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VIRGINIA OPERA BRINGS WAGNER'S "THE VALKYRIE" TO GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY'S CENTER FOR THE ARTS
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS
WAGNER’S “THE VALKYRIE”
Friday, Feb. 18, 2011 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011 at 2 p.m.
FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 11, 2010 – The Virginia Opera brings Richard Wagner’s epic masterpiece, “The Valkyrie,” to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Friday, Feb. 18, 2011 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011 at 2 p.m. “The Valkyrie” is the second opera in Wagner's magnificent tetralogy, “The Ring Cycle”; it follows “Das Rheingold” and precedes “Siegfried” and “Götterdämmerung.” In this magnum opus based on Norse and Teutonic myths, a powerful god is torn between conflicting loyalties among his mortal and divine children in his desire to possess a powerful ring that will make him omnipotent. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to each performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III. Pre-performance discussions are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.
“Possibly THE most famous, exhilarating piece of operatic music was written to describe the Valkyries, young, beautiful and immortal, cavorting about in the clouds on winged horses, on their way to Walhalla with their treasure of courageous humanity,” says Lillian Groag, who directs the production. “The ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ has been ‘in the top ten’ since Wagner put it on the charts in 1870, and has served Bugs Bunny, as well as Francis Ford Coppola in ‘Apocalypse Now.’ Such is the power of this incredible music.”
Tenor Erik Nelson Werner, who sings the role of Siegmund, was the winner of the 2008 Liederkranz Singing Competition in the Wagner division. Soprano Melissa Citro will sing the role of Sieglinde; she was a scholarship winner at both the Juilliard School and Westminster Choir College. Brünnhilde will be sung by soprano Kelly Cae Hogan, who will delight audiences with her powerful voice and impressive stage presence. Bass-baritone Bryan Glenn Davis will be Wotan, who is a recent finalist in the Opera Columbus, Richard Tucker and Metropolitan Opera competitions. The part of Fricka will be sung by mezzo-soprano Nina Lorcini, a Canadian-British native of Montréal and a fourth-generation professional musician. Singing the part of Hunding is bass Todd Robinson who is returning to Virginia Opera’s stage after his performance as Don Alfonso in “Così Fan Tutte.”
The Valkyries will be played by an ensemble of talented women. Soprano Michelle Owens will sing the part of Helmwige. Soprano Elizabeth Houge will sing the part of Gerhilde. Orthinde will be sung by soprano Joyce Lundy. The part of Waltraute will be sung by soprano Rachel J. Holland. Siegrune will be sung by soprano Nicole Jenkins. Rossweisse will be sung by soprano Dianne Barton. Grimgerde will be sung by mezzo-soprano Heather Sreves. Schwertleite will be sung by mezzo-soprano Sarah Williams.
Joseph Rescigno is the guest conductor for Virginia Opera’s production of Wagner’s “The Valkyrie,” Rescigno has served since 1981 as artistic advisor and principal conductor of the Florentine Opera Company in Milwaukee, where he conducts some of the company’s most challenging and exciting repertory. He has conducted symphonies, concertos, operas and oratorios for more than 50 companies on four continents. “Maestro Joseph Rescigno is a luminary in the opera world, with a sterling reputation and tremendous experience. The musicians and I are very grateful to him for agreeing to conduct Virginia Opera’s Wagner production,” says JoAnn Falletta, music director of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
“The Valkyrie” will be an action-packed three hours, not including intermission, sung in German with English supertitles. The orchestra for this Virginia Opera production is provided by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Images from Virginia Opera’s production of “The Valkyrie” will be available online at www.vaopera.orgpress. The Virginia Opera may also be found on the web, at vaopera.org, on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/VaOpera and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VaOpera.
Tickets for VIRGINIA OPERA’S production of WAGNER’S “THE VALKYRIE” are Friday: $44, $72, $86 and Sunday: $48, $80, $98. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu. 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 cfa.gmu.edu.
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.