UVa-Wise announces 2012 season of its Southwest Virginia Summer Opera Company


The University of Virginia’s College at Wise has announced the 2012 season of its Southwest Virginia Summer Opera Company.

For the first time in its history, the group will stage its first full-length opera, “The Tender Land,” an American classic by Aaron Copland.  With major underwriting provided by the C. Bascom Slemp Foundation, productions will be presented in a variety of venues across the tri-state region.

The opera, which tells the story of a farm family in the midwest, was inspired by Copland after he viewed the Depression-era photographs of Walker Evans and James Agee’s “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.”

The production features UVa-Wise students in lead roles with Wise County Public Schools students in supporting and ensemble roles.  Zachary Marshall from East Tennessee State University will be featured in a lead role. Dancers from the Center Stage Cloggers of Coeburn will also be featured.

The season kicks off in Wise with a fundraising dinner and performance at MountainRose Vineyards on Saturday, June 23.  Tickets are $75 per couple for the dinner, which begins at 6:30 p.m.  A limited number of seats for the dinner, which includes two tickets to the performance, are available.  Tickets for the performance only, which begins at 7:30 p.m., are $20 per person.  Proceeds from the dinner and performance will benefit the Southwest Virginia Summer Opera Company.

The next performances will be at the Trail of the Lonesome Pine outdoor theater in Big Stone Gap, Monday, June 25, at 7:30 p.m., and the Breaks Interstate Park on Tuesday, June 26 at 6 p.m. in Breaks, Va.  These performances are free and open to the public.

On Thursday, June 28, the Southwest Virginia Summer Opera Company will perform at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg, Ky at 7:30 p.m.  The performance is free and open to the public.

The season concludes on Saturday, June 30, with a performance at 7:30 p.m. at The Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Va.  Tickets are available for $12.50 for adults and $10 for seniors and students.

Additional underwriting is provided by MountainRose Vineyards and James Lawson, Edward Jones Investments in Wise.

For information on tickets or the performances, please call (276) 328-0256.