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Virginia Opera's NORMA, 4/7 & 4/9

March 23, 2006
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS PRESENTS VIRGINIA OPERA’S PRODUCTION OF VINCENZO BELLINI’S
NORMA
A lyric tragedy in four acts
Libretto by Felice Romani from the play “Norma” by Alexandre Soumet
Performed in Italian with English Digitext Supertitles
Performances, Friday, April 7 at 8PM & Sunday, April 9 at 2PM

FEATURING –
The return of international soprano Fabiana Bravo in
the powerful title role made famous by Maria Callas
Debuts of mezzo-soprano Stacey Rishoi as Adalgisa
and Spanish tenor German Villar as Pollione
New staging by Virginia Opera veteran director John Pascoe


Fairfax, Virginia, February 27, 2006—Virginia Opera concludes its 2005-2006 season with a production of Vincenzo Bellini’s blazing tragedy, Norma, April 7 at 8PM and April 9 at 2PM, at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts. Artistic discussions are held 45-minutes prior to each performance on the hall’s Grand Tier. A wine and cheese tasting is held on Friday, April 7, in the lobby, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Last seen here in 1994, the opera is the tale of the Druid priestess Norma, torn between a sense of duty to her people and a forbidden love for the Roman proconsul, Pollione – the father of her children, and leader of the forces occupying her lands.

The demanding title role is sung by Argentinean soprano Fabiana Bravo, known to Virginia Opera audiences for her sensational performances in The Marriage Of Figaro
(1999), Tosca (2001), and A Masked Ball (2002). Ms. Bravo, who was named the 1999 Argentine Woman of the Year for her contributions to the arts in her country, also sang the title role of Tosca – conducted by Virginia Opera Artistic Director Peter Mark – in China last summer for the grand opening of the brand new Shanghai Opera House in the city’s Oriental Arts Center.

The opera’s love triangle is completed by mezzo-soprano Stacey Rishoi (who has been heard at the Washington National Opera, Wolf Trap and other leading opera companies) as Adalgisa, and tenor German Villar as Pollione, in their Virginia Opera debuts.
British stage director John Pascoe, who directed Virginia Opera’s productions of Don Pasquale (2001) and The Barber Of Seville (2002), returns with a new staging of the production, which will be conducted by Maestro Peter Mark.

“Norma take us to the realm of the sublime,” said Maestro Mark. “No character in opera has a more intense, complex, or varied journey – and it makes the most extraordinary demands on the vocal and emotional expression on any singer who takes on the part. Having our own fabulous Fabiana Bravo return in this pinnacle role is the most magnificent and climactic way to finish this tremendous season of sensational sopranos.”

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Tickets for Virginia Opera’s Norma are $84, $68, $44. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 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.