Wolf Trap Opera, National Symphony Orchestra summer season on tap

From Verdi to Bugs Bunny, summer classics on tap for everyone this Wolf Trap Summer. Photo: Wolf Trap Opera/La Boheme 2012

VIENNA, Va., – The Wolf Trap Opera (WTO) and the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) have launched their summer season at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Highlights of the 2013 summer season appear below.

Wolf Trap Opera

On tap in July and August will be WTO’s first performance of Verdi’s “La Traviata” since 1976. Fully staged at the Filene Center and accompanied the NSO and the Washington Chorus under the baton of Grant Gershon, the July 19 production will feature video projections and designs by Aaron Rhyne with sets by Anka Lupes, and will update Verdi’s story to the Roaring ‘20s.

WTO’s “La Traviata” will star Filene Young Artist and Frederick, Maryland native Corinne Winters as the kind but unfortunate courtesan, Violetta. Tenor Benjamin Bliss will sing the role of Alfredo Germont.

July 19, Filene Center, 8:15 p.m.

Here’s a video of Corinne Winters singing “Addio del passato” from the final act of “La Traviata” with the Hong Kong Opera, 2012:

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WTO returns with a unique, intimate, chamber-style production of Verdi’s elaborately hilarious “Falstaff” on August 14 at the Barns. Based, of course, on the buffoonish Sir John Falstaff, one of Shakespeare’s most popular characters, this period production will be conducted by Dean Williamson who will use the orchestral reduction created by Jonathan Dove. Craig Colclough will sing the title role.

August 9, 14 at 8 p.m.; August 11 at 3 p.m.; and August 17 at 7 p.m. at the Barns.

WTO also features additional performances throughout the summer highlighting the considerable vocal skills of its outstanding young artists. For tickets and information to all WTO’s summer performances, visit the WTO website. For specific schedule information, link here.

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National Symphony Orchestra

NSO’s summer season at the Filene Center is also underway. Coming up in July and August are the following special concerts with brief descriptions of each event by NSO:

Carmina Burana

“The National Symphony Orchestra, The Choral Arts Society of Washington and soloists from the Wolf Trap Opera Company present Carl Orff’s epic choral masterpiece and Mussorgsky’s colorful Pictures at an Exhibition orchestrated by Stokowski.”

July 12, Filene Center, 8:15 p.m.

Video Games Live!

“Power up for a spectacular ALL NEW fusion of live music and cutting-edge visuals from some of the world’s most popular video games such as Pokemon, Super Smash Bros., Skyrim, Journey, Street Fighter II, Earthworm Jim, Donkey Kong Country, Chrono Cross and many more, shown on HUGE screens in-house and on the lawn.”

The NSO will present live music against a backdrop of everyone’s favorite video games in a show created, produced, and hosted by game industry vet Tommy Tallarico. Early arrivals to this show can participate in various activities including a “Guitar Hero” competition which will give the winner a chance to perform on stage with the NSO.

July 13, Filene Center, 8:30 p.m.

To catch the flavor of this show, check out the video below which highlights a 2010 production presented by the Louisiana Philharmonic and choir:

1812 Overture

“Fanfare-filled evening featuring the National Symphony Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, with its climactic volley of cannon fire and ringing chimes, and a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto by piano prodigy Benjamin Grosvenor.”

There will also be a pre-performance discussion of the evening’s all Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff program with NSO’s Wolf Trap Festival Conductor Emil de Cou.

July 26, Filene Center, 8:15 p.m.

To learn more about young pianist Ben Grosvenor, check out the video clip below:

America the Beautiful

“Featuring ‘Ansel Adams: America,’ composed by Chris and Dave Brubeck and performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, pairing sweeping melodies with more than 100 striking photographs of or by Ansel shown on huge screens, in-house and on the lawn. Program also includes Copland’s Lincoln Portrait, Gershwin’s An American in Paris and excerpts from John Williams’ score to the award-winning film Lincoln.”

July 27, Filene Center, 8:30 p.m.

Wicked Divas

“Wicked good! A concert of diva showstoppers featuring hits from Phantom of the Opera, Gypsy, Chicago, Titanic, Wicked, and more, performed by veteran Broadway soloists and the National Symphony Orchestra, led by NSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke.”

July 28, 8:15 p.m.

Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II

“Created and conducted by George Daugherty: Classic – and new – Looney Tunes come alive on HUGE SCREENS in-house and on the lawn!”

Cartoon classix are among NSO’s most popular summer shows and this one, featuring giant screen projections of classic Warner Brothers animations starring that Oscar-winning Wascally Wabbit Bugs Bunny, is sure to be a hit, particularly when Bugs and his antics are accompanied live by the NSO.

And yes, the greatest classical music cartoon ever, “What’s Opera, Doc?” will be included. How do you think most of us got interested in classical music in the first place? It sure wasn’t in high school.

August 1 and 2, Filene Center, 8:30 p.m. 

Singin’ in the Rain

“Enjoy a brilliantly restored high-definition version of the best musical ever made shown on huge screens in-house and on the lawn, while the National Symphony Orchestra plays the delightful orchestral score, including its iconic title number and hits like ‘Make ’Em Laugh.’” Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds star in this classic film.

August 3, Filene Center, 8:30 p.m.

Tickets and Information

For tickets and information to both the NSO and WTO productions this summer, visit the Wolf Trap website, call 1-877-WOLFTRAP or (for info) 703-255-1868. Or visit the Wolf Trap Box Office at the Filene Center in Vienna, Virginia at 1551 Trap Road during the business day.


Read more of Terry’s news and reviews at Curtain Up! in the Entertain Us neighborhood of the Washington Times Communities. For Terry’s investing and political insights, visit his Communities columns, The Prudent Man and Morning Market Maven, in Business.

Follow Terry on Twitter @terryp17


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Terry Ponick

Now writing on investing, politics, music, movies and theater for the Washington Times Communities, Terry was formerly the longtime music and culture critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2009) before moving online with Communities in 2010.  



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