The Department of Music at Virginia Tech and American Opera Theater present an evening of early opera, sung in English, at Blacksburg's Lyric Theatre with performances of works by Henry Purcell and John Blow.

The performance will be held on Friday, April 24 at 8 p.m.

The artistic director and founder of American Opera Theatre (AOT) is Timothy Nelson, a Christiansburg native. The innovative Baltimore-based opera company, recently called “The Future of Opera” by the New York Times, is known for its unconventional and provocative interpretations of operatic classics and for reinventing opera for younger audiences.

AOT explores the depth of emotion in these breathtaking works, which will feature an international cast and orchestra alongside the Virginia Tech Chamber Singers and the Blacksburg Children’s Chorale. This collaboration will bring to life John Blow's rarely produced Venus and Adonis directed by Dorothy Atkinson, and Henry Purcell's unforgettable and timeless Dido and Aeneas, directed by Nelson. Refreshments will be available for purchase.

American Opera Theater was founded in 2003 as a company committed to presenting innovative opera productions exploring the future of the genre and introducing the art to marginalized audiences. AOT has received grants from the Geoffrey C. Hughes Foundation, the Virginia Commission on the Arts, the New Frontiers Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets are $12 for students; $35/Gold and $30/Silver and are available online, at the box office during regular business hours, or by calling (540) 951-4771. No refunds or exchanges.