Castleton Festival Announces Summer 2015 Season


More than 24 Performances over Five Weekends, July 2-August 2, 2015
Tickets on sale January 5
New Castleton Production of Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet
New Production of Ravel’s L’heure espagnole (The Spanish Hour)
World Premiere of Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg
Wilder’s Our Town
Symphonic Concerts, Chamber Music, and Bluegrass
Festival Calendar Extended To Include Four Concerts
by Wynton Marsalis’s Summer Jazz Academy

December 10, 2014 — Castleton, VA
Dietlinde Turban Maazel, the Castleton Festival’s new Artistic Director and Executive Director, today announced plans for the Festival’s seventh season, which will take place July 2-August 2, 2015. The 2015 program will showcase Castleton’s rising stars alongside world-renowned artists in new productions of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette (Romeo and Juliet), a new production of Ravel’s L’heure espagnole (The Spanish Hour), a world premiere of Derrick Wang’s comic opera Scalia/Ginsburg and a Castleton production of Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our Town. As previously announced, Jazz at Lincoln Center, in conjunction with JALC founder Wynton Marsalis, is hosting a summer Jazz Academy residency for high school musicians, who will present four concerts at Castleton from July 19-August 2.

It had been the wish of the late Maestro Maazel to welcome Fabio Luisi, principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, as a conductor at Castleton, and the Festival is proud to present Maestro Luisi as guest conductor on July 19 this coming season. Two of Maestro Maazel’s protégés will join as conductors as well: Salvatore Percacciolo, who was part of Castleton’s Conductors’ Seminar in 2014 and successfully took over Don Giovanni from Mr. Maazel in 2014, and Rafael Payare (winner of the 2012 Malko Competition) whom Castleton has named Principal Conductor.

“My husband invested his energy, love and resources into the Castleton Festival in order to create a forum, a national resource center for young performers who would ensure that classical music survives, and that new audiences are found and energized,” said Mrs. Turban Maazel. “His baton is truly ‘passed on’ now to two extraordinary young conductors – talent my husband had identified and mentored – assuring the highest standard of music making. I am also deeply grateful that Maestro Luisi will conduct our concert on July 19.”

In addition to conductors Luisi, Payare, and Percacciolo, the 2015 roster of new and returning artists includes Tyler Nelson, Kate Allen, directors Maria Tucci and Dorothy Danner, and newly appointed Director of Castleton Artists Training Seminar (CATS), Stanford Olsen. A performance by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will be a major highlight.

The 2015 season marks the first Festival since the passing of its founder, Maestro Lorin Maazel, in July 2014. Led by Mrs. Turban Maazel, an award-winning actor and co-founder of the Festival, the 2015 Castleton Festival will continue its tradition of bringing together internationally renowned conductors and artists to live and work in a harmonious, supportive musical family setting on the grounds of the Maazels’ Castleton Farms in Rappahannock County, Virginia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There, they will mentor and perform with a new generation of musicians, bringing fresh energy to favorite works and new productions.

The Castleton Festival is distinctive in the region and beyond as a venue, performance series, and showcase for more than 200 outstanding young professional singers, producers, and instrumentalists-in-training through the summer Castleton Artists Training Seminar (CATS), and the Castleton Festival Orchestra, composed of outstanding young professionals at the start of their careers. Along with the opera and theater productions, the 2015 Festival will also bring back symphonic concerts, chamber music, vocal recitals, and the July 4 weekend bluegrass and All-American Band concerts that have been a hallmark of the festival since it began in 2009.
There are two venues on the Maazel family’s 600-acre Castleton Farms: the Castleton Festival Theatre is a 650 seat air-conditioned proscenium theatre that includes multi-level seating and an orchestra pit accommodating up to 90 musicians; the Theatre House is an intimate, state-of-the-art 140 seat proscenium theatre including seating on two levels and an orchestra pit accommodating 17 musicians.

Tickets for the 2015 summer season will go on sale January 5, 2015 at castletonfestival.org and through the Festival box office at 866-974-0767.

The 2015 Castleton Festival’s programming includes opera, theater, recitals, symphonic concerts, and special events:


The Festival’s operatic offerings in 2015 include two beloved favorites and a strikingly contemporary work.

Roméo et Juliette
(Romeo and Juliet) – (July 3, 5, 10 and 18)
Following a July 2 evening bluegrass concert, Castleton will open its operatic program on Friday, July 3 with Charles Gounod’s five-act opera Roméo et Juliette (Romeo and Juliet) which will be performed in the Castleton Festival Theatre will a full cast and chorus, including some of the 40 young participants in the Castleton Artists Training Program (CATS). Roméo et Juliette will be directed by Dorothy Danner. Ms. Danner previously directed Castleton’s 2012 production of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music.

L’heure espagnole (The Spanish Hour)
and Scalia/Ginsburg (July 11, 17 and 19)

Opening on July 11 is a comedic double-bill of two one-act operas directed by Broadway and film star Maria Tucci. Maurice Ravel’s opera L’heure espagnole (The Spanish Hour) will be paired with Derrick Wang’s comedic opera Scalia/Ginsburg. Castleton artist Kate Allen (“Suzuki” in Castleton’s 2014 production of Madama Butterfly) will star as Concepción; tenor Tyler Nelson (most recently in Castleton’s 2014 production of Don Giovanni) will sing the role of Gonzalve in L’heure espagnole.

L’heure espagnole
(The Spanish Hour) is a comedic opera in 21 scenes. It first premiered in Paris in 1911 with a running time of only 45 minutes. It is a hilarious story about a cuckolded clockmaker in Toledo whose wife sends him out to check the town’s clocks on Thursdays so she can meet her three lovers. She spends the hour her husband is away hiding her lovers from her husband–and from each other. The Spanish Hour is one of only two operas by Ravel. His second opera, L’enfant et les sortilèges, was written for children, and was performed at the 2011 Castleton Festival.

, a new American opera by Derrick Wang about U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, will have its world premiere production on July 11 at the Castleton Festival in Virginia.

In the plot of this comic opera, Justices Ginsburg and Scalia must pass through three cosmic trials to secure their freedom. The catch: they may have to agree on the Constitution. Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg is a valentine to law and opera, where the law’s leading players go toe-to-toe and trill-to-trill in a (gentle) parody of operatic proportions. Opinions will be offered. Dissents will be delivered. And justice will be sung.

began its journey in a presentation at the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2013, and since then, excerpts from the opera have been presented in concert by musical and legal organizations. One such concert presentation was at the Castleton Festival in June 2014, where selections from Scalia/Ginsburg were enthusiastically received as part of Justice Ginsburg’s sold-out “Law in Opera” presentation. This presentation inspired the Castleton Festival to commission the world premiere production of Scalia/Ginsburg.

I am excited to work with the Castleton Festival on the world premiere production of Scalia/Ginsburg,” said Derrick Wang, the opera’s composer and librettist. “Castleton embodies Maestro Lorin Maazel’s dedication to new work, young artists, and the transformative power of opera. It is a great honor to take part in his musical legacy.”

Conductors and further casting for these productions will be announced in 2015.

Our Town
(July 9 and 18)
Castleton will also mount a new production of the classic Thornton Wilder play Our Town, directed by Dietlinde Turban Maazel, and featuring the young singing residents participating in the CATS opera training program, which includes a focus on acting. Our Town first premiered in Princeton, New Jersey, 1938 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama that same year. It is set in Grover’s Corners, a fictional American small town, and depicts the stories and everyday lives of the townspeople over scenes from 1901 and 1913. Our Town is usually performed without a set or props.


The Castleton Festival will be programming its full symphonic and chamber music program in the coming weeks. Among the concerts already programmed are a July 2 bluegrass concert, an All-American Band concert conducted by Colonel John Bourgeois on July 4, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on July 12, and a July 19 Symphonic Concert conducted by Fabio Luisi, principal conductor at the Metropolitan Opera.


In 2015, Castleton welcomes America’s native classical music, jazz, to the Greater DC and Virginia region as Wynton Marsalis, friend and longtime colleague of Maestro Maazel, brings Jazz at Lincoln Center’s summer training program for high school students to Castleton. The first Jazz at Lincoln Center Summer Jazz Academy will take place July 19-August 2, 2015 and will include two weekends of performances following the Castleton Festival’s classical and opera program.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Summer Jazz Academy is Jazz at Lincoln Center’s first music education and performance high school summer program. The two-week institute, designed and instructed by Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis and a select faculty, will serve as a rigorous training program for 42 of the most advanced and dedicated high school jazz students (grades 9-12) in the world. Jazz at Lincoln Center Summer Jazz Academy educational components willbe led by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

Founded in 2009 by Maestro Lorin and Dietlinde Maazel, the Castleton Festival introduced classical music, theater and opera performed by the stars of tomorrow, working with established artists, to the rolling hills of Rappahannock County, Virginia. The Castleton Festival is distinct among other music festivals in the Greater Washington region and beyond because of its combined roles as a producing entity, a modern performance venue and, most importantly, a mentoring program for young artists and theater professionals.

Each summer, the Festival has invited more than 250 artists to Castleton where young professional singers, musicians, makeup and costumers, technicians and stagehands work on their craft alongside experienced professionals for eight weeks of rehearsals and performances.
Castleton has been a vista-opener for over 3,000 young people through open dress rehearsals, master classes and through its C.A.T.S. (Castleton Artists Training Seminar) program for advanced vocal students which runs parallel to the summer performance festival. Castleton is committed to engaging C.A.T.S. alumni to return in future seasons to perform leading and supporting roles.

Set in one of the most beautiful areas of Virginia, the Castleton Festival’s performances take place in two venues on the Maazel family’s 600-acre Castleton Farms: the Castleton Festival Theatre is a 650 seat air-conditioned proscenium theatre that includes multi-level seating and an orchestra pit accommodating up to 90 musicians; the Theatre House is: an intimate, state-of-the-art 140 seat proscenium theatre including seating on two levels and an orchestra pit accommodating 20 musicians. Led by Artistic and Executive Director Dietlinde Turban Maazel, an award-winning performer, the Festival is the largest non-government employer in central Virginia’s Rappahannock County

The Castleton Festival’s 2015 season is supported by private contributions and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

Marc Apter – +1-301-904-3690 – marca@castletonfestival.org


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