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Virginia Opera Presents Weber's Rarely Performed Der Freischütz (The Magic Marksman) at George Mason University's Center for the Arts 

January 10, 2017
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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 (FAIRFAX)—George Mason University’s Center for the Arts announced today that the Commonwealth’s opera company, Virginia Opera, will present a new production of Carl Maria Von Weber’s Der Freischütz (The Magic Marksman) performed in English with English supertitles. The production is being held in the Concert Hall on Saturday, February 4 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 5 at 2 p.m. Tickets start at $54 and are currently on sale to the public. 


The drama of Der Freischütz centers on Max, who is besotted with Agathe. To win her hand in marriage, he must demonstrate his prowess as a marksman. However, on the day of the event, things go awry and supernatural forces intervene. Max is tempted to use magic in order to gain the upper hand in this tale of good versus evil. Inspired by folk legend, Der Freischütz is the first of Germany’s great Romantic operas and is lauded for its expressive score, stark emotions, and strong sense of national identity. The piece launched the identity of German opera in the early 19th century. It inspired and influenced a young Richard Wagner, as well as provided one of the most famous sopranos of all time, Jenny Lind, her operatic debut in the role of Agathe. 


The last performance of Der Freischütz (The Magic Marksman) by a fully professional opera company in the United States took place 45 years ago at the Metropolitan Opera House. Virginia Opera will be offering Center for the Arts’ audiences the opportunity to appreciate this rarely seen gem and to luxuriate in the lush score and romantic supernatural story. Through this new production, the company also continues to strive to eliminate barriers and connect audiences through relevant artistic choices. While the piece is traditionally set in a Bohemian forest in the mid-17th century, Virginia Opera’s production moves the timeframe forward 100 years and places the characters in a rural southern American village of German immigrants. 


Internationally acclaimed Stage Director, Stephen Lawless (Falstaff 2013, Salome 2015) returns to direct this new production. Virginia Opera’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, Adam Turner, will lead the Virginia Symphony in this significant premiere. The design team for the production features Scenic Designer, Benoit Dugardyn; Costume Designer, Sue Willmington; Lighting Designer, Pat Collins; and Projections Designer, Driscoll Otto. Returning to Virginia Opera stages, tenor Corey Bix (The Flying Dutchman 2016) sings the role of Max and soprano Kara Shay Thomson reprises the role of Agathe. 


This performance will take place in the Center for the Arts’ Concert Hall located at 4373 Mason Pond Drive in Fairfax, Virginia. Tickets are available for purchase in person at the Center for the Arts Ticket Office (open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.), by calling 888-945-2468, or through the Center for the Arts website at cfa.gmu.edu. 


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 Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Mason is also one of the best values in higher education, producing graduates who lead all Virginia schools with the highest annual salaries. 


PRESS CONTACTS 


Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications
703-993-8794 | cdevlin6@gmu.edu 


Hyla S. Helsel London, Interim Director of Marketing
703-993-9808 | hhelsel@gmu.edu