Arts & Events » Music

Performing Arts on the Road

Summer music festivals are just a short drive away.



For opera lovers who just can't get enough of Mozart and the 250th anniversary of his birth — and who missed the Virginia Opera's performance of "The Marriage of Figaro" — head to the Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Its opera company's version is scheduled for Aug. 18 and 19. The opera starts at 8 p.m. and will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.

For opera lovers tired of all the Mozart hype, head to the Ash Lawn Opera Festival in Charlottesville, which has been offering home-grown productions for 27 years. Besides being treated to a refreshing performance of Franz Lehar's "The Merry Widow," you'll be able to enjoy the beautiful boxwood gardens of Ash Lawn-Highland, home of President James Monroe. There are several dates to choose from in July and August, beginning with July 22 and 23.

If a good musical is more your style, head to the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center this month for the touring production of "Little Women, The Broadway Musical," which runs through July 23. Another good family choice is Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," a production of the Theater of the Stars at Wolf Trap Aug. 29-Sept. 3. Or avoid I-95 and head west to the Ash Lawn Opera Festival for performances of "West Side Story," on various dates through Aug. 13.

Anyone feeling the effects of withdrawal from the lack of Richmond Symphony events this summer can fill the void at Wolf Trap, where the National Symphony Orchestra will perform "Some Enchanted Evening," the music of Richard Ordgers, with Marvin Hamlisch conducting.

When one half of a couple is more into classical music than the other, a great option is "Play! A Video Game Symphony," Aug. 4 at Wolf Trap, with large-screen video-game graphics.

If you and yours both love orchestral music, but prefer a calmer mountain setting, pack a picnic and head out to see the Fairfax Symphony perform at the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival July 28-29. Both shows are at 8 p.m.

Finally, a great option for kids is Summer Saturdays at the Ash Lawn Opera Festival. The kids can sing, stomp and watch the fossil fantasy musical revue "Dinosaurs Forever" by DinoRock Productions July 29. Applause Unlimited performs "The Velveteen Rabbit" with puppets Aug. 12.

With so many music events going on in Virginia this summer, there's only one guarantee: They'll be lots of people humming a tune on their way back to Richmond. S

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