Charlottesville Opera To Celebrate First Premiere MIDDLEMARCH IN SPRING, 3/18

Charlottesville Opera To Celebrate First Premiere MIDDLEMARCH IN SPRING, 3/18

Charlottesville Opera, Ash Lawn Opera transformed, celebrates its fortieth anniversary season with a special fundraising event at the historic Airslie Farm in Keswick on March 18. The reception will feature performances by principal artists from the East Coast premiere of Middlemarch in Spring, Charlottesville Opera's first production of the season. The cast includes artists who have performed at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and more. Cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served.

Airslie Farm is a historic home in Keswick, Virginia. A classic horse farm built in 1860, it is surrounded by over 500 acres of pristine land and features a number of out buildings, guest cottages, stables, and more. This event is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see a Central Virginia landmark in-person.

Middlemarch in Spring, which had its world premiere in San Francisco in 2015, received rave reviews from the Encyclopedia Britannica and San Francisco Chronicle, both of which recognized it as a noteworthy new work. It is based on George Eliot's masterpiece Middlemarch, and depicts an unforgettable spring of passionate love and political upheaval. Charlottesville Opera will bring this new work to the East Coast for the first time on March 23 and 24 at The Paramount Theater in downtown Charlottesville, featuring a number of artists from the original cast, including renowned bass-baritone Philip Skinner.

Middlemarch in Spring marks Charlottesville Opera's first-ever collaboration with the Virginia Festival of the Book, which will be held from March 22-26, 2017. The festival is an annual celebration of books, reading, literacy, and literary culture that attracts more than 20,000 participants each year. Jane Kulow, Director of the Festival of the Book, echoes the company's enthusiasm for this piece: "We love seeing books brought to life in new ways, and we're delighted to collaborate with Charlottesville Opera to present Middlemarch in Spring during the 2017 Virginia Festival of the Book!"

For 40 years, Charlottesville Opera, the recently renamed Ash Lawn Opera, has produced high-quality opera and musical theater at affordable prices in Central Virginia. Their fortieth anniversary season marks its most ambitious yet, with performances of Middlemarch in Spring in March followed by Verdi's Rigoletto in July and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! in July and August. Charlottesville Opera also continues its longtime commitment to providing free educational programs to community members of all ages, including its upcoming Artist-in-Residence series, held in April. These programs reach over 1,500 participants annually.