Spotlight News Hampton Roads
“Spring”ing Into Action: Introducing Virginia Opera’s Spring 2021 Season
Words and Image courtesy of Nathan Jacques and the Virginia Opera.
March is already right around the corner -where has the year gone?
Around this time last year, the COVID-19 pandemic cast arts organizations across the world in a role that would test their limits like never before; with no sure script in sight, artists from all over did with they did best…create. Through their passion and tenacity, new venues sprung up in lieu of those rendered unavailable, from curbside to couch, allowing for the arts to be delivered to hungry arts-lovers so incredibly easily, it was as though Amazon themselves were in charge. One could say these “unprecedented” [sigh] times acted as the ultimate improv class for arts companies everywhere.
Virginia is for lovers…arts lovers, most of all. Virginia Opera played an important part in remedying the Commonwealth’s craving for their timeless craft. It began with their alternate fall program Stayin’ Alive which worked to transform just about any space into a platform for opera to be enjoyed through. Home computer screens, parking lots, scenic terraces, gardens, staircases- you name it – hosted sundry engagements that many smiling faces -behind masks, of course- braved the cozy yet chilly spring air to take in, week after week, with lawn chairs and picnic blankets in tow.
The iconic Virginia company aims to continue the magic of art mid-corona by proposing their Spring 2021 Season, a brilliant array of delightful offerings with an extraordinary dash of variety -oh yeah, it’s THAT good.
Spearheading the new season is an eight-week long Masterclass Series featuring mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves. Digital episodes, premiering each Wednesday through March 17, 2021, are an exclusive benefit to Virginia Opera subscribers and donors. The masterclass equips viewers with an exclusive view of the operatic arts through the teachings of the accomplished Ms. Graves.
The second offering of Virginia Opera’s Spring Season is to be a classic experience with a virtual twist; patrons are invited to Cabaret with Us, featuring Virginia Opera’s Emerging Artists, who will host this exquisite evening of music. So, pour your favorite cocktail and join these talented young professionals for an unforgettable night on the town!
Virginia Opera is excited to debut a fully-staged production of Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, in partnership with the Virginia Arts Festival. Trouble in Tahiti, a one-act opera set in 1950s suburbia, follows a young married couple struggling to prioritize their relationship amidst the laundry list of demands in their daily lives. Audiences will love this infectiously jazzy 45-minute portrait of "domestic bliss" and find a glimmer of hope in its candid conclusion. Limited live performances will be presented in Norfolk and Richmond.
The final Feature of Virginia Opera’s 2021 Spring Season will be a magnificent Spring Gala, a fully digital fundraising event for the benefit of Virginia Opera.
Virtually Amazing Opera, Virginia Opera’s new digital learning platform launches with The Princess and the Pea, written by Dr. Glenn Winters. A fully-staged production, The Princess and the Pea is the adventure of a young woman who, while lost on her way to a costume party, battles against the Queen’s clever quest for the ultimate prize – a happily-ever-after with the handsome prince. Virtually Amazing Opera, Virginia Opera’s initiative to enrich local school curriculum, acts to present arts-based educational content through easily accessible venues, free of charge. Educators are encouraged to opt-in at vaopera.org/learn to receive supplementary content over the year. Future features in the educational program include a full staged digital production of John Davies’ Pinocchio as well as bite sized Brain Breaks! All available online.
More information regarding Virginia Opera’s 2021 Spring Season can be found by visiting the company’s website, vaopera.org.