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VIRGINIA OPERA PRESENTS DONIZETTI'S "LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR"

March 24, 2008
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
CENTER FOR THE ARTS
PRESENTS
THE VIRGINIA OPERA’S PRODUCTION OF
DONIZETTI’S "LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR"
Friday, April 18, 2008 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 20, 2008 at 2 p.m.

 

Fairfax, VA, March 24, 2008 – Virginia Opera invites the public to don kilts and tartans for its final production of the season, Gaetano Donizetti’s "Lucia di Lammermoor," which will take audiences on a powerful musical and dramatic journey to the hills of 18th century Scotland. The Virginia Opera performs this tale of tragic romance at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Friday, April 18 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 20 at 2 p.m. The Virginia Opera’s Artistic Director Peter Mark conducts the April 18th performance and Assistant Artistic Director Joseph Walsh conducts the April 20th performance.

Based on the popular novel “The Bride of Lammermoor” by Sir Walter Scott, Donizetti’s masterpiece follows to its shocking and tragic conclusion the story of a secret love between Lucia and Edgardo, members of rival Scottish families that have engaged in bloody feuding for generations.

“We are taking a serious dramatic approach to this instead of the stock ‘warhorse’ production that is so often seen and heard,” says Virginia Opera Artistic Director Peter Mark. “While this is a singer’s opera – and we certainly have the singers – we are also fortunate to have Dorothy Danner returning in the director’s chair to help create an experience that she describes a true 'adventure story.' Her history of incredible success with us leaves me no doubt that we are indeed in for a great adventure.” Danner previously directed the acclaimed Virginia Opera productions of "Susannah" (2006), "Carmen" (2006), "La Traviata" (2005) and "The Merry Widow" (2005).

Starring in the title role is the beautiful returning French soprano Manon Strauss Evrard, who received rave reviews as all four leading ladies in the company's season opener, "The Tales of Hoffmann." As Lucia, Strauss Evrard will tackle the back-to-back arias of the famous “mad scene” – a marathon tour-de-force for operatic sopranos that is generally acknowledged to include some of the most challenging, vulnerable and exposed sections written for voice; yet has been a breakthrough vehicle for a diverse array of stars, including Lily Pons, Beverly Sills, Maria Calla and Dame Joan Sutherland. This will be Strauss Evrard's first appearance in the title role.

“Manon’s performances in Hoffmann were astounding,” said Mark, who is convinced that she is on her way to operatic stardom. “When you come right down to it, though, the mad scene is much more demanding than any single aria in 'Hoffmann.' It is a mature role, and we are fortunate to have a talent like Manon who not only looks the part, but is also able to perform it with personal distinction at such a relatively young age.”

Making his Virginia Opera debut as Edgardo – Lucia's secret love, and a member of the rival Ravenswood family – is Spanish tenor Israel Lozano. Also debuting are Romanian baritone Sebastian Catana as Enrico – Lucia's brother and lord of the Ashton family – and American bass Christian Van Horn as Raimondo, Lucia's tutor.

Performances will be sung in Italian with Digitext
Supertitles projected above the stage. The estimated running time, including two intermissions, is two hours and 45 minutes.


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

Tickets for Virginia Opera’s Lucia di Lammermoor 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.