Press Room

For Press Inquiries, please call 703-993-8794.

VIRGINIA OPERA: "FAUST" - 4/22 & 4/24

March 7, 2005
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’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS
PRESENTS
VIRGINIA OPERA’S PRODUCTION OF
GOUNOD’S
FAUST
Friday, April 22, 8PM & Sunday, April 24, 2:00PM

An opera in three acts by Charles Gounod
Libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré
Performed in French with English Digitext Supertitles
The scene is a village in 16th century Germany

– FEATURING –

The return of Virginia Opera veteran director Bernard Uzan for a traditional production
of this cornerstone of the French repertoire

Virginia Opera debuts of tenor Marcus McConico and soprano Amanda Borst
as the highly-believable love couple Faust and Marguerite

Mainstage company debut of young Metropolitan Opera bass Burak Bilgili as Méphistophélès


Fairfax, Virginia, March 7, 2005--The acclaimed Virginia Opera performs what has been long regarded by many as the highlight of the French grand opera tradition, Charles Gounod’s FAUST capping off Virginia Opera’s 30th Season. The April 22 and 24 performances at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts crown the company’s Northern Virginia season as part of the Great Performances at Mason series. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticketholders, is held 45-minutes prior to each curtain on the hall’s Grand Tier.

This masterpiece, filled with gorgeous melodies, rousing choruses and unforgettable characters, relates the timeless tale of the devil dealing with the aging Faust for the irresistible gift of youth and the love of the beautiful young Marguerite. Faust, of course, seals the bargain with his soul. The ultimate battle of good and evil plays out as heartbreak, destruction, death and eternal damnation take center stage.

The production (last staged in 1988) features the return of veteran stage director Bernard Uzan. Uzan earned praise from Virginia audiences and critics alike for the striking realism he infused in previous productions of LA TRAVIATA (2001), LA BOHÈME (2003) and ANDREA CHÉNIER (2003).

Virginia Opera Artistic Director Peter Mark comments on the production and his talented debuting cast, saying “In this new staging by French-American international stage director Bernard Uzan, we introduce a leading trio of noteworthy artists in ascendance on the opera scene today.Handsome tenor Marcus McConico debuts as Faust, coupled with our beautiful Marguerite, debuting soprano Amanda Borst.” And, continues Maestro Mark, “Our devilish Méphistophélès, Turkish bass Burak Bilgili, has already bowed at the Metropolitan Opera as Leporello in their production of DON GIOVANNI.” Mark stresses that introducing new vocal talent is integral to Virginia Opera’s mission.
The production will be sung in French with Digitext SuperTitles projected above the stage.
# # #

Tickets for VIRGINIA OPERA’S FAUST are $84, $68, $44. 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 Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the 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.