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Virginia Opera Concludes Its 2016-2017 Season at George Mason University's Center for the Arts with Puccini's Turandot

February 22, 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 conclude its 2016-2017 season with Giacomo Puccini’s final opera Turandot. The production will be performed in the Concert Hall on Saturday, March 25 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 26 at 2 p.m.

Based on the ancient fable set in imperial China, this epic tale of revenge, power, and love follows the legendary Princess Turandot, who will marry only if a suitor can meet her challenge: answer three riddles correctly or face doom. When a young handsome prince succeeds, she still resists, so he offers a challenge of his own: learn his name by dawn and he will forfeit his life. Puccini’s extravagant and exotic score features one of the most stirring opera arias of all time—“Nessun Dorma.”

Virginia Opera’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, Adam Turner, commented "this extraordinary final masterpiece of Giacomo Puccini will positively delight our audiences, particularly with the immense vocal and instrumental forces assembled for our production. Turandot is always a spectacle, with an intensely colorful score, featuring some of the most breathtaking and dramatic music in all the repertory.”

Beloved Director Lillian Groag, no stranger to Virginia Opera, leads the internationally recognized cast of Turandot with her signature style on this epic production. The cast features familiar faces including soprano Kelly Cae Hogan as vengeful Turandot (Salome 2015) and tenor Derek Taylor as charming Prince Calaf (La Bohème 2009), and making their Virginia Opera debut are soprano Danielle Pastin as the heart-broken and emotionally tortured Lui, Puerto Rican bass Ricardo Lugo as the vanquished king Timur, and Virginia local John A. McGuire as the Emperor. 

Adding to the grand production, the marvelous Virginia Opera Chorus and Children’s Chorus will thrill audiences with their rousing and entertaining performance. The Richmond Symphony will provide the orchestra for this production. Turandot will be performed in Italian with English supertitles.

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

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.


Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications
703-993-8794 |

Hyla S. Helsel London, Interim Director of Marketing
703-993-9808 |