Virginia Arts Festival
Bringing world-class performing arts to our citizens and visitors.
1. Virginia Arts FestvalSince 1997, the Virginia Arts Festival has transformed the arts scene in southeastern Virginia, presenting great performers from around the world to local audiences and making this historic, recreation-rich region a cultural destination for visitors from across the United States and around the world. The Festival has presented numerous U.S. and regional premieres, and regularly commissions new works of music, dance, and theater from some of today's most influential composers, choreographers and playwrights. The Festival's arts education programs reach tens of thousands of area schoolchildren each year through student matinees, in-school performances, artists' residencies, master classes and demonstrations.
2. Spring 2020 Sneak PeekFor dance lovers, the Hong Kong Ballet brings its exuberantly creative production of ALICE (in wonderland), and the electrifying, Memphis-based Collage Dance Collective will perform. Classical music fans can enjoy a celebration of the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven, when Virginia Symphony Orchestra performs Beethoven's towering Ninth Symphony, in concerts featuring pianist Olga Kern and conductor JoAnn Falletta. There's a marvelous mix of musical styles to enjoy including, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with jazz legend Wynton Marsalis and Britain's Kingdom Choir (who stole the show at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding), Americana duo Mandoin Orange, banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck, rejoining the Flecktones for a 30th anniversary show, and the always-amazing public radio hit Live From Here, featuring mandolin wizard Chris Thile and a lineup of great guests. For film fans there are a couple of great surprises: the Sing-A-Long-A Sound of Music is your chance to fall in love with the classic film all over again, as you join in the beloved songs; and the Festival will present a rousing concert of music from the great Richard Rodgers-scored 1950s television series Victory at Sea, curated and conducted by Broadway music director Rob Fisher. One of the most unique presentations of the 2020 Virginia Arts Festival will be Michelangelo - A Different View, which uses state of the art technology to reproduce Michelangelo's frescoes in their original sizes for visitors to explore up close; the exhibit will be displayed in Norfolk's MacArthur Center May 7-31. A centerpiece of the Festival each season, the Virginia International Tattoo presents more than 1,000 performers from around the world in a magnificent spectacle of music, patriotism, and international friendship; this season's Tattoo promises to be one of the most moving ever, marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and honoring the courage and sacrifice of the Greatest Generation. Find information on these and dozens more performances at www.vafest.org