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VIRGINIA OPERA: "FIDELIO" - APRIL 2 & 4

March 10, 2004
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR THE ARTS PRESENTS
VIRGINIA OPERA’S PRODUCTION OF
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN’S
TRIUMPHANT
FIDELIO
Friday, April 2, 8:00 p.m. & Sunday, April 4, 2:00 p.m.
Libretto by Joseph Sonnleithner & Friedrich Treitschke


Fairfax, Virginia, March 3, 2004—Virginia Opera concludes its 2003-2004 Season in Fairfax with Fidelio, Beethoven’s eloquent salute to freedom and condemnation of oppression. This Virginia Premiere Series production is directed by Lillian Groag (Die Walküre/2002), with set design by Michael Ganio in his Virginia Opera debut. Maestro Peter Mark conducts all performances. The production is sung in German with English translations projected above the stage. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticketholders, is held 45-minutes prior to the curtain on the hall’s Grand Tier.

Returning to the stage after collaborating together in Virginia Opera’s 2002 production of Wagner’s Die Walküre are Thomas Rolf Truhitte as Florestan, Susan Marie Pierson as Leonore and Charles Robert Austin as Rocco. Making their Virginia Opera debuts are Serena Benedetti as Marzelline and Derrick Parker as Don Pizarro.

Unjustly jailed by a murderous governor, Florestan languishes in a secret dungeon. Desperate to find him and willing to die if she must, his wife Leonore adopts the disguise of a man – Fidelio- and becomes the jailer’s assistant, hoping somehow to free her beloved husband.

Between the first and final versions of Beethoven’s only opera, he was composing many of his greatest works even as the world recoiled from a Napoleonic vision which incorporated raw aggression and tyranny. It is no wonder that Fidelio is infused with much more than its title "conjugal love" implies. One need only refer to an excerpt from a letter Beethoven wrote to his librettist, "this opera will win me a martyr's crown. You have by your co-operation saved what is best from the shipwreck. For all this I shall be eternally grateful to you," to realize how the creation of Fidelio was truly a labor of love. This Virginia Opera production honors Beethoven’s original vision in this homage to freedom with its insightful casting, innovative staging, and Maestro Mark’s always highly-praised conducting.

Tickets for VIRGINIA OPERA’S FIDELIO are $42-$78. Charge by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.