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VIRGINIA OPERA PERFORMS MOZART'S SPICY MASTERPIECE "DON GIOVANNI" AT GMU'S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

February 2, 2010
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

AND

VIRGINIA OPERA

PRESENT

MOZART’S “DON GIOVANNI”

 Friday, Feb. 26, 2010 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010 at 2 p.m.

FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 15, 2010 Known for conveying the magnificence, excellence and musicality of great opera to throngs of delighted patrons each season, Virginia Opera brings the intense passion and dark humor of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” to the stage this spring. This 17th century twisted tale of seduction and deceit is inspired by the legend of “Don Juan,” the world’s greatest lover and cad. The Virginia Opera performs this spicy masterpiece at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Friday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III. Pre-performance discussions are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

Set in Seville in Spain, this classic melodramatic comedy tells the tale of an arrogant nobleman and reckless rake who seduces women before carelessly tossing them away. This notorious scoundrel has a list of amorous conquests so long it takes his servant an aria just to name them all. The Don’s former lovers pursue him attempting to get revenge, but in the end, this devious rogue gets his comeuppance when he refuses to repent from his evil ways. This luscious production is filled with deep human tragedy and uproarious comedy, as well as Mozart’s rapturous score, which thrilled audiences when the opera debuted in Prague on October 29, 1787.

Universally acclaimed for her powerful and expressive voice and her electric stage presence, soprano Cristina Nassif returns to sing the role of tormented Donna Elvira. Nassif has performed to spectacular reviews for Virginia Opera in “I Pagliacci” (2007), “Carmen” (2006), “La Traviata” (2005) and “The Magic Flute” (2003). Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for her “beautiful toneaccurate and clear from a lusty lower register through the crystalline high notes,” soprano Nicolle Foland makes her Virginia Opera debut as the enraged Donna Anna, who with her fiancé Don Ottavio, pursue Don Giovanni, seeking vengeance for the murder of her father. Extolled by The New York Times for a voice that is “fully powered and persuasively expressive,” baritone Matthew Worth makes his Virginia Opera debut as the seductive title character living through his libido only to find retribution through his passage into the flames of hell.

Another returning favorite is Lillian Groag (“Il Trovatore” (2008), “Tales of Hoffmann” (2007), “Agrippina” (2007), “Tristan & Isolde” (2005), “Turandot” (2004) and “Fidelio “(2004)) who brings her directorial expertise and passion to “Don Giovanni.” Associate Artistic Director and Associate Conductor Joseph Walsh will conduct. Walsh artfully conducted Virginia Opera’s production of Donizetti’s “The Daughter of the Regiment” in 2009—the company’s first production of the opera since 1979, and first-ever French version of the opera by the Virginia Opera. This production of “Don Giovanni” is entirely new with scenic design by Erhard Rom, lighting design by Mark McCullough and fight choreography by Gregg C. Lloyd. The set was built by Virginia Opera’s production team of Dave Young and Jason Tuthill during the summer of 2009 in Norfolk, Va. This is the same production team that built the critically acclaimed “Eugene Onegin” (2008) set.

The Virginia Symphony Orchestra accompanies the production, which is sung in Italian with English Digitext Supertitles projected above the stage. Virginia Opera may also be found on the web at http://www.vaopera.org, myspace.com/vaopera and youtube.com/vaopera.

 

Tickets for the VIRGINIA OPERA’S “DON GIOVANNI” are $86, $72, $44 (Friday) and $98, $80, $48 (Sunday). Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.gmu.edu/cfa. 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.

About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.

About George Mason University

Named the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country.  Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university.