• Theatre House

    664 Castleton View Road
    Castleton, Virginia 22716
Ticket Price $17.38-$39.91 This event is now over


Judge David S. Tatel Book Launch: “VISION” 


Castleton Festival anticipates the celebratory release of upcoming memoir, “VISION”, written by United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Rappahannock County community member Judge David S. Tatel. 

We are delighted to host this terrific event in the Castleton Theatre House and Great Room, with Judge David S. Tatel, D.C. attorney Paul March Smith, and the young artists of the Denyce Graves Foundation and Castleton Festival. 


The ticket price covers the ENTIRE three-part event:

  1. Judge David S. Tatel in conversation with D.C. Attorney Paul M. Smith
  2. Performance on themes from Judge Tatel’s life and memoir: Equality, Justice, Activism, and Kindness
  3. Book-signing and cocktail reception following the event

*Books available on-site for individual purchase 


David S. Tatel served nearly thirty years on America’s second highest court, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where many of our most crucial cases are resolved—or teed up for the Supreme Court. He has championed equal justice for his entire adult life; decided landmark environmental and voting cases; and embodied the ideal of what a great judge should be. Yet he has been blind for the past fifty of his eighty-plus years. At first he tried to hide his deteriorating vision, and for years he denied that it had any impact on his career. Only recently, partly thanks to his first-ever guide dog, Vixen, has he come to fully accept his blindness and the role it's played in his personal and professional lives. His story of fighting for justice over many decades, with and without eyesight, is an inspiration to us all.


“The deepest lesson of David Tatel’s journey is that we
can’t avoid our challenges but only survive by meeting
them. Today, his brilliantly told story isn’t just important
for our personal lives but also for our lives as citizens who
are called anew to meet the challenges facing our country
and to protect and defend our ideal of justice for all.”

—Timothy Shriver, PhD, chairman of
the board, Special Olympics


Paul M. Smith is the Senior Vice President of Campaign Legal Center, where he works directly with CLC’s talented team of litigators to protect and advance American democracy through innovative litigation strategies. Paul has four decades of experience litigating a wide range of cases. He has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court 21 times and secured numerous victories, including in the important cases advancing civil liberties and civil rights, Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark gay rights case, and Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass’n, which established First Amendment rights of those who produce and sell video games. 


In addition, Paul has argued several voting rights cases at the Supreme Court, including Vieth v. Jubelirer and Gill v. Whitford, involving partisan gerrymandering, LULAC v. Perry, involving the legality of Texas’s mid-decade redrawing of congressional districts and Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, involving the constitutionality of a voter identification law. He served as counsel for amici in several key campaign finance merits cases including McCutcheon v. FEC (on behalf of Democratic House members), Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett (on behalf of the Committee for Economic Development) and Citizens United v. FEC (on behalf of the Committee for Economic Development). Paul previously served as a partner in the law firm of Jenner & Block, where he was chair of the firm's Appellate and Supreme Court Practice and co-chair of the firm's Election Law and Redistricting Practice. 


Paul is a graduate of Yale Law School (J.D.), where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal, and Amherst College (B.A.).  He now serves Amherst as a member of its Board of Trustees. After law school, Paul clerked for Judge James Oakes on the Second Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. He is admitted to practice law in DC, New York, Maryland, and all the federal circuits. Paul joined CLC in January 2017. 


--ABOUT the Performers—



Passionate about bringing the human experience to life through music, Tenor Justin E. Bell is an emerging artist on operatic and concert stages. Bell is invigorated by the collaborative process, and 2024 brings a number of exciting projects, notably Handel: Made in America at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sojourner with The Dessoff Choirs, and in recital at Manhattan School of Music. As a proud member of the Shared Voices Cohort within The Denyce Graves Foundation, Bell was a featured artist in WQXR Radio’s Young Artist Showcase series and in concert at The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. In 2023, Justin performed as an Emerging Artist at The Castleton Music Festival and a Studio Artist at Aspen Music Festival and School. He will earn his Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music this spring, and he is based in New York City.


Darius Jackson is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at Morgan State University studying vocal performance under Marquita Lister. Mr. Jackson won the bronze medal award, for Vocal Performance, from the NAACP Act-So National Competition held in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 19, 2014. He won the gold medal, for Vocal Performance, from the NAACP Act-So National Competition held in Baltimore, Maryland in April 2014. Some of Mr. Jackson's roles are the following Betto - Gianni Schicchi, Figaro - Le nozze di Figaro, Sam - Blue Monday, Rigoletto - Rigoletto, King Balthazar - Amahl and the night visitors, Colline – La Boheme, Rodolfo – La Sonnambula. Pursuing a strong interest, in Vocal Performance, Mr. Jackson studied and performed at The Baltimore Schools for the Arts underneath the guidance of Robert Cantrell from 2010 to 2014.  April 12-21 of 2023, Mr. Jackson made his first premiere in Paris with the Opera for Peace Academy. While there he worked with some esteemed artists and conductors. They include Kamal Khan, Sumi Jo, Brian Jadge, Etienne Dupuis, Rosetta Cucchi, and Carmen Santoro. He sang inside the Eiffel Tower. 


Valuing rich and warm vocalism along with engaging portrayals on-stage, mezzo-soprano Valarie Miles has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa. A Texas native, Valarie fell in love with the craft of opera at a young age and has continued pursuing diverse performance opportunities through educational and professional venues. 


As a black performer, Valarie actively includes compositions by Black and African American composers in her recital work. She seeks to broaden the research of these underrepresented artists, hoping that her efforts will increase the inclusivity and diversity of the classical vocal arts field. 


During the 2023-24 season, Valarie performed as Nada in Ana Sokolovic’s Svadba with the Peabody Opera Theatre, covered the role of Amahl in Amahl and the Night Visitors with Music on Site, Inc., and presented lecture-recitals on Jules Bledsoe at the Peabody Institute and the National Museum of African American Culture and History. Valarie is a proud member of the Denyce Graves Foundation’s Shared Voices program, where she has the opportunity to explore the historical intersection of Black culture and the classical vocal arts field. 


Valarie holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Baylor University, where she studied with Dr. Jamie Van Eyck. Valarie is currently pursuing her Master of Music at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, where she studies under Dr.Carl Dupont. She is an inaugural recipient of the institution’s Pathways to DMA Fellowship.


Jared Alan Yoakem is a pianist from Grand Rapids, MI. He is entering the third season as the assistant to Artistic Director Dietlinde Turban Maazel at the Castleton Festival. As a collaborative artist, he has performed at the national ACDA conference, NATS competition, the Orpheus Vocal Competition, the Vocal Immersion Program, and a variety of choral projects including two national PBS broadcasts at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, TN. He has been awarded with the Dean’s Advisory Council Award for outstanding achievement in music from Belmont University in 2019. 


This Fall, Mr. Yoakem will begin the Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) degree in Piano Performance at the University of Maryland, under the guidance of Mayron Tsong. Yoakem holds degrees from Belmont University and East Carolina University, under the tutelage of Elena Bennett and Kwan Yi. 

Venue Details

Theatre House

664 Castleton View Road
Castleton, Virginia 22716 Theatre House
Castleton Festival

Founded in 2009 by Maestro Lorin Maazel and Dietlinde Turban Maazel, the Castleton Festival introduced classical music, theatre, and opera to the rolling hills of Rappahannock County.

Castleton has been a life-changing experience for over 3,000 participants. Set in one of the most beautiful areas of Virginia, Castleton’s performances take place at the Theatre House: a former chicken coop for 15,000 hens converted to a “mini-Globe” European-style theatre with one of the finest acoustics in the world.  

There are four primary themes to Castleton’s present activities:

  • Castleton in Residency (CiR): one- to four-week Residencies for Artists of the highest caliber furthering their collaborative work and artistic growth. Artists are invited based on outstanding talent. In line with Maestro Maazel’s ethos, they are proactively encouraged to take risks and to challenge their artistic boundaries. The opportunity to fully immerse in the Maestro’s Legacy, his home, his music library, and his composing studio, together with performing in the Theatre House and experiencing the bucolic surroundings, imbues the artists with inspiration. Residencies to date have exceeded all expectations culminating in numerous recordings, some available via streaming on Castleton’s website.
  • Castleton in Mentorship (CiM): Artists in Residence are encouraged to make time available to teach Master Classes to high potential students from the local community. The Artists are also invited to bring their own students to participate in the unique experience. 
  • Castleton in Conversation (CiC): In collaboration with Daniel Lelchuk’s Talking Beats podcast, Castleton offers a new series which engages an extraordinary diversity of guests such as writers, musicians, scientists, entertainers, and thinkers in captivating and spirited dialogue. The common link between all is a passion for music.
  • Castleton in Performance (CiP), a year-round series, offers a multicultural experience. This thematically diverse series of recitals, chamber music, jazz, world music, theatre, chamber opera, and dance, brings internationally acclaimed artists into our own backyard. Eminent performers have included Mstislav Rostropovich, José Carreras, Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Sir James Galway, Wynton Marsalis, Pepe Romero, Alec Baldwin, and Claire Bloom. 

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