Castleton Plans New Season, Welcomes new Summer Jazz Academy in 2015
- Category: Press Room
Castleton Plans New Season, Welcomes new Summer Jazz Academy in 2015
August 18, 2014, Rappahannock County, Virginia — With support from the Virginia and greater Washington arts community, international artists, the Maazel family, and its audiences, the Castleton Festival will return in 2015 with a new season honoring the life and legacy of its founder, Maestro Lorin Maazel. In 2015, Castleton will again bring together internationally renowned conductors and artists to live and work in a harmonious, supportive setting at 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.
New Season in 2015
Dietlinde Turban Maazel, Castleton’s co-founder, a member of the Castleton faculty, and an award-winning actor, has been appointed as Castleton’s Artistic Director. Under her leadership, the Castleton Festival will hold its seventh season July 2-August 2, 2015 with four weekends of opera, chamber music, and orchestra performances, and young artist training programs that have been the Festival’s hallmark since 2009. New in 2015, Castleton’s season will be extended for two additional weekends, through August 2, to present concerts programmed by the new Jazz at Lincoln Center Summer Jazz Academy at Castleton.
Jazz Academy to Make a Home at Castleton in 2015
In 2015, Castleton welcomes America’s native classical music, jazz, to the 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 will be led by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Registration for applicants to this new program opens on October 6, 2014.
“It has long been our vision for Castleton to evolve for the shared joy and benefit of young performers and Virginia’s arts community, so it is a special honor to share the Castleton spirit with young people focused on jazz through the work of Wynton Marsalis, an artist whom my husband regarded with such an admiration and affection. When we heard he was looking for a location for his summer program, we knew it had to be at Castleton” said Mrs. Turban Maazel.
Wynton Marsalis and Lorin Maazel discussed this new initiative, reflecting on their long relationship and shared interest in nurturing young talent, in an interview in New York on January 8, 2014. “Jazz is an essential part of our culture and when I heard that Wynton Marsalis was also trying to change the lives of young people I was thrilled that Wynton would want to collaborate with me and have a summer program in our facilities starting in 2015,” said Mr. Maazel.
2014: A review of an Extraordinary Season
The 2014 season will be remembered for the great loss of Maestro Maazel on July 13, just one week before the season’s final performance, but also for the outpouring of generosity, hard work, determination and “the show must go on” spirit demonstrated by the Festival’s artists, staff, and supporters in the face of adversity.
Ultimately, their efforts made 2014 the most successful season on record. Ticket sales increased 38 percent over 2013, with 12 sold-out performances. The opening night performances of Madama Butterfly and Don Giovanni were also livestreamed to 5,700 viewers around the world – a pilot effort that will be expanded in 2015.
Also in 2014, 1,000 school-aged children saw opera up close as the Festival’s Castleton Alive education and outreach program expanded to include more schools and programs in the region. Students from Rappahannock County, Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, and Fairfax, Virginia interacted with Castleton staff for a “world-class educational experience” for children and youth (Culpeper Star Exponent). Castleton also hosted 224 West Virginia Governor’s Honors Academy students for an opera performance of Madama Butterfly.
As a nonprofit arts organization, the Castleton Festival funded its productions, training programs and operations in 2014 from grants from the NEA and the Virginia Commission for the Arts among others, ticket sales, and from private contributions from donors. Since founding the Festival in 2009, Maestro Maazel invested $10 million to develop the Festival to its current level. In 2015, the Maazel family will continue providing rent-free use of Castleton’s facilities, and Castleton’s Board and staff are engaged in a campaign to raise $1.5 million by the end of 2014 to secure next season’s programs and performances.
Facts about the Castleton Festival’s History and Operations
- The Festival was founded in 2009 by Maestro Lorin and Dietlinde Turban Maazel, and just completed its sixth season June 28-July 20, 2014.
- The Castleton Festival is distinct among other festivals in the Greater Washington region because of its combined roles as mentoring program for young artists and theater professionals, a producing entity, and a modern performance venue.
- Each summer, the Festival invites more than 250 artists—young, emerging professional singers, musicians, makeup and costumers, technicians and stagehands as well as seasoned professionals—for eight weeks of rehearsals and performances.
- There are two venues on the Maazel family’s 550-acre Castleton Farms: the Castleton Festival Theatre is a 648 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 138 seat proscenium theatre including seating on two levels and an orchestra pit accommodating 17 musicians.
- The Festival is the largest (seasonal) non-government employer in central Virginia’s Rappahannock County, according to John McCarthy, County Administrator.
- For its sixth season in 2014 the Festival presented a new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, along with a dramatic reading of Don Juan in Hell, symphonic concerts, chamber music, scene recitals, a July 4th All-American Band concert, a bluegrass concert, and a Law in Opera talk by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg. Repertoire from previous seasons includesThe Turn of the Screw, The Beggar’s Opera, Albert Herring, and The Rape of Lucretia (2009); Il Trittico, A Soldier’s Tale, and Master Pedro’s Puppet Show (2010); La Bohème, L’enfant et les sortilèges, and The Seven Deadly Sins (2011); The Barber of Seville, Carmen, and A Little Night Music (2012); and The Girl of the Golden West, Otello, and La Voix Humaine (2013).
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