Castleton Festival’s 6th season now underway (Updated)

Castleton Festival’s 6th season now underway (Updated)

Young musician rehearsing, courtesy Castleton Festival.
Young musician rehearsing, courtesy Castleton Festival.

CASTLETON, Va., July 4 2014 Artistic directors Maestro Lorin Maazel and Dietlinde Turban Maazel have opened the sixth season of the Castleton Festival in their state-of-the-art  performance venues. This major DC area music event unfolds not far outside of Warrenton, Virginia in the foothills of the Shenandoahs.

Lorin Maazel.
Lorin Maazel rehearsing the Castleton Festival Orchestra. (Courtesy Castleton Festival.)

Festival performances take place primarily at two major performance venues located at Castleton Farms, the Maazels’ scenic Rappahannock County home. Programs ranging from fully staged operas to symphony concerts, to master classes—and even cooking classes—are taking place through July 20, 2014.

Today at 2 p.m., Castleton celebrates Independence Day by staging an “All-American Band Concert,” featuring the Castleton winds, conducted by retiring longtime U.S. Marine Band conductor Colonel John R. Bourgeois. Works by Francis Scott Key, John Philip Sousa, Leroy Anderson, Leonard Bernstein and Scott Joplin are on tap.

Saturday, July 5, will mark the fully staged Castleton debut performance of Mozart’s classic serio-comic opera “Don Giovanni,” conducted by Maestro Maazel himself. The company is also presenting performances of Puccini’s beloved “Madama Butterfly” this season. UPDATE: “Don Giovanni” to be web-simulcast on the Festival’s main web page tonight at 7 p.m. EDT. Here’s the link.

Jonathan Burton (Pinkerton) and Ekaterina Metlova (Cio-Cio San) in current Castleton production of Puccini's "Madama Butterfly." (Credit: Ray Boc)
Jonathan Burton (Pinkerton) and Ekaterina Metlova (Cio-Cio San) in current Castleton production of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.” (Credit: Ray Boc)

The Castleton Festival has grown rapidly into a major regional event since it launched its initial season in 2009, attracting national and international attention in the process. At its core, however, the Festival remains focused on its primary goal of serving as a workshop and introductory performance venue for outstanding, up-and-coming young musicians and singers, many of whom, arguably, will become the superstars of tomorrow. The benefit to the public: outstanding performances by great musicians at down-to-earth ticket prices, most of which take place in a stunningly beautiful rural environment not far from the traffic and the hubbub of the Nation’s capital.

For directions to the Festival, check out this link.

For the full season schedule, including performance times and tickets, click here.

The following is a selection of this season’s remaining highlights:

“Don Giovanni”– July 5, 12, and 18

“Madama Butterfly”– July 6, 11, 20 Two alternating casts will perform.

“Don Juan In Hell”– July 12 A reader’s theater production of GB Shaw’s classic play that serves as a complement to Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.”

“Story in Music,” July 13 a family symphony concert conducted by Lorin Maazel that includes Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” (with narration by Margaret Warner), three story-pieces by Mr. Maazel, including “The Empty Pot,” “The Giving Tree” and “Irish Vapours and Capers,” featuring special guest soloist, renowned flutist Sir James Galway. A new young composer work will also be featured.

Love in Music,” July 19 – That’s the theme for the Castleton Orchestra’s final full concert that highlights arias and duets from “La Bohème”and Eugene Onegin, plus Fauré’s incidental music for Maeterlinck’s drama “Pelleas et Melisande” and Tchaikovsky’s lively “Rococo Variations”with famed cellist Alisa Weilerstein as soloist. Violinist Julian Rachlin is also on tap. Mr. Maazel will be at the helm for this concert, and Malko Competition winner and Castleton alum Rafael Payare will also conduct.

The Festival features chamber music concerts and operatic recitals in its intimate Theatre House. Returning to the Castleton Festival this season are the Castleton Chamber Players, led by founding members, Eric Silberger and Daniel Lelchuk.

The Festival will also offer several song recitals of opera scenes performed by the 2014 class of C.A.T.S. (Castleton Artist Training Seminar) residents.

Tickets and information: Check the links provided above this abbreviated schedule, or call the Castleton Box Office at 866-974-0767. Ticket prices range from $20-120.

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17