Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or


February 23, 2012
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.





Friday, March 23, 2012 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 2 p.m.


FAIRFAX, Va., Feb. 17, 2012 – The Virginia Opera closes its 2011-12 season with Gilbert and Sullivan’s cheeky and deliciously witty masterpiece, “The Mikado,” which they wrote to satirize the social mores of Victorian society. The Virginia Opera brings “The Mikado” to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 2 p.m. 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.

Arguably one of the most popular operas ever written and one of the most often performed, this brilliant and ridiculously funny tale is set in the fictional Japanese town of Titipu, where everything has gone topsy-turvy after The Mikado outlaws flirting. Yum-Yum, a beautiful schoolgirl, is engaged to be married to her guardian, Ko-Ko, despite her love for the romantic, wandering minstrel, Nanki-Poo, who is also the errant son of the Mikado. Will these two young lovers find their happily-ever-after or will heads roll? The most popular work of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, “The Mikado” opened at the Savoy Theatre in London in 1885 and ran for 672 consecutive performances – a record at that time.

Maestro Gerald Steichen returns to conduct Richmond Symphony Orchestra, after receiving stellar reviews for conducting Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” earlier this season. The production will be directed by acclaimed stage director Dorothy Danner, who directed “Madama Butterfly” last season, among many other productions for the Virginia Opera in past years. Adam Turner, the Virginia Opera’s resident conductor, serves as the chorus master for this production.

Six talented American and Canadian singers will be making their Virginia Opera debuts as principal artists: soprano Katherine Jolly stars as the sweet schoolgirl and lovebird, Yum-Yum; soprano Dorothy Byrne stars as Katisha, Yum-Yum’s rival; tenor Matthew Plenk stars as the wandering minstrel and object of Yum-Yum’s affection, Nanki-Poo; bass Kevin Burdette stars as Ko-Ko, the tailor-turned-Lord High Executioner and Yum-Yum’s betrothed; bass baritone Aaron St. Clair Nicholson appears as Pooh-Bah, the “Lord High Everything Else”; and bass Jeffrey Tucker appears as The Mikado.

Four Virginia Opera Emerging Artists also appear in this highly anticipated new production: baritone Cairan Ryan debuts as the noble lord, Pish-Tush; mezzo-soprano Megan Marino appears with the Virginia Opera for the first time as Pitti-Sing, one of Ko-Ko’s wards; and bass Max Wier appears as A Noble. Having made her Virginia Opera debut as Gretel in “Hansel and Gretel” earlier this season, soprano Julia Ebner returns in the role of Peep-Bo, another of Ko-Ko’s wards.

“The Mikado” will be performed in English with English supertitles. Images will be available online at www.vaopera.orgpress in the coming weeks. The Virginia Opera may also be found on the web, at, on Twitter at and Facebook at



Tickets for VIRGINIA OPERA’S production of GILBERT & SULLIVAN’S “THE MIKADO” are Friday - $44, $72, $86 and Sunday - $48, $80, $98. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit 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


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

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. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.