Virginia Arts Festival Announces 2015 Performances
The Virginia Arts Festival will bring world-renowned artists from the worlds of opera, Broadway, pop, jazz, world music, dance, and more to venues throughout Southeastern Virginia in 2015 as part of its nineteenth season.
Star turns include two strikingly different divas at the top of their careers: Renée Fleming, the reigning queen of opera whose popular style has earned her a place in the hearts of audiences worldwide, will be accompanied by world- renowned pianist Olga Kern, and Audra McDonald, the Broadway star who has won more Tony Awards than anyone in history.
Other star performances include Rosanne Cash, the iconic singer-songwriter whose most recent album, The River & The Thread, has won rave reviews from NPR to The New York Times, and Jackie Evancho, the young classical crossover singer who first gained stardom on America’s Got Talent at the age of 10. Pulitzer Prize- and nine-time Grammy Award winning jazz legend Wynton Marsalis will also perform with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.
Classical music fans flock from throughout Virginia and across the country to Virginia Arts Festival’s unique presentations, and the array of artists and experiences in the 2015 season offer some rare and enticing opportunities. Conductor JoAnn Falletta reveals new beauty in works from past centuries: a brilliant performance of Bartók’s only opera, Bluebeard’s Castle, with towering glass sculptures by famed artist Dale Chihuly lending mystical beauty to the stage; an astounding, intimate performance of Mahler’s most achingly beautiful songs, in rarely-heard arrangements by Arnold Schoenberg; and a witty staging of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale featuring the stunning violinist Tianwa Yang and NPR’s Fred Child as narrator.
Early music aficionados will find a feast of performances to enjoy: the venerable Handel & Haydn Society, celebrating its 200th year of performance; superstar conductor Nicholas McGegan leading the Virginia Symphony Orchestra; the shimmering sound of the female a cappella ensemble Anonymous 4, in its farewell tour; the rich harmonies of the nine- man vocal ensemble Cantus; and the fleet and fantastic playing of the aptly named Quicksilver Ensemble. The annual Festival Williamsburg weekend will showcase Baroque music—a wonderful opportunity to hear 17th and 18th-century music in a setting as historically authentic as the music itself.
Chamber music lovers eagerly look forward to the Virginia Arts Festival each year for its array of performances by noted musicians, in venues that lend themselves to enhanced enjoyment of this most intimate form of classical music. The Festival’s ensemble in residence in 2015 will be one of the fastest-rising new stars in the chamber music firmament, the Attacca Quartet, hailed as “in a word, sensational” by The New York Times. The Attacca Quartet will be among the performers in the Festival’s beloved “Coffee Concerts,” which offer patrons the opportunity not just to hear great music in beautiful settings, but to mingle with the artists and fellow music lovers.
Dance is spectacularly represented in the Festival’s 2015 offerings: the proud and passionate Ballet Hispanico ignites the stage, and the always-innovative Pilobolus dancers defy convention—as well as gravity and the limits of the human body.
Theater buffs can sample one of the most celebrated comedy hits of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Major Tom — the story of a woman, her dog, and their parallel careers in dog shows and beauty pageants.
The Festival’s most popular event among audiences from around the area and around the world, the Virginia International Tattoo returns April 23-26 with an awe-inspiring spectacle of music and might featuring performers from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States to honor our military families.
To Purchase Tickets for Virginia Arts Festival Performances
Tickets for 2015 Virginia Arts Festival performances are on sale now in subscription packages of three performances at a discount of 10% and four or more performances for a 15% discount. More information is available online at www.vafest.org, by phone at 757-282-2822, or in person at the Festival Box Office at 440 Bank St., Norfolk. Single tickets will go on sale February 17, 2015. Group tickets (groups of 15 or more) are available now; for more information call 757- 282-2819.