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VIRGINIA OPERA'S "CARMEN," 10/13 & 10/15

September 14, 2006
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
THE VIRGINIA OPERA PRODUCTION OF
CARMEN
Friday, October 13, 2006, 8:00 p.m.
and Sunday, October 15, 2006, 2:00 p.m.
-This production features two critically-acclaimed women from last season’s hit production of
La Traviata— soprano Cristina Nassif in the title role and veteran Broadway stage director Dorothy Danner
-Exciting Virginia Opera debuts of tenor Bryan Register as Don José
and soprano Catherine Cangiano as Micaëla
- A success story for Virginia Opera’s young artist training program with the return of baritone Eric Greene as Escamillo, and debut of new young artists


Fairfax, Virginia, September 12, 2006— Georges Bizet’s universally popular Carmen opens Virginia Opera’s 2006- 2007 Season at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Friday, October 13, 2006 at 8:00 p.m., with a second performance on Sunday, October 15, 2006 at 2:00 p.m., featuring soprano Cristina Nassif as the seductive Spanish gypsy with an eye for men in uniform. A pre-performance discussion is held 45-minutes prior to each performance on the Hall’s Grand Tier.

“Cristina is a natural Carmen,” says Artistic Director and Conductor Peter Mark. “Beyond her obvious physical appeal, beauty and spectacular vocal ability, Cristina exudes the mixture of sensuality, security and spirit that has unabashedly mesmerized audiences across the globe about this spunky character for more than a century.” Broadway stage director and choreographer Dorothy Danner, who fashioned the critically- acclaimed hit production of last season’s La Traviata for Ms. Nassif, returns to direct this season’s opener.

American tenor Bryan Register makes his company and role debut as Carmen’s love struck corporal, the soldier Don Jose. Soprano Catherine Cangiano, whose career has already earned her several rave reviews in the United States and Europe, makes her company debut as Micaëla. Baritone Eric Greene (La Bohème, 2003; Rigoletto and Fidelio, 2004) returns for his eighth production with Virginia Opera.

Former and current members of Virginia Opera’s Spectrum Resident Artist program – including Mr. Green and Ms. Nassif, who both enjoyed residencies at Virginia Opera – comprise half the cast of Carmen, confirming
the success of this unique program to identify and train the best young talent in the world of opera.

“True to our original mission, Virginia Opera continues to identify, train, and present the most exciting up-and-coming young singers of each successive generation,” says Maestro Mark. “This is reflected in the youth, the quality, and the versatility of the artists in the casting of this true-to-age production of Carmen.”

The production is sung in French with Digitext SuperTitles projected above the stage.

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Tickets for Virginia Opera’s Carmen are $86, $72, $44 (Friday), and $90, $76, $48 (Sunday). 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