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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS PRESENTS VIRGINIA OPERA WITH VERDI’S “FALSTAFF” A Company Premiere Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013 at 2 p.m.

August 19, 2013
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FAIRFAX, Va., Aug. 19, 2013 – Virginia Opera, the Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, presents Giuseppe Verdi’s final opera, “Falstaff,” at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013 at 2 p.m. Virginia Opera joins the worldwide celebration of the bicentennial of Verdi’s birth with this “First of Firsts” production. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticketholders, 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.

A pure comic gem to cap off a lifetime of tragic masterpieces and Verdi’s grand finale, “Falstaff” has long been admired for both its outstanding orchestration and its brilliant libretto, which is based on Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and “Henry IV.” Falstaff loves the ladies, but they don’t love him back! After a night of heavy drinking and bragging about the women he has romanced throughout the years, the aging, lecherous and corpulent knight attempts to woo two wealthy married women at the same time. However, his seduction plans backfire when the clever ladies team up to outwit the old rascal.

Joseph Rescigno, who last conducted Virginia Opera’s production of Wagner’s Die Walküre in 2011, returns to bring “Falstaff” to the stage with internationally acclaimed director Stephen Lawless. Hailed as “a genius” by Opera Magazine, Lawless has directed at the Metropolitan Opera, The New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, the Royal House Opera, the Vienna State Opera and the Nürnberg Opera among many others.

Baritone Stephen Powell, praised by The Wall Street Journal for his “commanding presence and thoughtful musicianship,” brings to life the title character as he makes his company and role debut. After performing the role of Ford with the Seattle Opera, baritone Weston Hurt resumes his role of the jealous husband for his debut with the Virginia Opera. Also making her company and role debut, soprano Elizabeth Caballero performs as Alice, the object of Falstaff’s affection and the wife of Ford. The orchestra for this production is provided by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

“Falstaff” will be sung in Italian with English supertitles. Images will be available online at in the coming weeks. Virginia Opera may also be found on the web at, on Twitter at @vaopera and on Facebook at

Virginia Opera returns with Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 at 2 p.m.; Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos” on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 at 2 p.m.; and Bizet’s “Carmen” on Friday, April 11, 2013 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 13, 2013 at 2 p.m.


Tickets for VIRGINIA OPERA’S production of “FALSTAFF” are Friday: $86, $72 and $44 and Sunday: $98, $80 and $48. Youth Discount: tickets are half price for youth through grade 12. 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 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 Like us on Facebook at 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, Art and 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.


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