Lana Sadowski, Hampton Roads firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellen Bender, Central and Northern Virginia email@example.com
This month, The Agenda News features Virginia Opera’s 3rd production, The Magic Marksman.
Virginia Opera presents its third production of the 2016-2017 Season with The Magic Marksman (Der Freischütz) by Carl Maria von Weber in Norfolk, Richmond and Fairfax from January 27, 2017 through February 19, 2017.
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.
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.
When the verismo style hit stages in Italy, people took notice.
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.
Last May, a visually stylish, strongly cast production of Gounod’s “Romeo et Juliette” filled the stage of the Lyric Opera House. If only seats in the theater had been filled, too.
Virginia Opera is committed to bringing new works to Hampton Roads, as well as satisfying fans who love the classics. This season’s opening production shows how that works.