Press Room

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


October 21, 2013
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, Dec. 6, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 at 2 p.m.


FAIRFAX, Va., Oct. 21, 2013 – Virginia Opera, the Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, continues its 2013-2014 season with a delightful production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s final opera, “The Magic Flute,” at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 at 2 p.m. A pre-performance discussion by Virginia Opera’s Glenn “Dr. Opera” Winters, 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.

Brought to life through the glorious voices of the Virginia Opera’s gifted singers, this profound and imaginative fairy tale about the triumph of good over evil follows the heroic adventures of Prince Tamino, and his friend, Papageno, the lonely birdcatcher, in their attempts to rescue the beautiful young maiden, Pamina, who has been kidnapped. The heroes encounter terrifying serpents, moody monarchs, powerful magicians and mysterious spirits in this fantastical opera, which is both a charming operetta and an exploration into the limits of loyalty and love. The final opera of Mozart’s career, “The Magic Flute” premiered in Vienna in 1791, just three months after the composer’s death. This remounting, following a 10-year absence from the Virginia Opera’s season repertory, is staged by director Michael Shell, who previously worked on Virginia Opera’s productions of “Susannah” and “Carmen.”

“What a privilege to return to Virginia Opera, a company that has provided me a wealth of professional experience over the years,” Shell said. “It is especially meaningful to me to bring this particular show to the stage having performed in the piece at New York City Opera as a young boy. How thrilling – my relationship with ‘The Magic Flute’ is now coming full circle!”

Members of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by Mark Russell Smith, director of orchestral studies at the University of Minnesota. Former music director of the Richmond Symphony, Maestro Smith will mark his first engagement at Virginia Opera since relocating to Minnesota.

The cast includes tenor Matthew Plenk as the noble Prince Tamino, a role he will also perform in the Metropolitan Opera’s production; Plenk last portrayed Nanki-Poo in the Virginia Opera’s production of “The Mikado” in 2012. Soprano Nadine Sierra makes her company debut as Pamina, while the quirky Papageno will be portrayed by baritone David Pershall, a former Virginia Opera Emerging Artist who appeared as Zurga in last season’s production of “The Pearl Fishers.” Sarastro will be performed by bass Kenneth Kellogg, who has appeared with the Wolf Trap Opera and Washington National Opera. Soprano Heather Buck will play the Queen of the Night, a role for which she was praised in her appearance in the English National Opera’s production; Buck made her company debut as La Princesse in 2012’s production of “Orphée” and as Leila in last season’s production of “The Pearl Fishers.”

“The Magic Flute” will be sung in English 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



Tickets for VIRGINIA OPERA’S production of “THE MAGIC FLUTE” are Friday: $86, $72 and $44; 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.