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«Francesca Zambello, Artistic Director Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 12, 2016 Washington National Opera presents The Marriage of ...»

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Francesca Zambello, Artistic Director

Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 12, 2016

Washington National Opera

presents

The Marriage of Figaro

#FigaroDC

Saturday, September 24, 2016

at 7 p.m. at Nationals Park

Free community event to feature live broadcast

of Mozart’s sparkling comic masterpiece

with easy-to-follow English captions

“Pregame” entertainment, family events,

prize giveaways, and more begin at 5 p.m.

(WASHINGTON)—Washington National Opera (WNO) celebrates the return of free opera simulcasts to Nationals Park with title sponsor Mars, Incorporated with the M&M’S® Opera in the Outfield performance of Mozart’s classic romantic comedy The Marriage of Figaro on Saturday, September 24, 2016. Gates open at 5 p.m. for “pregame” activities, and the opera will be broadcast live from the Kennedy Center Opera House to the high-definition NatsHD scoreboard at the ballpark at 7 p.m. Free ~ more ~ seating will be available in the stands, while access to the outfield grass will be limited on a first-come, first-served basis when gates open at 5 p.m. More information, including a chance to RSVP to win prizes, is available at OperaintheOutfield.org.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive early and enjoy the festive ballpark atmosphere.

Beginning at 5 p.m., the special pre-show entertainment will include:

 Performances by local artists, including vocal students from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Opera Program and dance students from Savoy Elementary School, a Turanaround Arts school of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

 A meet-and-greet with M&M’S® Brand Chief Chocolate Officer, Ms. Brown.

 AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate demonstrations and lessons in chocolate history.

 A screening of the Warner Bros. cartoon “What’s Opera Doc?” starring Bugs Bunny. Set to Wagner’s iconic “Ride of the Valkyries” from The Ring, this parody of opera is best known for Elmer Fudd’s proclamation “Kill the wabbit!”  Photo opportunities for kids of all ages with the living statue of Babe Ruth as well as various opera characters.

 Kids can play in the open playground, dress up with items from the Washington National Opera costume trunk, visit the craft table, and have their faces painted by expert makeup artists.

 Chances to win prizes, including a walk-on role in WNO’s new production of The Daughter of the Regiment, a family fun pack of four tickets to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Kennedy Center, tickets to the Kennedy Center’s 19th Annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor honoring Bill Murray, a prize from M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies, and more.

Hosted by WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello, this event will feature a live broadcast of The Marriage of Figaro to the state-of-the-art NatsHD scoreboard. The opera tells an upstairs/downstairs story of love, lust, seduction, infidelity, and ultimately, forgiveness, all set to some of the most sublime and memorable music ever written. The vibrant production, adapted from The Glimmerglass Festival, is directed by Peter Kazaras, whose La bohème was a hit of WNO’s 2014–2015 season. The opera is performed in Italian with English captions, making it easy to follow along with the story and music.

M&M’S® Opera in the Outfield will take place rain or shine—in case of inclement weather, some covered seating is available. Regular concessions will be available throughout the ballpark.

More information about the free M&M’S® Opera in the Outfield simulcast of The Marriage of Figaro at Nationals Park is available at OperaintheOutfield.org. Patrons who RSVP on the website will be entered into a prize drawing. (RSVP’s are not required for admission into Nationals Park; walk-ins are welcome.) Groups of 10 or more can call the Kennedy Center’s Group Sales Office at (202) 416-8400 to arrange for a reserved seating section at Nationals Park.

Due to the popularity of M&M’S® Opera in the Outfield, patrons wishing to sit on the outfield grass will need to pick up a free wristband when they enter Nationals Park. The wristbands (one per person) will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be distributed at a table to the left of Center Field Plaza near the Family Picnic Area (at sections 141–143) beginning at 5 p.m. Once all of the available wristbands have been claimed, an announcement will be made over the stadium sound system and field access will be closed to those without a wristband. Ample free seating will be available in the stands throughout the evening. For more information on seating options, patrons can visit OperaintheOutfield.org.

Accessible seating is available throughout Nationals Park, and assistive listening devices are also available. The event will be fully captioned. For additional information about accessibility or to request an accommodation, patrons can visit the Nationals website or contact the Kennedy Center’s Accessibility Office at (202) 416-8727 or access@kennedy-center.org.

“We are proud to partner with the Kennedy Center and Washington National Opera to provide thousands of adults, children, and families with access to such a unique art form,” said William Clements, vice president, sponsorships and sports marketing, Mars Chocolate North America. “This signature community outreach event truly embodies the Mars Principles, which are at the heart of the company’s day-to-day activities and aligns Mars perfectly to M&M’S® Opera in the Outfield—an event that brings families together to experience a magnificent performance. Our hope is that this will be a family event that will be remembered and talked about at family events for years to come.” For more information about M&M’S® Opera in the Outfield, visit OperaintheOutfield.org

ABOUT THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO





It’s the day of the wedding at the palace, and seduction, jealousy, and deception are the uninvited guests. Handsome Figaro, the personal valet to Count Almaviva, is finally getting married to sweet Susanna, the Countess’s maid. But the Count has lustful designs on the brideto-be, so Figaro hatches a plan to outfox his master and expose his wandering ways with a barrage of humiliating tricks. Soon everyone is involved in the farcical antics, from a vengeful doctor and his matronly housekeeper to a bumbling teenage page. Mozart’s breathlessly paced comedy—one of the world’s all-time favorite operas—features enchanting music marked by glorious arias, tender duets, and the immediately recognizable overture. Clever disguises and absurd mix-ups keep the laughs and surprises coming in this charming exploration of the perils of temptation, the grace of forgiveness, and the triumph of love.

The cast is led by rising star soprano Amanda Majeski as the Countess, a role she has sung to great acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Another rising star soprano, Lisette Oropesa, sings the first of her two starring roles in the WNO season as the clever Susanna. Baritone Joshua Hopkins, who delighted audiences as Papageno in 2014’s The Magic Flute, returns as Count Almaviva. Bass-baritone Ryan McKinny, last seen as Donner and Gunther in WNO’s Ring cycle, is the handsome valet Figaro. For complete casting information, visit The Marriage of Figaro website.

The Marriage of Figaro is staged by director Peter Kazaras (WNO’s La bohème, 2014), and the WNO Orchestra is led by acclaimed conductor James Gaffigan in his WNO debut. The running time is three hours and 15 minutes, including one 25-minute intermission.

GETTING TO NATIONALS PARK

Nationals Park is located at 1500 South Capitol Street, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20003. Metro is the quickest and easiest way to get to Nationals Park. Take Metro’s Green Line to the Navy Yard-Ballpark station—it’s just a half block from Nationals Park. On Saturdays, parking is free at Metro Park-and-Ride lots. Buses that serve Nationals Park are the 74, P1, P2, V7, V8, V9, and the D.C. Circulator (Union Station-Navy Yard route). $10 parking is also available at Nationals Park in Lots B and C. For more information, go to www.nationals.com/waytogo.

NATIONALS PARK HOUSE RULES

Guests who plan to sit on the outfield grass may bring blankets, however chairs are not permitted on the grass. Nationals Park concessions will be open for the simulcast and during the pregame activities. No alcoholic beverages may be brought into Nationals Park. No bags larger than 16 inches x 16 inches x 8 inches are allowed into the ballpark and all bags are subject to inspection. Guests are prohibited from bringing hard containers into Nationals Park.

See a complete list of prohibited items in Nationals Park. For complete information about visiting Nationals Park, go to nationals.com.

ABOUT M&M’S® OPERA IN THE OUTFIELD

M&M’S® Opera in the Outfield is WNO’s signature community event. Eleven previous simulcasts have welcomed more than 175,000 people to experience free opera broadcasts from the Kennedy Center Opera House to Nationals Park; to screens on the National Mall; and to 31 colleges, universities, and high schools throughout the nation. In September 2008, the simulcasts moved to the newly opened Nationals Park, forging a unique relationship between Washington’s hometown ballclub and its hometown opera company. Previous simulcasts have included Cinderella, The Magic Flute, Show Boat, Don Giovanni, Tosca, Un ballo in maschera, The Barber of Seville, La traviata, La bohème, Madama Butterfly, and Porgy and Bess.

ABOUT MARS, INCORPORATED

In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr.

joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the objective of creating a “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders”—this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion; six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, and Symbioscience; and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.

Mars brands include: Petcare—PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital, CESAR®, SHEBA®, DREAMIES® and NUTRO®; Chocolate—M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY®, and TWIX®; Wrigley—DOUBLEMINT®, EXTRA®, ORBIT® and 5™ chewing gums, SKITTLES® and STARBURST® candies, and ALTOIDS® and LIFESAVERS® mints; Food—UNCLE BEN’S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS®, SEEDS OF CHANGE®, and ROYCO®; Drinks—ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA COMPANY™, KLIX®, and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience—COCOAVIA® and WISDOM PANEL®.

For more information, please visit www.mars.com. Follow facebook.com/mars, twitter.com/marsglobal, youtube.com/mars, and linkedin.com/company/mars.

®

ABOUT AMERICAN HERITAGE CHOCOLATE

In 2003, Mars Incorporated undertook an extensive global research initiative to uncover the true history of chocolate. A group from Mars led a multi-disciplinary team of more than 115 experts from around the globe who accessed over 200 archives, libraries, museums, and private collections to reveal chocolate’s origin and history in the Americas. CHOCOLATE: History, Culture, and Heritage has contributions from 45 authors, including researchers, culinary chefs, food scientists, and historians from leading historic institutions and was published in 2009 by Wiley.

® Out of this research project, the AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate brand was developed in 2006 by Mars Chocolate North America to help educate consumers about the history of our nation through the engaging story of one of our most beloved foods…chocolate! Fashioned off an ingredient list from 1750, AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate is an authentic historic chocolate made from ingredients available in the 18th century. The recipe represents a true taste of chocolate the way our ancestors would have enjoyed it. The product line celebrates chocolate’s important role in the lives of Americans during the 18th century. Made with allnatural ingredients and no preservatives, AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate comes in four unique formats: chocolate sticks, chocolate bites, chocolate baking/grating blocks, and finely grated chocolate drink mix. AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate is sold exclusively at over 130 fine gift shops at historic sites, museums, and historic inns across the USA and Canada.

For a complete listing or to purchase online, please visit www.americanheritagechocolate.com.

Learn more about American Heritage Chocolate at Facebook.com/AmericanHeritageChocolate, on Twitter @Choc_History, and NOW on www.Pinterest.com/ChocHistory.

ABOUT WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA

Washington National Opera (WNO) is one of the leading opera companies in the United States.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Francesca Zambello, the company presents a diverse season of grand opera—including both classics from the repertory and more contemporary pieces—plus several newly commissioned American works and a variety of special concerts and events. The WNO Orchestra is led by Music Director Philippe Auguin. Founded in 1956 and an affiliate of the Kennedy Center since 2011, WNO has a storied legacy of world premieres, new productions, international tours, live recordings and radio broadcasts, and innovative education and community-engagement programs. Throughout its history, WNO has been led by titans in the opera field, including the legendary Plácido Domingo, who headed the company from 1996 to 2011.



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