Virginia Opera, The Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, will present Camelot, the award-winning musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, as an addition to its 38th Season. Performances are scheduled for this coming January at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach, Va., Christopher Newport University’s Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News, Va., and the Landmark Theater in Richmond, Va.
As previously announced in a statement released on Nov. 20, 2012, Virginia Opera is presenting Camelot and Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West on behalf of Lyric Opera Virginia (LOV) after its decision to forego these previously-scheduled productions. President & CEO Russell Allen explained: “When we were made aware of LOV’s challenges, our thought was—and continues to be—the show must go on! Our goal has always been to bring high-quality performances to Commonwealth audiences, and that’s what we will do with Camelot and Fanciulla.”
Based on The Once and Future King by T.H. White, Camelot combines the legend and lore of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table with the enchanting melodies of two American Musical Theatre giants: Lerner and Loewe (Brigadoon, My Fair Lady). King Arthur and his new queen, Guenevere, rule their kingdom with ideals of chivalry and peace, but the arrival of Sir Lancelot threatens the foundation of the realm in one of the most fabled love triangles of all time. Brimming with pageantry, splendor and favorite songs such as “If Ever I Would Leave You,” Camelot was first performed in 1960 at Broadway’s Majestic Theater and featured Richard Burton, Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet. A film version followed in 1967 featuring Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero.
In a production conceived by Lyric Opera Virginia; Peter Mark and Joseph Walsh, Artistic Directors, Camelot will be directed by award-winning director, choreographer and educator, Greg Ganakas, who is renowned for his musical theatre, opera and television productions. Ganakas made his Virginia Opera directorial debut in 1996 with Rogers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, a celebrated production he will remount later this season. Ganakas’ other Virginia Opera directorial credits include productions of Oklahoma! (1997), The Barber of Seville (2009) and Porgy and Bess (2010).
“What is miraculous about Camelot is its powerful romantic spirit. Here is a striking opportunity to transport an audience on a musical journey full of emotion, magic and its own sense of imagination,” says Ganakas.
Camelot will be conducted by Virginia Opera Resident Conductor and Chorus Master Adam Turner, who made his company mainstage conducting debut in last season’s production of The Mikado. Turner has previously served with Portland Opera, Florida Grand Opera and is currently Associate Conductor for Central City Opera, where he led performances of La bohème and Oklahoma! earlier this year. He and director Ganakas will collaborate again in May for Virginia Opera’s production of Carousel.
Baritone Peter Kendall Clark will make his Virginia Opera debut as the idealistic King Arthur. Clark performed the role with Virginia’s Ash Lawn Opera in 2009, where one critic said, “Peter Clark’s King Arthur had a serenity mixed with a genuine tenderness and a vulnerability that I found irresistible.” The role of love-torn Queen Guenevere will be played by Soprano Marissa McGowan, who, in a previous production of the musical, was lauded for her “sweet, pure singing voice… no one could have given the role more star appeal and more humanity than McGowan does.” Baritone Eugene Brancoveanu returns to Virginia Opera as the dashing Sir Lancelot, after having previously performed as Marcello in the critically-acclaimed production of La bohème (2009).
Performance Dates and Ticket Information
Tickets go on sale to the public today through all three venues and range from $35 to $100. The production opens on Friday, Jan. 11, in Virginia Beach, Va., and is scheduled to appear as follows:
Sandler Center for the Performing Arts (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Fri. Jan. 11, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 13, 2013 at 2:30 p.m.
Christopher Newport University’s Ferguson Center for the Arts (Newport News, Va.)
Wed., Jan. 16, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Landmark Theater (Richmond, Va.)
Sun., Jan. 20, 2013 at 2:30 p.m.