Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or cdevlin6@gmu.edu

NEW SEASON OF GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON ANNOUNCED

August 18, 2005
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR THE ARTS ANNOUNCES THE
2005-2006 SEASON OF GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON


• Fairfax venue announces season of international artistry marked by collaborations and co-presentations

Returning artists include:
Mark Morris Dance Group
Susan Marshall & Company
Ute Lemper
Marvin Hamlisch
Canadian Brass
Nrityagram Dance Ensemble
Ahn Trio
Mark O’Connor
Opera Verdi Europa
Virginia Opera
Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel

Newcomers to Great Performances at Mason include:
Black Watch and Band of the Welsh Guard
Aterballetto
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Munich Symphony Orchestra
Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble
The Flying Karamazov Brothers
Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Doug Varone and Dancers
Ballet Flamenco Jose Porcel
Ballet Hispanico
CHI
John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers
Arlo Guthrie
King’s Singers and Sarband


2005-2006 Season also includes new holiday programming!

Fairfax, Virginia, April 1, 2005?”We build each season with one eye on nurturing our most fruitful long-term artistic relationships, and the other on exploring new territory and expanding horizons by introducing new artists and companies, and sometimes even a new art form,” said Rick Davis, artistic director of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts at a press conference and luncheon announcing the new season of the Center’s performing arts series, Great Performances at Mason. Speaking to members of the media, donors and board members, as well as George Mason faculty and staff, Davis said, “This season’s performances extend our deep connections to our superb resident ensembles such as Jim Carroll’s red hot Metropolitan Jazz Orchestraand our award-winning professional theater company, Theater of the First Amendment. We continue our profound relationships with Jeffrey Siegel, the Virginia Opera and the Mark Morris Dance Group, each luminaries in their respective fields.”
The 2005-2006 Season is launched with the first of four Keyboard Conversations with pianist Jeffrey Siegel on September 25, 2005, followed by the first event on the Center’s popular Global View series, a Fairfax debut performance by Ballet Hispanico on October 1.

SUCCESSFUL SERIES AND ARTISTS ARE A MAINSTAY
The season’s Magnificent Music collection, “continues the theme of big name orchestras and conductors for which we are becoming quite popular,” asserts Davis. The orchestras this season include the Royal Philharmonic with Charles Dutoit conducting Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, Op. 96, Mozart’s Symphony No. 39 in E flat Major, K. 543, and works by Tchaikovsky. The Center welcomes the Russian National Orchestra, performing excerpts from The Sleeping Beauty and Stravinsky’s La Baiser de la fée (“The Fairy’s Kiss”). The Munich Symphony with guest artist/conductor Philippe Entremont performs compositions of Beethoven, Schubert Brahms, Mozart and Strauss.
Owing to the immense popularity of world music, folk inspired dance and movement, and the current popularity of artistry that springs from diverse cultures, the Center’s Global View series continues to evolve. The 2005-2006 season includes the return of sultry chanteuse Ute Lemper, who so aptly channels smoky European cafes with sublime vocal nuance. In a co-presentation with Washington Performing Arts Society, the revered Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, hailing from the eponymous village where they live and breathe the tradition of Indian dance, returns to enchant audiences with their subtle yet powerful evocations. The company performs a D.C. premiere based on the ancient ritual dances performed in the innermost sanctum of Hindu temples entitled Sacred Space/Margam -- The Path. Newcomers to Global View include the feisty Ballet Hispanico and energetic, mystical and folk-inspired acrobatic movement from Shanghai, performed by CHI. The Center also hosts the pageantry and pomp of the U.K.’s centuries-old working regiments, The Black Watch and Band of the Welsh Guard.

EXPANDING HORIZONS

“We’re expanding the horizons of performance with the legendary composer/performer Meredith Monk and a rising star in the spoken-word form, Marc Bamuthi Joseph,” says Davis about two of the events this season that are a departure for the Center for the Arts. Monk’s thought-provoking multimedia piece titled “The Impermanence Project” is based on a period of time she and her company, Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble, spent in a London hospice and features traditional vocals coupled with unique sounds and instrumentation.
Marc Bamuthi Joseph performs Scourge – a collaborative effort with choreographers Rennie Harris, Adia Whitaker and Stacy Prince, and composer John Santos. Bamuthi
Joseph combines urgent voices, music, and movement in a timely and poignant multimedia work, fulfilling his desire to re-imagine his native Haiti through the medium of performance art; creating a new history addressing not only political events, but also the people and places surrounding them. Scourge is co-commissioned by the Bates Dance Festival, Dance Place, George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, and the National Performance Network.
Pop music giant John Mayall, and his band the Bluesbreakers, brings a new vitality to the Center’s American Echoes series. This collection features Broadway legend Marvin Hamlisch, the Center’s very own magnetic and popular Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, the electrifying classical interpretations of the Ahn Trio and Mark O’Connor’s genre-crossing, acclaimed project, Appalachia Waltz Trio.

LIVE THEATER – A HALLMARK OF THE CENTER

This year’s offerings in the Enthralling Theater collection include the powerful and 2002 work, The Exonerated from L.A.’s highly praised company The Actors’ Gang. The Exonerated—based on actual interviews by the playwrights/directors—tackles a controversial topic by weaving together the stories of 6 inmates who were wrongly convicted of murder, and the effect the convictions and time spent on death row had on their lives.
In a completely different vein, the Center presents the hilarious high jinks of The Flying Karamazov Brothers in their show “LIFE: A Guide for the Perplexed,” in which this hilarious troupe juggle everything from the bowling pins to lubricated kelp, and even skateboards. This “fun for the whole family” show features their signature Borscht Belt humor, indefatigable rhythm, and the Brothers’ take on everything from religion to politics.
The award-winning team of Mary Hall Surface and David Maddox returns to Theater of the First Amendment to charm old and young with Lift: Icarus and Me, featuring spicy Texas-flavored music, and a story of letting dreams take flight. Lift spends three weeks at Mason’s Theater of the First Amendment and a week at the Clarice Smith Center at the University of Maryland, which co-commissioned the play.

THE REGION’S BEST CHOICE FOR DANCE
The Center for the Arts consistently brings the best of international and American choreography – both modern and classical – to its audiences in Dynamic Dance. In 2005-2006 the Center welcomes back the always-exciting Mark Morris Dance Group. Over the years, the Mark Morris Dance Group has solidified its partnership with the Center for the Arts bringing our audiences world and area premieres as well as cherished older works – all to live music, of course! Ballet Hispanico, Ballet Flamenco de Jose Porcel, Italy’s Aterballetto and the Russian National Ballet (performing the full-length “Sleeping Beauty”) bring the best of the world’s great dance to our stage in Center debuts, while modern dance pioneer Susan Marshalllooks back over an extraordinary twenty years with Dance Theater Workshop in “A Return to Intimacy.” One of the most exciting companies on the modern dance scene, Doug Varone and Dancers also make their Center for the Arts debut this coming season.

OLD FRIENDS
Another favorite of Center audiences, pianist Jeffrey Siegel returns to celebrate the 250th birthday of Mozart all season long in his entertaining and enlightening Keyboard Conversations®. Siegel explores the genius of Mozart as well as other great composers who felt his influence, in four programs: Mozart and Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert, Mozart and Chopin and Mozart and Ravel.
Virginia Opera, known as the “state opera company of Virginia,” led by Maestro Peter Mark, announces its four operas here in its Northern Virginia home in Fairfax are: Verdi’s La Traviata, Gounod’s Romeo & Julie, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, and Bellini’s Norma. Maestro Mark is scheduled to conduct La Traviata with audience favorite Dorothy Danner directing. Wei Huang (Liù in last season’s Turandot) makes her leading role debut as Juliet in Romeo & Juliet. The company produces The Marriage of Figaro in honor of Mozart’s 250th, and welcomes back the acclaimed Fabiana Bravo in Norma in Spring 2006.

WARMING UP WINTER EVENINGS, USHERING IN THE SEASON
The Center has holiday events planned for every audience. On Friday, December 16, banjoist Alison Brown makes her first appearance in Fairfax with a special program for the season: Winter’s Eve. The center welcomes this artist who has composed and played her way into the affections of bluegrass and acoustic jazz fans with her unique voice on the 5-string banjo. Brown, who joined Alison Krauss for a successful three-year run including a place on Krauss' Grammy-winning "I've Got That Old Feeling," won bluegrass music's highest accolade for an instrumentalist: the International Bluegrass Music Association Banjo Player of the Year in 1991.
Audience favorites the Canadian Brass return on Saturday, December 17 for their annual Christmas party on stage.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH IS IMPORTANT
The Center’s outreach staff is working on developing residency activities around several events in the coming season, including Ballet Hispanico, the Mark Morris Dance Group, the Ahn Trio, Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble’s Impermanence Project, Susan Marshall & Company, The Actors’ Gang, Doug Varone and Dancers and Ute Lemper. The Center has worked with students at Reston’s Hunters Woods Elementary School over the last nine years on development and presentation of original musical theater, a relationship that will continue in 2005-2006, culminating in a student performance at one of the Center’s venues in spring 2006. Also, the Center offers a school series each year, Arts on Target, with reduced ticket prices and matinee performances complete with curriculum-based study materials, that schools and home school groups throughout the region take advantage of on a regular basis. The 2005-2006 Arts on Target performances include Ballet Hispanico, CHI, Theater of the First Amendment’s Lift: Icarus and Me, and The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble.

IN CONCLUSION
“I’m delighted to announce this new season,” Davis concludes, “A season filled with what I hope you’ll agree is defined by the common denominator of virtuosity.”
For more information on the entire 2005-2006 Season of Great Performances at Mason, visit the Center’s website at www.gmu.edu/cfa.

THE CENTER FOR THE ARTS IS PLEASED TO RECOGNIZE THE CONTINUED SUPPORT OF FIRST HORIZON BANK AS SPONSOR OF THE
2005-2006 GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON SEASON.

SUBSCRIPTIONS TO THE 2005-2006 SEASON OF GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON ARE AVAILABLE NOW. FOR A BROCHURE OR MORE INFORMATION ON SUBSCRIPTIONS CALL, 703-993-2787.
GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.