Check out our 2023 Season page to learn more about our 2023 performances!
Education Initiative: Storytelling through Opera with The Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Virginia
Charlottesville, VA – In February and March of 2023, Charlottesville Opera began a new education initiative aimed at storytelling through opera. The initiative took place in conjunction with The Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Virginia, specifically the Journey and Cherry Avenue locations. Students took part in a 6 week series of sessions during which they
learned about opera,
wrote their own stories,
worked with singers to discover characters' emotions, and
presented the opera to the rest of their club members.
Two Classics Make Their Debut at Charlottesville Opera
(Charlottesville, VA) – Charlottesville Opera has announced plans to present two shows in the 2023 season that have never been produced in the company’s 45-year history: Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls and Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca. “We are excited to present these classic productions for our audience here in Charlottesville. Both shows exemplify what we all love about musical storytelling, great characters and captivating melodies,” says General Director Dr. Leanne Clement.
Guys and Dolls was the winner of the 1950 Tony Award for Best Musical and the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for drama. The show follows the unlikely love story of Sister Sarah Brown, a missionary trying to evangelize the wicked of New York City, and Sky Masterson, a high stakes gambler who has a hard time turning down any bet. Leading the cast of Guys and Dolls is Keith Phares as Sky Masterson. Opera News calls Phares’ voice a “fine lyric baritone” with “velvety beauty,” making him the perfect choice for the suave crooner. Mezzo-soprano Elise Quagliata stars alongside Phares as Sister Sarah Brown. The New York Times praised her performance with New York City Opera as “vocally and physically nuanced… vividly conveying the evolution of the character.”
Tosca is one of the top five most popular operas in the repertoire today. Puccini’s beautiful melodies permeate the story of a deadly love triangle set in Rome during the tumultuous time of Napoleon’s invasion. Mario Cavaradossi’s loyalty to his friends and country threatens his life. His love, Floria Tosca, attempts to obtain his freedom from the manipulative Baron Scarpia, who wants Tosca as his own. Veteran singing actor Todd Thomas appears as Baron Scarpia, a role he is also scheduled to sing for Florida Grand Opera earlier in 2023. Tenor Adam Diegel takes on the role of Cavaradossi, which he has previously sung with Seattle Opera, Palm Beach Opera, and most recently Opera Santa Barbara. Operawire.com describes Diegel’s voice as a “bright and shimmering lyric tenor.” In the title role, soprano Marsha Thompson leads the cast. A winner of the prestigious Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Award, and a student of the Marilyn Horne, Opera News praised her for singing “with a cascade of refined yet plush Italianate sound.”
Local performers will also be featured. Dr. Caroline Worra, Charlottesville Opera’s Artistic Director, comments, “The success of our last season was made possible by the incredible local singers who joined us as choristers. We are excited to once again offer opportunities for these individuals to work alongside world class professionals from across the country.”
Tosca and Guys and Dolls appear as the centerpiece of Charlottesville Opera’s 46th festival season that also offers concerts and semi-staged performances in various venues throughout June and July 2023. Performances will be held at The Paramount Theater. Dates and times to be announced.
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Charlottesville Opera is supported in part by an American Rescue Plan Act grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support general operating expenses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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