RITE OF SPRING, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Audra McDonald and More Set for Virginia Arts Festival, 3/17-6/2

Virginia-Arts-Festival-20010101

The Virginia Arts Festival from March 17 thru June 2, 2013, will present a season with extraordinary arts experiences not only in theaters, concert halls and historic churches, but in city streets and parks. It will be a season of artistic celebrations featuring a performance of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, presented on the exact day of its 100th anniversary. Dance is a signature element of the Virginia Arts Festival, and this year Britain's esteemed Birmingham Royal Ballet travels for the only US performances in 2013 with its beguilingly danced production of Coppélia.

A Prairie Home Companion will give the Festival audience the opportunity to be part of the live nationwide radio broadcast as Garrison Keillor leads an ensemble cast through this entertaining show including musical interludes and "The News from Lake Wobegon".

The Festival gets an early start this year on March 17, St Patrick's Day, as the legendary Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains share the beauty and joy of Irish music and the wearin' of the green. Fringe events kick off in March as Meow Meow takes the stage for seven extraordinary cabaret performances March 19-24. Virginia Chocolate Festival returns this year and due to popular demand will be two days, March 23 and 24.

A variety of artists celebrate the centennial of the most controversial premiere in both ballet and music history - Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. The Festival provides an extraordinary opportunity to see this historical performance on May 29, one hundred years from the day the work was premiered. This new production of "The Rite" is collaboration between Virginia Arts Festival, Richmond Ballet and Virginia Symphony Orchestra with music director JoAnn Falletta conducting. "The Rite is a piece that forever changed the landscape of the music world. People who witnessed the premier May 29, 1913 were stunned by its primal power and visceral energy. While we don't expect our performance to provoke the riot of that first performance, I know our audiences will never forget experiencing this masterpiece live at the Virginia Arts Festival." JoAnn Falletta says.

Falletta will also lead the Virginia Symphony Chorus and Virginia Arts Festival Chamber Musicians in Stravinsky's infrequently performed ballet Les Noces (The Wedding), featuring Norfolk's own TRDance. The four pianos of the Les Noces ensemble are anchored by Festival Chamber Series artistic director and Van Cliburn Competition gold medalist André-Michel Schub.

Family events include the Flying PROMS at the Military Aviation Museum where vintage aircraft will soar overhead as Virginia Symphony Orchestra performs. More than 850 performers from all over the globe assemble for the Virginia International Tattoo, an inspiring display of military precision and patriotism. We celebrate Memorial Day with an inspiring outdoor concert by U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band in Newport News.

Vocalists preforming with the Virginia Arts Festival in 2013 will be Israeli singing star, Noa, Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza, Broadway sensation, Audra McDonald, singer-songwriter Lori McKenna, Indigo Girls performing with Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Tierney Sutton with Turtle Island String Quartet give patrons many choices for enjoying beautiful vocals of varied genres.

Festival Williamsburg will be the place to celebrate Memorial Day weekend with master Arturo Sandoval. Enjoy three dazzling stars of Broadway stages and hot jazz band Hot Sardines for concerts at the Williamsburg Lodge. Classical music, delicious food and award-winning wines will be featured in two concerts at the Williamsburg Winery performed by Miami String Quartet and André-Michel Schub.

"The Virginia Arts Festival brings great artists from around the world for the communities of Hampton Roads and the thousands of visitors to Virginia to enjoy each spring season." says Virginia Arts Festival Director, Robert W. Cross. "From legendary classical ballet with Birmingham Royal Ballet, to Israeli and African pop sensations, to the multi-Tony award winning voice of Audra McDonald and the spectacular celebration of the hundredth anniversary of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, the 2013 Virginia Arts Festival has something for all arts lovers to enjoy."

Season subscriptions are now on sale, purchase three or more performances and save 10%. Visit www.vafest.org or call 757-282-2822. Single tickets go on sale February 8, 2013.

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