Washington National Opera Presents DON GIOVANNI, Now thru 10/13

Washington National Opera (WNO) continues its 2012-2013 season with Mozart's Don Giovanni, tonight, September 20 to October 13 in the Kennedy Center Opera House. Powerhouse Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov stars in the title role for most performances, while Tony Award® winning Brazilian baritone Paulo Szot (South Pacific) sings the title role on October 9. This WNO production, last seen in 2007, is directed by John Pascoe and conducted by WNO Music Director Philippe Auguin.

The Saturday, September 29 performance will be simulcast free to thousands of fans at Nationals Park as part of M&M's® Opera in the Outfield. The production's final performance on October 13 will feature casting by current singers and alumni of WNO's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, with specially priced tickets to encourage attendance by new operagoers.

In Don Giovanni, widely regarded as one of the greatest operas ever composed, Mozart weaves the tale of the legendary rake Don Juan into a comically light-hearted yet deadly serious musical masterpiece. With more than two thousand seductions behind him and no end in sight, the Don becomes increasingly reckless as he descends into excess and immorality. But when his antics turn fatal and unrepentant, the women he has discarded seek revenge.

The international cast also features American soprano Meagan Miller as Donna Anna, Italian soprano Barbara Frittoli as Donna Elvira, Argentinean tenor Juan Francisco Gatell as Don Ottavio, British bass-baritone AnDrew Foster-Williams as Leporello, Argentinean soprano Veronica Cangemi as Zerlina, Russian-American baritone Aleksey Bogdanov as Masetto, and American bass Soloman Howard as the Commendatore.

The performance on Saturday, September 29 will be broadcast live to Nationals Park as part of WNO's fifth annual Opera in the Outfield. Thousands of fans will attend this free community event to watch the opera on the high-definition screen at Nationals Park. Gates will open at 5 p.m. and the Don Giovanni simulcast begins at 7 p.m. Seating will be available on the outfield grass (weather permitting) and in the stands. In addition to the opera simulcast, the M&M's® Opera in the Outfield features "pre-game" activities, giveaways, and other entertainment, such as lessons in stage combat and flamenco dancing. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early and enjoy the festive ballpark atmosphere. Complete information and programming for the September 29 M&M's® Opera in the Outfield free simulcast will be announced shortly.

This production of Don Giovanni will be performed on Saturday, October 13 as part of WNO's annual series of Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Performances. This performance will be cast with current singers and alumni of WNO's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. Tickets for this performance are specially priced from $25 to attract younger audiences and people new to opera.

Don Giovanni opens tonight, September 20, 2012; other performances are September 22, 26, 29, October 1, 4, 7, and 9, with the special Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Performance on October 13. Visit WNO's website for complete production details, casting information, and artist biographies.

Don Giovanni is the second production of WNO's 2012-2013 season, which also includes Sondra Radvanovsky in her role debut as Anna Bolena, Patricia Racette in her role debut as Manon Lescaut, a new production of Norma starring Angela Meade in her role debut, and the company premiere and new production of the classic American opera Show Boat, directed by WNO Artistic Advisor Francesca Zambello. Both Don Giovanni and Show Boat will be simulcast live free of charge to thousands of fans at National Park as part of M&M's® Opera in the Outfield. WNO will also present Celebrity Series concerts by Nathan Gunn and Diana Damrau, a recital by Angela Meade, and the first performances of the American Opera Initiative, WNO's new commissioning program for young American composers and librettists.

Tickets start at $25 and are available at the Kennedy Center Box Office, by calling (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324, or online at www.kennedy-center.org. Subscription packages for the 2012-2013 season are also available and can be purchased at (202) 416-8500 or at

Washington National Opera (WNO) is one of the leading opera companies in the United States. Founded in 1956 and now an affiliate of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the company boasts numerous artistic highlights, including world premieres, commissioning of new works and new productions, international tours, and performances by some of opera's most admired artists. WNO productions have been heard around the world, through radio and television broadcasts on WETA-FM, NPR, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and PBS, as well as through audio and video recordings.

This season, WNO launches the American Opera Initiative, a comprehensive new commissioning program that brings contemporary American stories to the stage while fostering and developing the talents of new American composers and librettists. WNO contributes to the future of opera through two other signature artist-development programs: the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program is a leading resident-training program for artists on the verge of international careers, and the WNO Opera Institute nurtures the ambitions of high-school-age singers and pianists from across the nation during an intensive three-week summer program. WNO's education and access initiatives include year-round programs in public schools throughout the region; Generation O, a popular discount-ticket initiative for young people; and a variety of lectures and discussions for every production on the season calendar. Among the most popular of WNO's community programs is M&M's® Opera in the Outfield, which brings free, live simulcasts of opera to Nationals Park for thousands of opera fans as well as new audiences.

For more information about Washington National Opera, visit www.kennedy-center.org/wno.

Visit www.facebook.com/WashingtonNationalOpera for behind-the-scenes news, special offers, advance notice of events, and other related Kennedy Center Facebook pages. Follow @dcopera on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news, offers, and more.

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