Music: Queen Mary in Virginia

Norfolk launches Thea Musgrave's newest opera

Norfolk, home of the world's largest naval base, may have launched a thousand ships, but it has never christened much, in the way of the arts. The city (pop. 330,000) lacks the colonial quaintness of nearby Williamsburg, the antebellum allure of Savannah or Charleston's successful new Spoleto Festival. But in 1975, Norfolk acquired some culture: the Virginia Opera Association. The founders were a group of wealthy, energetic women who took over the old 1,800-seat Center Theater, a concrete WPA-era pile blessed only with good acoustics. They pushed ticket sales hard and put on La Boheme. What's...

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