Things to Do

One of the Country’s Best Festivals Is Happening Now

Get Thee to the Country This Weekend for Shakespeare, Soaring Music, and Opera Star Denyce Graves

On a steamy weekend in the city, why not take a drive to the country—and enjoy a diversion that’s a different sort of steamy?

The annual Castleton Festival, which stages concerts and operas by some of the world’s most promising young singers and musicians, opened June 28 and runs through August 2 in Virginia’s Rappahannock County, about 70 miles southwest of DC. In May, the New York Times named it one of the country’s top 10 summer festivals for classical music.

While a few of this weekend’s events are already sold out—including Law in Opera, which features operatic performances followed by the commentary of Supreme Court Justice (and opera fan) Ruth Bader Ginsburg—you can still get tickets to Friday’s 8 p.m. performance of Roméo et Juliette, a French opera based on the Shakespeare tragedy. Tickets cost $20 to $85.

If your classical tastes run more classic, there’s also a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 on Sunday, July 12, at 2 p.m. As a tribute to the late maestro who founded the festival, Lorin Maazel, Beethoven’s work, which includes “Ode to Joy,” will be sung by four celebrated soloists, including Washington native Denyce Graves. Tickets are $20 to $65

Executive Editor

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986. She is the editor in charge of such consumer topics as travel, fitness, health, finance, and beauty, as well as the editor who handles such cover stories as Great Places to Work, Best of Washington, Day Trips, Hidden Gems, Top Doctors, and Great Small Towns. She lives in DC.