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Virginia Opera is an opera company based in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is led by its Artistic Director, Peter Mark, who has been with the company since its first major performances in 1975.

Virginia Opera currently presents four productions a year in Virginia at three different venues – the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, Richmond's Landmark Theater, and at George Mason University's Center for the Arts in Fairfax County – with five performances of each in Norfolk, two in Richmond and two in Fairfax. Beginning in 2009, performances by the $4.8 million company will be trimmed to four in Norfolk[1] and will also be staged at a new venue in Richmond: the Carpenter Theater at Richmond CenterStage.[2]

The company was founded in 1974 by Edythe C. Harrison, for whom, in addition to her late husband Stanley L. Harrison, the Harrison Opera House is named. Performances in Richmond began in 1977. Performances in Fairfax County, Virginia began in 1992.

Some notable performers who have sung with the company or been presented in concert include: Luciano Pavarotti, Beverly Sills, Renée Fleming, Barbara Dever, Jeannine Altmeyer, Ashley Putnam, Cristina Nassif, Frederick Burchinal, John Aler, Rockwell Blake, Randy Locke, Jake Gardner, Sujung Kim, Frank Porretta, Grant Youngblood, Fabiana Bravo, Randall Scarlata, and Thomas Rolf Truhitte.

In addition to its mainstage performances, Virginia Opera offers a variety of education and outreach programs to students and members of Virginia communities.


  1. ^ Annas, Teresa (2008-11-21). "Virginia Opera cuts budget by $500,000". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 2008-11-21.  
  2. ^ Virginia Opera (2008-11-11). "35th Anniversary Season includes big titles, bigger changes". Press release. Retrieved 2008-11-21.  

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