz (Macau International Music Festival), Poet in Glass’ Orphée (Virginia Opera), and George in Of Mice and Men (Utah Opera). In summer of 2012 he sang Monterone in Rigoletto and Manager in The Mighty Casey (Lake George Opera debut).
During the 2012-2013 season Karin Mushegain joins Virginia Opera as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro. Recent engagements include Hansel in Hansel and Gretel (Virginia Opera), Stefano in Romeo et Juliette (Annapolis Opera), Flora in La Traviata (New York City Opera), the title role in El gato con botas (New York Gotham Chamber Opera), Minskwoman Flight (Austin Lyric Opera), Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Ash Lawn Opera Festival), Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte (Opera Memphis), Angelina in La Cenerentola (Opera Idaho), and Novice in Suor Angelica (Los Angeles Opera).
Jeffrey Tucker has performed to popular acclaim in many of the United States’ leading houses, creating a following with both audiences and presenters alike. He recently made his New York City Opera debut as Judge III MARGARET GARNER after which Tucker was heard as Lesbo AGRIPPINA and Siroco L'ÉTOILE in back to back seasons. Last season Tucker made his Virginia Opera debut in the title role of THE MIKADO. Other notable roles include Sparafucile RIGOLETTO, Rocco FIDELIO, Scaristan TOSCA, and Loudspeaker/Death in DER KAISER VON ATLANTIS which he will be reviving again this season.
Margaret Gawrysiak made her Virginia Opera debut as the Mother/Witch in Hansel and Gretel. She recently performed Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress, and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd at Wolf Trap Opera Company; Frugola in Il tabarro, and Zita in Gianni Schicchi with Maestro Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival. She has taken the stage with Florida Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, the American Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and Boston Symphony Orchestra. Upcoming engagements include Frugola in Il Tabarro at Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Vera Boronel in The Consul at Seattle Opera.
Drew Duncan, originally from Milford, IA, is excited to return to Virginia Opera as a 2012-2013 Emerging Artist. Last season Mr. Duncan made his debut with Virginia Opera singing A Messenger in Aida and theReporter in Orphée. Also last season Mr. Duncan debuted with Opera Omaha as The Witch in their production of Hansel and Gretel. Previously Mr. Duncan has sung with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Des Moines Metro Opera, Sarasota Opera, Castleton Festival, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera for the Young, Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, and in 2010 was a Central Region Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
A native of Overland Park, KS, tenor Patrick O’Halloran is a promising lyric voice. Most recently he was seen performing Rodolfo in La bohéme in Central City Opera’s family performance.This season as an Emerging Artist he will cover the roles of Nadir in The Pearl Fishers, and Steve Hubble in A Streetcar Named Desire. He will also sing the role of Don Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro. In November, he sings the role of Cavaradossi in Tosca with the Lafayette Symphony, and in September of 2013, Patrick makes his Kentucky Opera mainstage debut as Rodolfo in La bohéme.
Aaron Ingersoll, Bass, makes his Virginia Opera debut as Antonio and Bartolo (cover) in Le nozze di Figaro. Recent performances include appearances in Central City Opera's La Bohéme as the Custom's Officer and Benoit/Alcindoro in the company's family performance and Sarsatro in The Magic Flute with Opera Iowa. Other performance credits include Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, El Capitàn in Florencia en al Amazonas, and the Man with a Cornet Case in Postcard from Morocco. Mr. Ingersoll is an award winner in the 2012 DiPanni Bel Canto Competition, and will be a young artist with The Glimmerglass Festival this upcoming summer.
Natalie Polito makes her Virginia Opera debut as the First Bridesmaid and Countess (cover) in Le nozze di Figaro, Stella (cover) in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Gretel in the touring production of Hansel and Gretel. Recent performances include her international debut at the National Academy of Music in Hanoi, Vietnam, Musetta in La Bohème at the Green Mountain Opera Festival,Kitty (cover) in The Last Savage and Marie (cover) in Wozzeck at Santa Fe Opera, and performances with the Santa Fe Symphony, Sarasota Opera, Opera New Jersey, Intermezzo: The New England Chamber Opera Series, and Cape Cod Opera. www.nataliepolito.com
Ashley Logan most recently appeared as The Cook in Alice in Wonderland as a member of the Gerdine Young Artist Program at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, where she covered Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte and Micaëla in Carmen. As a second-year apprentice, Ashley made her Santa Fe Opera debut singing The Concert Singer in The Last Savage. Past seasons include, Melody in Words and Music and Adina in Elixir of Love (Santa Fe Opera’s Spring Tour), Susanna in The marriage of Figaro (Ash Lawn Opera), Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music (Boston Pops), and San Francisco Opera's Merola Program.
Mezzo-soprano Hilary Ginther received acclaim as Bobachino in the premiere of Musto’s The Inspector at Wolf Trap Opera in 2011. With Virginia Opera she will perform in a touring production of Hansel and Gretel, and will sing The Nurse and cover Eunice Hubble in A Streetcar Named Desire. Other performance credits include Zerlina (Don Giovanni) Pitti-Sing (The Mikado), Jo (Little Women), 3rd Spirit (Die Zauberflöte), Annina (La Traviata), Cherubino (The Marriage of Figaro), Mrs. McLean (Susannah), Maria (West Side Story), the title role in Carmen, and Sesto (Giulio Cesare). Ms Ginther has participated in the Wolf Trap Opera Studio and holds a Masters Degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music.
STEVEN SMITH begins his third season as Music Director of the Richmond Symphony and has served as Music Director of Santa Fe Symphony & Chorus since 1999. He also serves as Music Director of the Grammy Award-winning Cleveland Chamber Symphony. From 1997 to 2003, Steven Smith served as the Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra. For five seasons he also served as Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. During 2002-05, he also served on the faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory, leading both orchestral and operatic performances.Smith’s recent guest-conducting activities include appearances with the San Francisco, Richmond, Puerto Rico, Kalamazoo, Milwaukee, and Akron Symphonies and a return to Mexico's Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa. In addition, he has conducted the Carnegie-Mellon Philharmonic and several programs at Indiana University, including their production of Carlisle Floyd’s “Susannah.” Other recent opera productions include “Susannah,” Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” and Bizet’s “Carmen” at the Brevard Music Festival, and Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seraglio” with Lyric Opera Cleveland. Orchestral guest conducting has included several seasons with New Zealand’s Auckland Philharmonia, the Detroit, Houston, New Mexico, Taiwan National Symphonies and the Hong Kong Philharmonic among many others.
Peter Dean Beck has designed scenery and/or lighting for close to three hundred productions around North America. His opera credits include Falstaff, Turandot, Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly, Hansel and Gretel, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Romeo et Juliette for such companies as Atlanta Opera, Florida Grand Opera, GlimmerglassOpera, Virginia Opera, and Chautauqua Opera. He designed productions of Andrea Chenier, Macbeth, Elektra, and Tristan and Isolde for Hawaii Opera Theatre, where he has been principal designer for twenty-eight seasons. Other musical theater credits include West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Candide, Music Man, and Fiddler on the Roof.
Recent endeavors -15th Season as Resident Costume Designer for Sarasota Opera; Man of La Mancha (Olney Theatre - nominated for a Helen Hayes Award); Mikado ( Pittsburgh Public Theatre) ; Il Trovatore (Opera NJ ) , Marriage of Figaro, and Werther ( Kentucky Opera) , Siege of Corinth and La Boheme ( Baltimore Opera). Howard was the resident designer for the Alley Theatre. He designed 25 productions including the American premiere of …Henceforward, written and directed by Alan Ayckborn; and the Asolo Theatre, where he designed the premiere of Horton Foote’s Talking Pictures. For twelve years Howard designed for Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Clown College.
Bradley King is a lighting designer based in New York City whose designs have been seen across the US and United Kingdom. Recently in New York: …the Great Comet of 1812 (Ars Nova), Ninth and Joanie (Labyrnith), Children (TACT), Assassins and Sweet Charity (New Studio on Broadway), Dead Fish (HERE Arts), Tongue of a Bird and StrindbergStrindberg (NYU). Recent regional: An Iliad (Berkely Rep, Associate Designer), A Christmas Carol (Virginia Stage Company), The Marriage of Figaro (Kentucky Opera), To Kill a Mockingbird (Penobscot Theater Company), over 100 works with NYC's Second Avenue Dance Company. Education: MFA, NYU. www.bradleykingld.com
James P. McGough is pleased to return for his 15th season with the Virginia Opera. He is excited to work on new operas this year as well as revisiting some “old friends.” He enjoys collaborating on both new, innovative productions as well as traditional approaches to the operas we present. During the off season, Jim is a designer and make-up artist for Fort Worth Opera Festival. Over a 25 year career, Jim’s work has been seen in theatres across the U.S. from Broadway to regional productions. He dedicates this season to the loving memory of his parents.