Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or


September 19, 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.

Maestro Peter Mark’s 30th Anniversary production with
Virginia Opera
OCTOBER 14 -16
Debut of soprano Cristina Nassif,
a Virginia Opera protégé, as Violetta Valery
Daniel Snyder, as Violetta’s romantic partner, Alfredo Germont
Return of veteran Verdi baritone Grant Youngblood as Giorgio Germont
A new staging by acclaimed
Broadway stage director Dorothy Danner

Fairfax, Virginia, September 8, 2005 – Fulfilling Virginia Opera’s mission of discovering and nurturing young artists, Virginia Opera Artistic Director Peter Mark has chosen soprano Cristina Nassif to sing the coveted leading role of Violetta in Verdi's romantic tragedy, LA TRAVIATA – the tale of a beautiful courtesan in 19th century Paris who sacrifices everything in the name of love. The company brings the production to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Friday, October 14 at 8PM and Sunday, October 16 at 2PM. Pre-performance discussions, free to ticketholders, are held 45-minutes prior to each curtain on the hall’s Grand Tier.

“Cristina is an amazing and thrilling operatic singer,” said Mark. “She has an ample and colorful soprano instrument, which she uses with both technical precision and emotional abandon, combined with an exotic and alluring physicality, and a buoyant stage personality of abundant energy. She is one of the most exciting talents we have ever presented at Virginia Opera – and we have presented many, from Diana Soviero, to Renee Fleming to Fabiana Bravo!”
In 1975, Mark conducted LA TRAVIATA, his first opera with the company, during which he presented the young and dynamic Soviero as Violetta in her first ever Italian-language LA TRAVIATA. Soviero wowed Virginia Opera audiences with her debut and went on to have a major international career at La Scala in Milan, Royal Opera Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, and many other leading opera houses of the world.

"I am sure Cristina's performances will excite our audiences in the same way that Diana Soviero captured Virginia's heart 30 years ago,” said Mark, for whom this production brings full circle his three decades as Virginia Opera’s artistic director.
Another exciting talent – already heard, but not seen, as Voice of the Young Sailor in last season’s TRISTAN & ISOLDE – is handsome ex-Marine and former U.S. Army chorus soloist, tenor Daniel SnyderM, who will sing the role of Alfredo, Violetta’s romantic partner. Snyder has “an exceptionally strong, intense, and romantic voice,” declared Mark.

“One of the most versatile singers that we’ve had, capable of singing the demanding romantic leads and comic roles that he has performed around the world,” comments Peter Mark, speaking of veteran Verdi baritone Grant Youngblood who completes the Traviata triangle. Youngblood has already sung for Virginia Opera the title role of RIGOLETTO (2004); the charming Figaro in BARBER OF SEVILLE (2002); Count Di Luna in IL TROVATORE (1998); and the young romantic Silvio, in I PAGLIACCI (1997).

Veteran Broadway and Virginia Opera director Dorothy Danner brings a new period staging of this perennial masterwork to the Eduardo Sincango sets, which were built especially for the company. Danner earned praise from Virginia audiences and critics alike for her innovative staging of THE MERRY WIDOW (2004), DIE FLEDERMAUS (2003), Thea Musgrave’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL, (2002), and PORGY AND BESS (2000).
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Tickets for LA TRAVIATA are $84, $68 and $44. Charge by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit 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

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.