For the first time ever, Ash Lawn Opera will take its complete mainstage opera on the road with a performance of one of Mozart’s most beloved operas, “Così Fan Tutte” (“School for Lovers”), at the Moss Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. June 30. 

The performance will be in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall. 

Composed by Mozart with libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, this heartfelt tale told through sublime music and on-stage hilarity begins with a game of love and seduction when two young men decide to test their fiancees’ fidelity, only for both couples to discover the fickleness of attraction. The characters seek to define the nature of love and fidelity, and there is inevitable conflict between their widely divergent views.

Full of mistaken identities, deceptive servants, and jealous lovers, the fully staged production features Ash Lawn’s principal cast and chorus, sets, and costumes and is accompanied by a live chamber orchestra.

The story takes place during a 24 hour period — from dawn to dawn — in New Orleans during Mardi Gras in 2002. This is a parallel to the setting for the original story, which take places in 18th century Naples, Italy. The major elements of the set consist of three reversible, movable units that evoke the architecture and feel of New Orleans' French Quarter. The pieces are used in different configurations to create a variety of playing spaces, including a coffee house, a couple of different gardens, and an open avenue looking toward the sea.

The cast features Mireille Asselin (Metropolitan Opera, Wolf Trap Opera), fresh from an appearance as Adele in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of “Die Fledermaus,” as the clever maid Despina, as well as Kristopher Irmiter (San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera) as the hilarious and conniving Don Alfonso. Cassandra Velasco (Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago), Melinda Whittington (Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Carolina), Joshua Dennis (Santa Fe Opera, Arizona Opera), and Andrew Garland (Seattle Opera, Opera Philadelphia) complete the cast as the four scheming lovers.

Andrea Dorf McGray (Washington National Opera, Aspen Music Festival) directs, updating Mozart’s masterpiece to the 20th century, and Maestro Steven Jarvi, resident conductor of St. Louis Symphony, returns to Ash Lawn Opera for the sixth consecutive year to conduct a vibrant orchestra with players from prestigious symphonies around the country.

For more than 38 years, Ash Lawn Opera has produced opera and other musical performances in Charlottesville, Virginia. The company provides a wide range of educational programs for youth and adults, as well as professional training for emerging artists.


Tickets for the performance are $30 for general admission and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to an event.

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