The Castleton Festival Announces Summer 2016 Season

Contact Marc Apter marca@castletonfestival.org, 301-904-3690, to arrange interviews with Dietlinde Maazel, Rafael Payare and others.  Additional photos available as well.



More than 22 Performances over Five Weekends, July 1 through 31, 2016

Bluegrass and Fireworks

New Production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro

Encore Production of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia

Law in Opera with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Rafael Payare

Mozart’s Requiem and Chamber Music


Festival Calendar Includes Four Concerts by Wynton Marsalis and his

Summer Jazz Academy and a Presentation by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Free Live Streaming Throughout Festival

(Castleton, VA, November 16, 2015) – The Castleton Festival’s 2016 summer season will launch July 1 and extend through July 31. The eighth annual program will showcase Castleton’s rising stars alongside world-renowned artists in a new production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, and an encore production of Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, both conducted by Castleton’s Principal Conductor Rafael Payare. Hailed as one of  the most sought after young conductors, Payare recently made his opera debut conducting Madame Butterfly at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. The Jazz great Wynton Marsalis will return for the second annual Summer Jazz Academy along with special guest faculty and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will give a talk on Law in Opera punctuated by semi-staged opera scenes with Castleton’s singers and orchestra.  There will also be a tribute to Shakespeare as well as Bluegrass, a Great American Concert, Mozart’s Requiem and a chamber concert series  directed by renowned cellist Alisa Weilerstein. Subscriptions for the 2016 summer Castleton Festival go on sale Dec. 1 at CastletonFestival.org and through the Festival box office at 866.974.0767. Tickets for individual performances will be available beginning on Feb. 1, 2016.

The Castleton Festival continues to gain distinction as a performance series and showcase for established musicians as well as outstanding young professional singers and instrumentalists through the summer Castleton Artists Training Seminar (CATS) and the Castleton Festival Orchestra. All major presentations will be streamed live via the internet as a free offering. The 2016 Festival will feature several CATS alumni, including Kira Dills-DeSurra and Erica Intilangelo who portray Cherubino and Susanna respectively in Le nozze di Figaro.

Davone Times, a prominent  Castleton alumnus referred to as a “…charismatic, full-voiced bass…” by The New York Times, will perform Old American Songs, two sets of compositions by Aaron Copland, as part of the Great American Concert. That concert will be led by Conductor Colonel John Bourgeois and feature a narration of Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait by Judge David Tatel, who has served on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 1994. Another prominent young singer starring in Le nozze di Figaro is soprano Emalie Savoy, who won this year’s German-based ARD International Music Competition, one of the most prestigious classical music competitions.

Performances at previous Festivals have been well received by music and theatre critics, earning rave reviews in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun and Los Angeles Times. The Washington Times called the Castleton Festival “a cultural ‘Brigadoon’ for music lovers.” And The Washington Post calls it “one of the highlights of the area’s cultural year.”

For the second year the Castleton Festival will be live streaming all major performances—from fully staged operas to orchestral concerts to Jazz at Lincoln Center—beginning with Le nozze di Figaro on July 2 at 7 p.m. This groundbreaking access makes the Castleton Festival the first mid-Atlantic classical summer music festival to bring all of its performances to the world stage of the internet. Last year over one million worldwide enjoyed these streamed presentations. All the performances will be streamed directly on the website (www.CastletonFestival.org) and are free of charge.


The Festival’s operatic offerings in 2016 include classic works both conducted by Castleton’s Principal Conductor Rafael Payare. Shakespeare’s impact on opera will also be honored, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will further explore the impact of law in opera.

Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)

Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) is brought to life in four acts. With a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, based on the trilogy of plays by Pierre Beaumarchais, this epic tale takes place after the events of Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville).  Featured in the title role is Brandon Cedel, a recent winner of the Met’s National Council Auditions, and ARD International Music Competition winner Emalie Savoy will sing the role of the Countess.

Le nozze di Figaro premieres Saturday, July 2 under the direction of New York theatre and film star Maria Tucci, with three performances through July 16.

The Rape of Lucretia

An opera in two acts by Benjamin Britten, The Rape of Lucretia was inspired by a Shakespearean poem, “The Rape of Lucrece,” which described events that took place among Roman aristocracy in 509 B.C. Britten, an English composer, conductor and pianist, was a central figure of 20th-century British classical music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music, orchestral and chamber pieces. The 2016 performance, directed by renowned Britten expert and award-winning director William Kerley, commemorates both the 70th anniversary of the opera’s debut in England and the 40th anniversary of Britten’s death.

The Rape of Lucretia premieres Saturday, July 9, with additional performances on July 15 and 17.

The Music of Shakespeare

The Festival will also mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by a journey through operas inspired by his plays such as A Midnight Summer’s Dream, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Tragedy of Othello, The Moore of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor. Staged excerpts  and arias, scenes and monologues will be performed by CATS artists on July 1, 10 and 16.


Mozart’s Requiem

Castleton’s Principal Conductor Rafael Payare will bring Mozart’s Requiem to the Festival Theatre stage on July 10. Composed by Mozart in 1791, this final work, shrouded in mystery, was left unfinished upon his death and has been modified and completed by a number of his contemporaries as well as modern composers.

Law and Opera

Supreme Court Justice and opera aficionado Ruth Bader Ginsburg will star at an orchestral concert with semi-staged opera scenes. In a tongue-and-cheek talk punctuated by performances of CATS artists and the Castleton Festival Orchestra Justice Ginsburg will share her passion for opera from a legal point of view. The performance on July 16 will be conducted by Castleton’s Principal Conductor Rafael Payare.

The Great American Concert

On July 3, an All-American orchestral concert will showcase the music of Copland, Sousa, Rodgers and more. Judge David Tatel, who succeeded Ruth Bader Ginsburg as judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, will narrate Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait, Virginia native bass-baritone and Castleton alumnus Davone Tines will be the featured soloist, the Castleton Festival Orchestra will be conducted by Colonel John Bourgeois, Director Emeritus of the United States Marine Band.


Among the concerts slated for 2016 is a July 3 performance featuring bluegrass legends Seldom Scene. The Grammy-nominated band will play favorites from their more than four decade career that began in a Bethesda, MD, basement, including selections from their recently released collection “Long Time… Seldom Scene.” The concert will conclude with a patriotic fireworks display in honor of Independence Day.

Lieder Recital “In my love, in my song…”

The recital, which takes place on July 2, features a famous yet rarely heard collection of romantic German art songs, performed by Castleton Artists.


In 2016, Castleton welcomes back Wynton Marsalis as he brings Jazz at Lincoln Center’s summer training program for high school students to Castleton. The second annual Jazz at Lincoln Center Summer Jazz Academy takes place July 23-31, and will include two weekends of performances headlined by Marsalis and featuring a host of established stars of jazz as well as a new generation of standout musicians.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Summer Jazz Academy celebrated its first edition at Castleton in 2015. . The two-week institute, designed and instructed by Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis and a select faculty, serves as a rigorous training program for 42 of the most advanced and dedicated high school jazz students (grades 9-12) in the world. The students also perform on the weekends’ performances alongside Marsalis, the prestigious faculty and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.


Founded in 2009 by the late Maestro Lorin Maazel and his wife Dietlinde, the Castleton Festival introduced classical music, theatre and opera performed by the stars of tomorrow, working with established artists, to the bucolic surroundings of Rappahannock County at the foothills of the Shenandoah Valley. 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 theatre professionals.

Each summer, the Festival has invited more than 250 artists to Castleton where young professional singers, instrumentalists, conductors, and theatre professionals finesse their craft alongside experienced mentors 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 CATS (Castleton Artists Training Seminar) program for advanced vocal students which runs parallel to the summer performance festival. Castleton is committed to engaging CATS alumni to return in future seasons to perform leading and supporting roles. Alumni often go on to positions with leading orchestras and opera companies, such as the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the London Philharmonia, the Vienna Philharmonic, the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and many others.

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 estate: 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. Opened in 1997 in a remodeled chicken barn, often called a “Mini-Globe,” the Theatre House still serves as the focal point of Castleton’s year-round activities. Its stage has welcomed world-renowned artists such as José Carreras, Emanuel Ax and Itzhak Perlman, alongside rising classical music stars, and figures from world music, jazz, dance, and theatre, in a multicultural series called “Castleton in Performance” (CiP).

Led by CEO and Artistic 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 2016 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.                      (30)

Photo Cut Line:  The summer 2016 Castleton Festival will include two operas including The Rape of Lucretia. The July festival will feature over 22 performances including Mozart’s Requiem, Bluegrass, Jazz with Wynton Marsalis and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Law in Opera presentation. Michael Rice (Collatinus) and Ekaterina Metlova (Lucretia) were stars in the 2009 Castleton Festival performance of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia.

Lucretia 2 leads cropped 2

Photo Credit:  Laurie Hayes

Contact Marc Apter for additional photos.


Marc Apter, 301.904.3690, marca@castletonfestival.org


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