Two of Hampton Roads major performing groups, the Virginia Symphony and Virginia Stage Company, this week announced their lineups for 2013-2014. Here are the details:
Violin virtuoso Midori will open the symphony's 94th season Sept. 20-22 with a performance of the Brahms' Violin Concerto.
As in past seasons, the orchestra will present eight weekends of classical concerts: Friday nights in the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News, Saturday nights in Chrysler Hall in Norfolk, and Sunday afternoons in the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach. The season also will include five pops concerts in Norfolk — three of them also will be presented in Newport News — plus family concerts in the Sandler Center and chamber orchestra concerts in Phi Beta Kappa Hall in Williamsburg and Regent University in Virginia Beach. Subscriptions are now on sale.
Concerts programmed by Music Director JoAnn Falletta generally blend familiar showpieces with works infrequently heard. In addition to the Brahms violin concerto, the coming season includes Ravel's "Bolero," Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, Tchaikovsky's "Pathétique" Symphony, and music from Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" ballet. There'll again be performances of Handel's "Messiah" plus Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals and Copland's "Billy the Kid" suite.
Joining Midori on the roster of artists coming up will be pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton, violinist Michael Ludwig, saxophonist James Carter and Sherie Aguirre, the orchestra's principal oboist. Guest conductors will include Norfolk native Thomas Wilkins, Maximaiano Valdes and Symphony Associate Conductor Benjamin Rous.
The Peninsula pops lineup will feature "I Will Always Love You: A Tribute to Whitney Houston" on Oct. 17; "Classical Mystery Tour," featuring the original cast of Broadway's "Beatlemania," on Feb. 6; and Pixar in Concert, music and film clips from "Toy Story," "The Incredibles" and "UP," on April 11. Norfolk patrons also will see Holiday Pops with Chorusmaster and Conductor Robert Shoup on Dec. 14-15, and VSO POPS Salutes Broadway on March 8-9. Chamber orchestra programs will be announced at a later date.
Subscriptions range from $124-$677 for the classical series, $61-$186 for the Peninsula pops series and $99-$388 for the Norfolk pops series. Family concert subscriptions are $39 for children and $56 for adults. They're available by calling 757-892-6366 or online at http://www.VirginiaSymphony.org. Single tickets go on sale July 29.
Virginia Stage Company
The stage company's 35th season in 2013-2014 will pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of its downtown Norfolk performing home, the Wells Theatre. Here's the lineup:
"The Great Gatsby," September-October. The F. Scott Fitzgerald novel is adapted for the stage by Simon Levy and directed by Chris Hanna. Set in the Jazz Age, the play follows the romance between the mysterious Jay Gatsby and his Daisy.
"The Woman in Black," October-November. Based on the novel by Susan Hill, written by Stephen Malatratt, and directed by Peter Moore. This "ghost play" about a lawyer settling the affairs of a solitary widow was one of the British theater's biggest hits and a movie with Daniel Radcliffe.
"Honky Tonk Angels," January-February. A down-home musical revue written by Ted Swindley and directed by Patrick Mullins. This "country music meets pop" revue includes 30 hit songs such as "Delta Dawn," "9 to 5" and "These Boots are Made For Walkin'."
"The Mountaintop," February-March, 2014. Written by Katori Hall and directed by Derrick Sanders. After a 1968 speech, a road-weary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. orders room service at the Lorraine Hotel and meets the impudent young maid who will deliver him the final laughs, reminiscences and challenges of his life.
"Frankie and Johnny at the Claire de Lune," April 2014. Written by Terrence MacNally and directed by Chris Hanna, this adult romance shows two people who make love, turn on the lights, get dressed, and begin the slow process of getting to know one another.
"A Christmas Carol," December, also returns, but not as part of the subscription series.
Five-show subscriptions are $90 to $210, available by calling 757-627-1234 or online at http://www.vastage.com. Single tickets will go on sale in August.
Virginia Opera hosts free lecture
Marc Scorca, president and CEO of OPERA America, in present a lecture, "Why Opera Matters," at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk. The free event is presented by Virginia Opera and The Norfolk Society of Arts.
Scorca will discuss how opera, a centuries-old art form, stays fresh and new. He'll also talk about the balance between performing time-honored favorites and commissioning new works to draw new audiences.