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VIRGINIA OPERA PRESENTS TCHAIKOVSKY'S "EUGENE ONEGIN"

January 17, 2008
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS
PRESENTS
THE VIRGINIA OPERA’S PRODUCTION OF
PETER ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY’S
"EUGENE ONEGIN"
Friday, Feb. 22, 2008 at 8 p.m. 
Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008 at 2 p.m.

• Virginia Opera’s first-ever Russian opera in a new production with exciting directorial, performance, and design talent from Russia and the Ukraine
• Debut of handsome baritone Jason Detwiler in the title role, return of highly-acclaimed tenor Patrick Miller as Lensky
• The highly anticipated return of Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Barbara Dever

 

Fairfax, VA, Jan. 17, 2008 – For the first time in its 33-year history, Virginia Opera is proud to bring a Russian opera to the stage with its new production of Tchaikovsky’s heart-rending "Eugene Onegin" at George Mason University's Center for the Arts on Friday, Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. A pre-performance discussion is held 45 minutes prior to each performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

Based on the novel-in-verse by Alexander Pushkin, "Eugene Onegin" receives its name from the title character, a young aristocrat whose selfish arrogance causes him to reject the beautiful Tatiana. This, compounded by a fatal duel with his best friend, Lensky, delivers him into a state of tragic regret, desperate to reclaim a lost chance for love.

To present the most culturally authentic production possible, Virginia Opera Artistic Director Peter Mark has brought in talented artists from Russia and the Ukraine, all making company debuts:

• Russian-Israeli stage director Julia Pevzner, well-known for her traditional stagings
• Russian soprano Veronica Mitina – who like Tchaikovsky and Pushkin hails from St. Petersburg – in her company debut as Tatiana (video interview available online at youtube.com/vaopera)
• Ukrainian mezzo-soprano Oksana Sitnitska as Olga, Tatiana’s sister
• A new set by Russian-Israeli set designer Alexander Lisiyansky, built completely by the production crew at Virginia Opera – another “first” in the company’s history

Also making his company debut in the title role is handsome baritone Jason Detwiler. Lensky is sung by returning tenor Patrick Miller, who was highly-praised for his portrayal of Sam Polk in the Virginia Opera premiere of "Susannah" (2006). Behind the scenes, Miller also fills the real-life role of husband to Mitina.

“It is always exciting to explore completely new areas of the operatic repertoire, and we are thrilled to take our first step into the world of Russian opera with this new production,” said Mark, who conducts the performance in Fairfax.

New lighting from returning designer Mark McCullough will enhance the powerful new set.

Performances will be sung in Russian with Digitext Supertitles projected above the stage. The estimated running time, including one intermission, is two hours and 50 minutes.

 

"EUGENE ONEGIN" is proudly presented as part of Virginia Celebrates Russia – a cultural arts celebration offering Virginians a unique opportunity to discover the full beauty and richness of Russian culture through music, drama and art at events throughout the state. More information is available at www.vaopera.org/events.

PNC is the 2007-08 Season Sponsor for Great Performances.

Tickets for Virginia Opera’s Eugene Onegin are $86, $72, $44 (Friday), and $94, $78, $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

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.

About George Mason University

George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 35 law schools in the United States.