Washington, D.C. Residency
June 19 – 27, 2021

Although the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible for Prague Summer Nights: Young Artists Music Festival (PSN) to return to the Czech Republic in the summer 2021, PSN continued its history of providing rising young artists opportunities to perform Mozart’s operatic masterpieces in unique and historic settings through the 2021 Washington, DC Residency.

From June 19-26, 2021, 15 talented participants came together from top music schools across the USA for a week-long residency in Old Town Alexandria, VA, just minutes from downtown Washington, DC. Over the course of one week, these young musicians prepared a staged production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, under the direction of four of PSN’s distinguished faculty: John Nardolillo, Artistic Director & Conductor; Gayle Shay, Stage Director; Shannon McGinnis, Head Coach; and Catherine Clarke Nardolillo, Head of Voice. The company rehearsed and performed at the historic Rectory on Princess Street – Classical Movements’ headquarters in Alexandria, constructed in the 18th Century just a few years after the Estates Theatre.

In addition to three sold-out performances of The Magic Flute and a gala concert of opera arias, singers had the opportunity to participate in illuminating masterclasses with directors of the Washington National Opera Cafritz Young Artists and the Castleton Festival.

All performances were presented as part of Classical Movements’ innovative and critically acclaimed concert series “Sounds of Hope & Harmony.” Since June 2020, this series was the first and largest since the beginning of the pandemic, receiving plaudits from the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, OperaWire and other national press and featuring esteemed artists from the Metropolitan Opera, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Washington National Opera, San Francisco Opera, National Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra and more.

Participants came from the Mannes School of Music, Eastman School of Music, Catholic University, James Madison University, Vanderbilt University, Peabody Conservatory, University of Michigan, Bard College, University of Maryland, Oklahoma City University, and Middle Tennessee State University. The performances also featured the Niles String Quartet (University of Kentucky) and special appearance by flautist Sabatino Scirri (United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps). For many, this was the first opportunity to perform for a live audience since before Covid-19 – and even their first opportunity to rehearse and perform in-person in any setting.

Our Location

Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

On the Potomac River within eyesight of Washington, D.C., Alexandria, VA is nationally recognized for its rich history and beautifully preserved 18th- and 19th-century architecture.  It’s known for its Old Town, with brick sidewalks and well-preserved 18th- and 19th-century buildings. King Street is lined with boutiques and specialty shops. Founding fathers dined at Gadsby’s Tavern, now a museum with period objects and photographs. Carlyle House Historic Park is a restored Georgian mansion with a garden. 
The Rectory on Princess Street

The Rectory on Princess Street

The Rectory, dating from 1785 formerly served as the rectory of the nearby historic Christ Church, once the church of George Washington.  The 18th century English garden of the Rectory is a tranquil space complete with its iconic Magnolias. You will be inspired by the garden’s peaceful, romantic vintage feel.  Located in the heart of beautiful Old Town Alexandria at 711 Princess Street, the Rectory is minutes away from the shops and restaurants of bustling King Street and is easily accessible by bus and metro.

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