Listening to Opera on a Plantation in Charlottesville, Virginia
Bellowing bravado voices and extravagant Victorian gowns are the norm at the nine-week long Ash Lawn Opera Festival, held on grounds that originally belonged to James Monroe and Thomas Jefferson. Spread out your picnic blanket on the historic lawn to enjoy classic operas and theater performances such as “Carmen” and “My Fair Lady.” Nearing thirty years of operation, the Festival has recently expanded to include classic, folk, and contemporary tunes for occasional Music at Twilight evenings and a Saturday family entertainment series. Periodic lectures fulfill Monroe’s wish that Ash Lawn be used for educational, as well as cultural, purposes. Today, the estate is owned and operated by Monroe's alma mater, the College of William and Mary.