“Battersea is a remarkable place. That such an important colonial house survives into the 21st Century is a remarkable feat in and of itself. John Banister’s role as the first Mayor of Petersburg, a Revolutionary delegate, a Congressman and a signer of the Articles of Confederation speak to the national importance of the events that took place within these walls and on this land.”

David J. Brown
Executive Vice President
National Trust for Historic Preservation


The mission of Battersea Foundation is to preserve historic Battersea and offer educational, artistic and cultural experiences that inform, enrich and inspire the public.




“Arias and Duets”:  Virginia Opera will Visit Historic Battersea for an Outdoor Concert on the Lawn

Battersea Foundation will host “Arias and Duets” with the Virginia Opera on Saturday, June 3rd at the Historic Villa located at 1289 Upper Appomattox Lane, Petersburg, Va.  This concert is FREE and open to the public, thanks to a generous gift from the Elmwood Fund.  The gates will open at 5:30 P.M. with the performance beginning at 7 P.M. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs.  Food, beer, wine, sodas will be available to purchase.

Get swept away with Virginia Opera’s answer to outdoor musical relaxation at its finest.  Arias & Duets offers the fresh, vibrant voices of Opera and Broadway in the glorious setting of Battersea Plantation.  Adam Turner, Virginia Opera’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor will be your musical guide through an evening of unforgettable favorites from the stages of Opera and Broadway.  Bring the family, a picnic, relax together on the lawn, and let the music feed your soul.



Virginia Opera, in its 42nd year of operation, is known and respected nationwide for the identification and presentation of the finest young artists, for the musical and dramatic integrity of its productions, and for the ingenuity and variety of its education and outreach programs.  The Company produces 28 mainstage performances, reaching nearly 60,000 attendees annually. Virginia Opera is the only opera company in North America to perform a full season of opera in three metropolitan markets* and to reach more than 150,000 students and community members each year through its innovative Education and Community Outreach Program which includes Adopt –A-School and Next Generation Free Student Ticket initiatives.

In March of 1994, by unanimous vote of the Virginia General Assembly, Virginia Opera was named The Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia in recognition of the organization’s contribution to the Commonwealth, and to the world of opera.

Organized in 1974 by founding president Edythe C. Harrison, Virginia Opera was launched with two productions in the Norfolk Center Theater, and has since expanded to four productions including twelve performances at the Edythe C. and Stanley L. Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, eight at the Carpenter Theatre at Dominion Arts Center in Richmond, and eight at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax. Virginia Opera’s history in Richmond began in 1977 with the encouragement of then-Governor Mills Godwin and Mrs. T. Fleetwood (Anna) Garner, under whose leadership The Richmond Friends of Opera was formed to present Virginia Opera productions annually in Richmond.

By 1983, the Richmond and Central Virginia Board of Virginia Opera was formed and a Richmond office was opened. In November 1992, the company presented its first mainstage performance at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University in Fairfax. This development was hailed as “one of the major local operatic events of the year” by The Washington Post; and deemed “a special day in music history for the Washington, D.C. area,” by Opera News.

More than twenty years later, the Virginia Tourism Corporation embraced Virginia Opera’s dedication to this most complex and elegant of the arts by adapting its famous state slogan to read: “Virginia is for Opera Lovers.”

*Edythe C. and Stanley L. Harrison Opera House/Norfolk, Carpenter Theatre at Dominion Arts Center/Richmond, George Mason University’s Center for the Arts/Fairfax.



Battersea Foundation is a non-profit organization in Petersburg, Virginia.  The Foundations’ mission is to preserve Historic Battersea and offer educational, artistic and cultural experiences that inform, enrich and inspire the public. The June 5th concert offers the perfect opportunity to continue moving forward fulfilling this mission.    Historic Battersea is an 18th century Palladian Villa located on the Appomattox River in Petersburg’s’ west end.  The Villa was built in 1768 by Col. John Banister, the first Mayor of Petersburg, a Revolutionary delegate, a Congressman and a signer of the Articles of Confederation.   Battersea is an excellent example of Palladian style architecture, receiving attention nationally for its beauty and importance.  The house will be open for touring before the concert. 


For more information on the event, contact Battersea Foundations’ Executive Director, Toni Clark at (804)732-9882 or learn more about the Foundation at www.BatterseaFound.org.