• Press Release

Casting Details Announced for Virginia Opera’s 2022-2023 Season



Words and Images Courtesy of the Virginia Opera


Company’s 48th Season includes The Valkyrie, The Pirates of Penzance, Fellow Travelers and La Traviata

Hampton Roads, Richmond, Fairfax, VA (June 9, 2022)— Virginia Opera is pleased to announce casting details for its 48th Season. Performances will take place at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, Virginia, the Carpenter Theatre at the Dominion Energy Center in Richmond, Virginia, and at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Orchestras for the planned productions will include both the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Richmond Symphony.

The 2022-2023 Season opens with Richard Wagner’s The Valkyrie (Die Walküre). Building on the momentum of our epic Das Rheingold produced at Topgolf, The Valkyrie (Die Walküre) will continue Wagner’s legendary Ring cycle, followed by Siegfried in 2023-2024 and concluding with Twilight of the Gods (Götterdämmerung) to open the 50th Anniversary Season in 2024-2025.

In a thrilling new production with scenic and costume design by Hampton Roads-native Court Watson, (Three Decembers, 2022; La Bohčme: Rodolfo Remembers, 2021), The Valkyrie (Die Walküre) will be conducted by Virginia Opera’s Artistic Director Adam Turner, and features the company debut of innovative stage director and projection designer Joachim Schamberger. Internationally acclaimed bass-baritone Kyle Albertson returns to reprise his role as Wotan (Das Rheingold, 2021), bass Ricardo Lugo returns in the role of Hunding, and we welcome the mainstage debuts of several fast-rising performers, including Alexandra Loutsion, Richard Trey Smagur, Meghan Kasanders, and Claudia Chapa.

The Pirates of Penzance, the Gilbert & Sullivan family-friendly favorite, continues the season in November 2022. Performances in Norfolk and Fairfax are conducted by Artistic Director Adam Turner, with Richmond performances led by Assistant Conductor & Chorus Master Brandon Eldredge. Kyle Lang (The Marriage of Figaro, 2022; Cinderella, 2020; Elixir of Love, 2019; Lucia di Lammermoor, 2018), renowned for his “finely detailed directing [and] assured continual visual interest,” returns as Director and Choreographer for the production. Pirates will feature two distinguished alumni of Virginia Opera’s Herndon Foundation Emerging Artists Program: tenor Martin Bakari (Romeo and Juliet, 2016), and baritone Troy Cook (Orpheus in the Underworld, 2015). Following his triumphant debut in last season’s Das Rheingold, bass-baritone Aubrey Allicock returns to perform the role of the Pirate King. Critically acclaimed artists making their company debuts include soprano Amy Owens as Mabel, and mezzo-soprano Lucy Schaufer as Ruth, in addition to several current members of the Emerging Artists Program: Kaileigh Riess, Taylor-Alexis DuPont, Kyle White, and Jeremy Harr.

In early 2023, the work of Virginia Beach-native and composer Gregory Spears will be featured in the Commonwealth premiere of Fellow Travelers. The New Yorker hailed the composer for “the intimate power of Spears’s musical voice, which is unlike that of any composer now working.” This production of Fellow Travelers is part of Virginia Opera’s renewed commitment to featuring contemporary work in its mainstage repertory. Artistic Director Adam Turner conducts, and Kevin Newbury (Hansel and Gretel, 2011; Rappahannock County, 2011 World Premiere) returns as Director. Noted for his “buttery baritone luxuriant and robust,” Joseph Lattanzi (Cinderella, 2020; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2018) returns to perform the role of Hawkins Fuller, a role he created for the 2016 world premiere at Cincinnati Opera. New to the Virginia Opera mainstage are several dynamic performers, including Andres Acosta, Katherine Pracht, Katrina Thurman, Joshua Jeremiah, and local performer John Fulton.

Considered one of the most popular operas across the globe, the season concludes with the crowd-pleasing La Traviata, in a remounting of the traditional production first seen by audiences in the 2014-2015 Season. On the podium is Artistic Director Adam Turner, and making her Virginia Opera directorial debut is Tara Faircloth. Hailed by The New York Times for her “warm, ample voice,” “ravishing performance,” and “distinctive earthy coloring,” soprano Brandie Sutton appears as Violetta in her Virginia Opera mainstage debut. Also making his mainstage debut, tenor Won Whi Choi is featured as Alfredo, a role he triumphantly performed in his Metropolitan Opera debut. Grant Youngblood reprises the iconic role of Germont, having been last seen on our stages in the same role (La Traviata, 2005). Several of Virginia Opera’s Emerging Artists perform in the production, including the mainstage debut appearance of tenor Fran Daniel Laucerica as Gastone.

Season ticket purchasers will have the opportunity to add on a recital concert by Virginia Opera’s Creative Partner and Advisor, renowned baritone Will Liverman. This special concert in Hampton Roads and Richmond will feature Artistic Director Adam Turner as pianist and is offered exclusively to subscribers and donors.

Peggy Kriha Dye, General Director and CEO of Virginia Opera: “Next season’s line up is outstanding. Continuing, and ultimately completing Wagner’s Ring Cycle is a milestone for any company, and we are proud to be counted among the few that will have accomplished such a worthy undertaking. We expect the entire family to enjoy The Pirates of Penzance, and are thrilled to continue to present contemporary American work with Fellow Travelers. We will toast the end of the season with everyone’s favorite opera party in La Traviata. These mainstage productions will be complemented by exciting new programming and partnerships in our communities generated as a result of our Strategic Plan which will be completed before the summer months.”

Adam Turner, Artistic Director of Virginia Opera: "Artistically, the season offers wide-ranging and diverse selections - from cherished hallmarks of the operatic repertory to compelling and fresh perspectives, there's truly something for everyone. Furthering our journey into Richard Wagner's epochal Ring Cycle with the second installment, The Valkyrie (in an orchestral version by Jonathan Dove), we will continue to plumb the depths of human nature, with the timeless themes of power and love providing endless discovery. Developed by an inspired core team of creative partners and designers, the cohesive presentation of VO's first-ever Ring Cycle will evolve over the next three years, proving to be a captivating and monumental achievement in the company's history. Fan-favorites La Traviata and Pirates remind us why we all fell in love with this wonderful art form, while also providing us the opportunity to introduce impressive new talent to our audiences. With the Commonwealth premiere of Fellow Travelers, we welcome a thrilling new voice in classical music - composer Gregory Spears, one of Virginia's own! And finally, I'm overjoyed to collaborate as pianist alongside VO's Creative Partner and Advisor, Will Liverman, another one of Virginia's own who is playing a major role in steering the world of opera in the 21st century. All in all, we have an exceptional season lined up!"

2022-2023 Season – Production Information

The Valkyrie (Die Walküre)

Richard Wagner

Adaptation by Jonathan Dove and Graham Vick

Orchestrated by Jonathan Dove

Harrison Opera House, Norfolk | September 30, October 1 & 2

Center for the Arts at George Mason University, Fairfax | October 8 & 9

Dominion Energy Center, Richmond | October 14 & 16

Sung in German with English surtitles.

Featuring the Virginia Symphony Orchestra

Immerse yourself in the drama as the saga of the Ring enters the mortal realm. Following the hit production of Das Rheingold last year, Virginia Opera continues the story with The Valkyrie! Adapted from the vivid landscape of Norse mythology, Valkyrie explores a hero’s destiny and a confrontation between gods that places human emotion at center stage. The journey of Wagner’s four-opera Ring cycle will continue, with Siegfried in 2023 and Twilight of the Gods in 2024.

Adam Turner, Conductor

Joachim Schamberger*, Director & Projection Designer

Court Watson, Scenic & Costume Designer

Kyle Albertson, Wotan

Alexandra Loutsion*, Brünnhilde

Richard Trey Smagur*, Siegmund

Meghan Kasanders*, Sieglinde

Claudia Chapa*, Fricka/Waltraute

Ricardo Lugo, Hunding

Lesley Anne Friend*, Helmwige

Adriane Kerr, Rossweisse

The Pirates of Penzance

W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

Harrison Opera House, Norfolk | November 4, 5, 6

Center for the Arts at George Mason University, Fairfax | November 12 & 13

Dominion Energy Center, Richmond | November 18 & 20

Sung in English with English surtitles.

Featuring the Virginia Symphony Orchestra

A young apprentice pirate with no stomach for a future of piracy is due to be released from his required service on his twenty-first birthday… Trouble is, fate might just intervene with the plan. With his newly found sweetheart, a long-winded but well-intentioned father, and a Pirate King boss with his own merry band of buccaneers, The Pirates of Penzance is a modern, major spectacle for the entire family.

Adam Turner, Conductor (N, F); Brandon Eldredge, Conductor (R)

Kyle Lang, Director

Troy Cook†, Major-General Stanley

Aubrey Allicock, The Pirate King

Martin Bakari†, Frederic

Amy Owens*, Mabel

Lucy Schaufer*, Ruth

Jeremy Harr*^, Sergeant of Police

Kyle White*^, Samuel

TBA, Edith

Taylor-Alexis DuPont*^, Kate

Kaileigh Riess*^, Isabel

Fellow Travelers

Gregory Spears

Libretto by Greg Pierce

Based on the 2007 novel “Fellow Travelers” by Thomas Mallon

Harrison Opera House, Norfolk | January 27, 28, 29

Center for the Arts at George Mason University, Fairfax | February 4 & 5

Dominion Energy Center, Richmond | February 10 & 12

Sung in English with English surtitles.

Featuring the Virginia Symphony Orchestra

The 1950s had its own sense of style, and its very real problems. Fellow Travelers follows the story of a love affair between two men caught in the turbulent moment of Senator Joe McCarthy’s “Lavender Scare” – an overt policy to drive homosexuality out of government service. The very real struggles resulting from this witch-hunt end in a stunning act of betrayal. A Commonwealth premiere by Virginia-native, composer Gregory Spears.

Adam Turner, Conductor

Kevin Newbury, Director

Joseph Lattanzi, Hawkins Fuller

Andres Acosta*, Timothy Laughlin

Katherine Pracht*, Mary Johnson

Katrina Thurman*, Miss Lightfoot

Joshua Jeremiah*, Sen. McCarthy/Estonian Frank/Interrogator

Kaileigh Riess^, Lucy

Kyle White^, Tommy McIntyre

John Fulton*, Senator Charles Potter/General Arlie/Bartender

Jeremy Harr^, Sen. Potter’s Assistant/Bookseller/Priest/Technician/Party Guest

La Traviata

Giuseppe Verdi

Harrison Opera House, Norfolk | March 3, 4, 5

Center for the Arts at George Mason University, Fairfax | March 11 & 12

Dominion Energy Center, Richmond | March 17 & 19

Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Featuring the Richmond Symphony

Prepare to be swept away by one of opera’s most tragic love stories. The tale of the stunning courtesan Violetta and the hopelessly romantic Alfredo is woven with some of the best-known music in the repertoire. La Traviata’s high points are matched with tears in the tragic end.

Adam Turner, Conductor

Tara Faircloth*, Director

Brandie Sutton*, Violetta

Won Whi Choi*, Alfredo

Grant Youngblood, Germont

Fran Daniel Laucerica*^, Gastone

TBA, Baron Douphol

TBA, Marchese d’Obigny

Jeremy Harr^, Doctor Grenville

Taylor-Alexis DuPont^, Flora

Kaileigh Riess^, Annina

TBA, Giuseppe

Kyle White^, Flora’s Servant

* denotes VOA Mainstage Debut

^ denotes Herndon Foundation Emerging Artist

† denotes former Herndon Foundation Emerging Artist

Subscription Information

Subscription tickets for all 4 productions are on sale now for performances in Norfolk and Richmond starting as low as $75. Tickets for performances at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University will go on sale at a later date. Subscription tickets and ticket information at:

The Edythe C. and Stanley L.

Harrison Opera House

Norfolk, VA

866.673.7282

vaopera.org


Center for the Arts at George Mason University

Fairfax, VA

703.993.2787

cfa.gmu.edu


The Carpenter Theatre at

Dominion Energy Center

Richmond, VA

866.673.7282

vaopera.org


About Virginia Opera

Virginia Opera, the official opera company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, is one of the finest regional opera companies in the nation and is the only company to perform regularly in three separate main stage venues: the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, the Carpenter Theatre at the Dominion Energy Center in Richmond, and Center for the Arts at George Mason University in Fairfax. Organized in 1974, Virginia Opera is respected nationwide for the identification and presentation of the finest young artists, for the musical and dramatic integrity of its productions, and for the ingenuity and variety of its education and outreach programs.

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