Center for the Arts Presents Virginia Opera’s ‘Norma’

Posted: March 23, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Fabiana Bravo
Fabiana Bravo
Photo by Glen McClure

Virginia Opera concludes its 2005-06 season with a production of Vincenzo Bellini’s blazing tragedy, “Norma,” on Friday, April 7, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 9, at 2 p.m., at George Mason’s Center for the Arts.

Last seen here in 1994, the opera is the tale of the Druid priestess Norma, torn between a sense of duty to her people and a forbidden love for the Roman proconsul, Pollione, the father of her children and leader of the forces occupying her lands.

The demanding title role is sung by Argentinean soprano Fabiana Bravo, known to Virginia Opera audiences for her sensational performances in “The Marriage of Figaro” (1999), “Tosca” (2001), and “A Masked Ball” (2002). Bravo, who was named the 1999 Argentine Woman of the Year for her contributions to the arts in her country, also sang the title role of “Tosca” in China last summer for the grand opening of the brand-new Shanghai Opera House in the city’s Oriental Arts Center.

The opera’s love triangle is completed by mezzo-soprano Stacey Rishoi, who has been heard at the Washington National Opera, Wolf Trap and other leading opera companies, as Adalgisa, and tenor German Villar as Pollione, in their Virginia Opera debuts.

British stage director John Pascoe, who directed Virginia Opera’s productions of “Don Pasquale” (2001) and “The Barber of Seville” (2002), returns with a new staging of the production, which will be conducted by Peter Mark.

Artistic discussions will be held 45 minutes prior to each performance on the hall’s Grand Tier. A wine and cheese tasting will be held in the lobby on Friday, April 7, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $84, $68 and $44. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.tickets.com.

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