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Lana Sadowski, Hampton Roads                   

Ellen  Bender, Central and Northern Virginia

Thwarting expectations with the standard repertoire

 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. 

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Review: Virginia Opera ‘Barber of Seville’ goes beyond memorable

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.

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Virginia Opera pairs two works in unique way

For over a hundred years, Ruggero Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci” has been an opera in search of a mate. Too short to stand alone(though some companies have economically tried to do just that), it is frequently paired with another Italian work, “Cavalleria Rusticana.” For the first production of its new season, Virginia Opera took an unusual approach – it joined the opera to a previously unheard (in Hampton Roads) 1933 work by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, “The Seven Deadly Sins.” It made for a musically and theatrically stimulating evening.

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