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VIRGINIA OPERA PRESENTS COMPANY PREMIERE OF ANDRÉ PREVIN’S “A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE” ON MARCH 1 & 3
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS
WITH THE COMPANY PREMIERE
OF ANDRÉ PREVIN’S “A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE”
BASED ON TENNESSEE WILLIAMS’ PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING PLAY
Friday, March 1, 2013 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 2 p.m.
FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 29, 2013 – Virginia Opera, the Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, brings its company premiere of André Previn’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 2 p.m. The third installment in Virginia Opera’s American opera cycle, this modern masterpiece blends the sultry and fiery drama of Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play with a brilliant score, creating a musical experience that will enchant both opera devotees and newcomers alike. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to each performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III and is sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.
This haunting tale tells the story of Blanche DuBois, a fading and fragile Southern belle who attempts to leave her shadowy past behind when she moves into her sister’s home in the steamy underbelly of urban New Orleans. But violent clashes and sexual tension with her brutish and bitter brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski, lead to the story’s shocking climax, which drives Blanche even further into her own delusions and away from reality.
Tennessee Williams’ play premiered on Broadway in 1947 and earned the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1948. Pianist, conductor and composer André Previn, in collaboration with librettist Philip Littell, adapted and composed the opera, which was his first operatic work. “A Streetcar Named Desire” was premiered by the San Francisco Opera in 1998, and earned Previn the Grand Prix du Disque.
Acclaimed director Sam Helfrich, who directed Virginia Opera’s production of Philip Glass’ “Orphée” last season, was thrilled about the opportunity to explore the opera’s iconic and memorable characters. “As our production developed, we naturally became interested in the interplay among the three principal characters, and in exploring their inner lives and motivations,” Helfrich said. “We all know that these are psychologically rich characters—that’s why Williams is considered a master—and in our production, we’ve attempted to highlight the most essential elements of the situation, striving to identify the basic, primal motivations that drive the characters toward their fates.”
This production features the company debut of renowned conductor Ari Pelto, who has recently led performances by many of the nation’s leading opera companies, including New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and San Francisco Opera.
Returning to Virginia Opera for this production is soprano Kelly Cae Hogan, who received praise for her appearances 1998’s “The Merry Widow” and as Brünnhilde in 2011’s “Die Walküre.” Hogan stars as the former debutante Blanche DuBois. Soprano Julia Ebner, who wowed audiences in last season’s “Hansel and Gretel” and “The Mikado,” also returns to Virginia Opera as Blanche’s sister and the family peacemaker, Stella Kowalski. Making their company debuts are baritone David Adam Moore as the menacing Stanley Kowalski, and Scott Ramsay, who The New York Times’ Anthony Tommasini praised for his “impressive … bright-voiced tenor” as Blanche’s would-be suitor, Harold “Mitch” Mitchell. The Virginia Opera Orchestra for this production is provided by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
“A Streetcar Named Desire” will be sung in English with English supertitles. Images will be available online at www.vaopera.org/news-media in the coming weeks. Virginia Opera may also be found on the web at www.vaopera.org, on Twitter at @vaopera and on Facebook at Facebook.com/VaOpera.
Tickets for VIRGINIA OPERA’S production of “A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE” are Friday: $44, $72 and $86 and Sunday: $48, $80 and $98. Visit the box office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu. The Center for the Arts complex is located on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the Mason Pond Parking Deck adjacent the Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university Lot K. For more information, please visit cfa.gmu.edu. Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/gmucfa and follow us on Twitter at @GMU_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
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.