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Castleton Festival: Maazel and Puccini

The Castleton Festival, Lorin Maazel's summer opera training center at his home in Rappahannock County, Virginia, has just announced an even more ambitious program for its second season this summer. It will open on July 2 with a staged performance of Puccini's "Il Trittico" -- the first time, apparently, that Maazel has conducted staged performances of Puccini in the United States. Since this endeavor clearly goes beyond the limits of Castleton's lovely but minute home theater, performances will be held in a new, larger festival tent that seats 400.

Castleton will also revive its productions of "The Beggar's Opera" and "The Turn of the Screw" (the latter conduced by Timothy Myers, a Fellow at last summer's festival), both in the theater itself. In addition, Maazel will conduct a staged performance, with puppets, of Stravinsky's "L'histoire du soldat" and De Falla's "Master Pedro's Puppet Show." He will also conduct three orchestral concerts (the orchestra is made up of young artists), and lead a master class-concert with some of the conducting fellows.

This festival is shaping up to be a real addition to the region. I've quibbled (well, more than quibbled) with Maazel's interpretations over the years, but he's undeniably a brilliant conductor; these performances are a chance to hear him in a more intimate context than your usual 2000-seat hall; and the young artists are giving glowing reports of the experience.

The schedule hasn't yet been posted to to Castleton's website, but there's time; tickets don't go on sale until March 20th.

By Anne Midgette  |  February 16, 2010; 12:25 PM ET
Categories:  Washington , festivals  
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