Castleton Festival on Lorin Maazel's Virginia estate opens this weekend
For those of us who can't afford to dash off to Salzburg or Bayreuth or Lucerne or Glyndebourne or any other tony summer opera mecca, the Castleton Festival on the grounds of the expansive Virginia estate of Lorin Maazel makes an awfully satisfying alternative.
All right, you hear budding singers, rather than certified big-name artists. But, hey, Castleton is still pretty starry, what with Maazel conducting many of the performances.
The productions can be very compelling, and they certainly guarantee more intimate experiences than you would find in most places. (The tent seats about 400; at the jewel box Theater House on the grounds, you share operas with only 130 folks.)
And you don't have to think about lugging formal wear with you.
Oh yeah, there's also
I've got more details in today's paper about the 2010 festival, which opens this weekend. I plan to head down on the Fourth for "Il Trittico." Maybe I'll see you there.
PHOTOS BY LESLIE MAAZEL (above -- a rehearsal in the tent, a performance of "The Beggar's Opera" in the Theater House) and VICTORIA ASCHHEIM (below -- the tent being set up on the grounds)