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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS PRESENTS VIRGINIA OPERA WITH "CARMEN"     Friday, April 11, 2014 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 2 p.m.  

March 18, 2014
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.



                                 VIRGINIA OPERA


                         Friday, April 11, 2014 at 8 p.m.

                                   Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 2 p.m.


            FAIRFAX, Va., March 18, 2014 – Virginia Opera, the Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, presents Georges Bizet’s sultry tragedy about opera’s most famous femme fatale. “Carmen” comes to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Friday, April 11, 2014 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 2 p.m. A pre-performance discussion with Glenn “Dr. Opera” Winters, free to ticketholders, will be held 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.

            Thrilling audiences for more than a century, “Carmen” follows Don José and his ill-fated obsession with the alluring gypsy. When Carmen tosses aside the naïve corporal for the handsome toreador, Escamillo, Don José’s jealousy destroys them both. The four-act opera, which features a libretto written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, premiered at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on March 3, 1875. Though it was not an immediate success, Bizet’s sizzling story is now one of the most popular works in opera literature. Filled with passion, betrayal and jealousy, this heartrending tale features such beloved melodies as the well-known “Habanera,” and its fiery title role has attracted countless leading ladies, including Maria Callas, Grace Bumbry, Leontyne Price, Denyce Graves, Jessye Norman and Elina Garanca.

            Emmy-nominated playwright and director Tazewell Thompson, who last directed Virginia Opera’s 2012 production of “The Pearl Fishers,” returns to direct “Carmen.” Grammy and Tony Award-winning conductor John DeMain, who last conducted Virginia Opera’s 2011 production of  “Aida,” will lead the Richmond Symphony Orchestra in this performance.

            “The team that Virginia Opera brings to lead ‘Carmen’ has produced incredible opera both on our stage and in opera houses across the world,” said Russell P. Allen, president and CEO of Virginia Opera, who promised that audiences can expect a production of “Carmen” that will not disappoint.

            The role of the notorious vixen Carmen will be sung by Italian-American mezzo-soprano Ginger Costa-Jackson in her mainstage debut. A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and a Samling Scholar, Carmen is Costa-Jackson’s signature role, which she has performed more than 50 times. The smitten soldier Don José is sung by tenor Dinyar Vania in his Virginia Opera debut. Also making their Virginia Opera debuts are baritone Ryan Kuster as Don José’s dashing bullfighting rival, Escamillo, and soprano Corinne Winters as Micaëla, Don José’s innocent lover who gets caught in the middle of his tempestuous relationship with the gypsy temptress. Other principal roles will be filled by eight outstanding performers from Virginia Opera’s Emerging Artists Program.

“Carmen” will be performed in French 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 “CARMEN” 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 and Instagram 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.