Castleton Festival Opera & Orchestra Performances to be Broadcast on Classical WETA 90.9FM in July

The Castleton Festival and Washington-based classical music radio station Classical WETA 90.9 FM have announced that five performances from this year’s festival will be broadcast throughout July. The Castleton Festival takes place at Castleton Farms in Rappahannock County , Virginia July 2-25.

Classical WETA will record the opening night performance of Puccini’s Il Trittico conducted by the festival’s Artistic Director, Lorin Maazel on Friday, July 2, to be broadcast as part of Classical WETA Opera House a week later on Saturday, July 10 at 1:00PM. Performances of the Britten chamber operas The Turn of the Screw and The Beggar’s Opera will be broadcast as part of this series on Saturday, July 17 and Saturday, July 24 respectively.

In addition to the three opera broadcasts, two of the festival’s four orchestral concerts will also be broadcast in July as part of Front Row Washington on Classical WETA 90.0 FM. The concert of Italian works taking place at the Castleton Festival on Saturday, July 3 will be broadcast on Monday, July 5 at 9:00PM and the concert of American works on Friday, July 16 will be recorded for broadcast on Monday, July 19 at 9:00PM. (Full program details and air dates follow.) All programs will be streamed live on http://www.classicalweta.org.

“This year’s Castleton Festival already expanded on the successful inaugural event of last year and this exciting partnership with Classical WETA means we can share the talents of the singers and musicians who take part in the festival to an even wider audience,” said Lorin Maazel.

The Castleton Festival grew out of the Castleton Residency program for young artists run by The Châteauville Foundation, founded by Lorin Maazel and his wife Dietlinde Turban-Maazel in 1997. The Castleton Festival brings around 200 young artists including singers, conductors, instrumentalists, directors, costume designers and lighting designers to live on the property for six weeks to work with professional mentors and prepare the performances of the operas and concerts.

The 2010 festival will include four performances of all three one-act operas in Il Trittico (Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi) led by Maestro Maazel. He will also conduct these operas separately or in pairs during the festival. In addition to the operas, Maestro Maazel will also lead staged performances of Stravinsky’s L’histoire du soldat and De Falla’s Master Pedro’s Puppet Show.

All three opera productions and the staged Stravinsky and De Falla performances have been created especially for the Castleton stages by Castleton’s resident director, William Kerley, with sets and costumes designed by Nicholas Vaughan and lighting by Rie Ono. The Beggar’s Opera is a revival of the 2008 Castleton Residency production and The Turn of the Screw is a revival of last year’s festival production. The De Falla work, which is rarely presented as a fully staged piece, will feature puppets created and operated by six puppeteers from the New York-based Puppet Kitchen and the Stravinsky work will be choreographed by Faye Driscoll.

The four concerts featuring the Castleton Festival Orchestra, comprised of young professional musicians and advanced music conservatory students, will be conducted by Maestro Maazel and this year’s Castleton Conducting Fellows. In addition to the Italian and American concerts, there will be a all-French program on Saturday, July 10 and an all-Beethoven Festival finale concert on Sunday, July 25. The festival finale will also be recorded by Classical WETA for broadcast in 2011.

Castleton Festival performances are held in the intimate 140-seat custom-built Theatre House which has an orchestra pit that holds 20 musicians, and a 400-seat Festival Tent that will be specially erected on the property. The festival opens on Friday July 2 with a gala performance of Il Trittico. The opening weekend will conclude with an Open Day at Castleton Farms on Monday, July 5 – the Independence Day holiday – giving patrons the opportunity to explore the expansive 550-acre property located at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains and its historic manor house.

The festival will extend into the nearby township of Washington , Virginia (known as Little Washington) with recitals held at the Theatre at Washington , VA. On Monday, July 5 at 7:00PM, New York Philharmonic principal musicians Judith Le Clair and Nancy Allen will present a recital of bassoon and harp music and on Monday, July 19 tenor Dominic Armstong will perform the Brahms song cycle Die Schöne Magelone narrated by actress and Castleton Festival Artistic Director Dietlinde Turban-Maazel.

Next year the festival extends to the West Coast with Maestro Maazel leading performances of the Castleton Festival productions of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and Albert Herring in Berkeley , CA as part of CalPerformances’ 2010-11 season. There will be two performances of The Rape of Lucretia on March 24 and 25 and two performances of Albert Herring on March 26 and March 27. Castleton productions have previously been staged in Washington and Philadelphia .

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