Charlottesville Opera’s 40th Summer Season  Begins This Month

July 6, 2017
Contact: Emilia delGrosso, 434.293.4500

Charlottesville Opera’s 40th Summer Season
 Begins This Month

The re-named Charlottesville Opera's 40th summer season begins later this month with performances at The Paramount Theater of Verdi’s tragic masterpiece, Rigoletto and
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s landmark musical, Oklahoma! . 

One of the greatest works in the operatic canon, Rigoletto tells the tragedy of a father
whose fervent attempts to protect his daughter from the dangers of the world cause her ruin.
Featuring several popular arias, Verdi’s depiction of the machinations and scandals of a
sixteenth-century Italian court remains haunting and all-too relevant today. For the second consecutive year, Charlottesville Opera will also bring a performance of its mainstage opera to the beautiful Anne and Ellen Fife Theater at Virginia Tech.

The cast stars fan-favorite Hyung Yun (Metropolitan Opera) as the title character. Yun was most recently seen with Charlottesville Opera as Germont in La traviata (2016), 
co-produced with The Oratorio Society of Virginia, and as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly 
(2015). He will be joined by Eglise Gutiérrez (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), who
has received acclaim as “one of opera’s next wave” from Opera News and has performed at some of the world's most prestigious opera houses, as Rigoletto’s beloved daughter Gilda, and Matthew Vickers (Virginia Opera) as the caddish Duke of Mantua.  
This production will also feature a dynamic ensemble made up of singers from
throughout Virginia. 

The 40th season concludes with Oklahoma!, the very first collaboration between composer Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Set in the Wild West at the turn of the century, this charming and heartfelt musical portrays the rivalry between a small town's farmers and cowboys, which is brought to a head by the romance between Laurey, an earnest farm girl, and Curly, a rugged cowboy. Oklahoma! is a special collaboration between Charlottesville Opera and Charlottesville Ballet, Charlottesville's only profesisonal dance company, to bring the musical's rousing dance numbers to life. 
Jennifer Zetlan (Metropolitan Opera), whom the New York Times described as having “a radiant, agile voice and excellent control,” stars as the charming farm girl Laurey. 
Tenor Nathan Granner (Opera Theatre of St. Louis) plays her star-crossed lover, Curly. Sharin Apostolou (Glimmerglass Festival) returns to Charlottesville Opera for a
third consecutive year following her triumphant portrayals of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (2015) and Nellie Forbush in South Pacific (2016) as the flirtatious Ado Annie.
Charlottesville Ballet is proud to include choreography by CB Artist Mary Hein, three
professional soloists, and a student ensemble. Featuring beloved songs including “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” and “People Will Say We’re In Love,” this classic musical will delight
adults and children alike. 

In addition to ticketed performances at The Paramount, Charlottesville Opera will offer a number of free events in the coming weeks.  On July 12th at 5:30 we will host our annual KidsFest, a free, open dress rehearsal for students participating in Charlottesville Parks and Recreation’s summer camps.  On July 17 at 4 pm Charlottesville Opera will offer a free lecture and reception at the Colonnade Club at UVa, featuring a talk by Professor Marva Barnett about the source of Rigoletto’s story:  Victor Hugo’s play Le roi s'amuse. 
On July 18 at 7:00 pm we will host our third annual free Concert in the Park at IX Art Park, just south of the downtown mall. Our annual Student Dress Rehearsal will take place on July 27 at 7 pm at The Paramount.  

The 40th Season reflects Ash Lawn Opera’s transformation into Charlottesville Opera, with today and tomorrow’s stars singing both new and established works. The new name, 
Charlottesville Opera, signals the company’s strong base in the local community and
recognizes the distance it has come.  

Martha Redinger, President of Charlottesville Opera, said, “We’re proud of our heritage, 
and we thank all those who built and supported Ash Lawn Opera through the years. We’re pleased to be able to signal our progress and professionalism with our new name:  
Charlottesville Opera.” 


Rigoletto –Sunday, July 9 at the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre at Virginia Tech; Friday, July 14, Sunday, July 16, and Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at The Paramount Theater 

Oklahoma! –Saturday, July 29, Sunday, July 30, Wednesday, August 2, Friday, August 4, and Saturday, August 5, 2017 at The Paramount Theater 

Tickets for Rigoletto, and Oklahoma! start at $25, on sale at 

For more information, go to

Pre-Performance Lectures 

Ticketholders are invited to an engaging and informative lecture 45 minutes before each Rigoletto, and Oklahoma! performance. 

Free Events, Open to the Public

July 17, 4 PM.  Colonnade Club, UVa.  Lecture by Professor Marva Barnett on Victor Hugo and Rigoletto. 

July 18, 7 PM.  IX Art Park, 522 2nd St. SE.  Free concert featuring singers from Rigoletto and Oklahoma! 

July 27,  4 PM, The Paramount Theater,  Oklahoma! Student Dress Rehearsal .  
                                                                  A free, open dress rehearsal for students