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CENTER FOR THE ARTS ANNOUNCES 2007-2008 SEASON
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’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS ANNOUNCES
THE 2007-2008 SEASON OF
GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON
v MARK MORRIS’S MASTERPIECE: DIDO & AENEAS
v FULL-LENGTH WORK FROM
BILL T. JONES/ARNIE ZANE DANCE COMPANY—CHAPEL/CHAPTER
v THE 8OTH ANNIVERSARY SEASON OF
MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY
v RETURN OF THE ENTHRALLING THEATER SERIES
WITH FOUR PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTIONS
v ORCHESTRAL BRILLIANCE FROM AROUND THE WORLD
v BERGEN PHILHARMONIC with pianist ANDRE WATTS
v ROYAL PHILHARMONIC under PINCHAS ZUKERMAN
v STATE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OF MEXICO
v and the HELSINGBORG SYMPHONY under ANDREW MANZE
in a special program on Beethoven’s “Eroica”
v GLOBAL ARTISTRY FROM PERU, RUSSIA,
MEXICO, ARGENTINA, AND THE BRITISH ISLES
v THE MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL ON TOUR
v LEON BATES ON BROADWAY
v COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS LEGEND DOC WATSON
v FOUR OPERAS FROM VIRGINIA OPERA INCLUDING THE COMPANY’S
FIRST-EVER RUSSIAN OPERA!
and much, much more!
v PNC BANK ANNOUNCES SEASON SPONSORSHIP
Fairfax, Virginia, April 5, 2007 — Officials at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts announced the new season of Great Performances at Mason at a press conference on the university’s Fairfax campus, Thursday, April 5, 2007. In support of the season, PNC Bank made public its sponsorship of the Great Performances at Mason Series. The 2007-2008 season of Great Performances at Mason, comprised of nine performing arts series, begins in fall 2007 and continues through spring 2008.
“After six seasons of day-to-day engagement with the assembly of the Great Performances at Mason Series, I am delighted to bring my long-time colleague Tom Reynolds into the fray as the primary ‘booker’ for 07-08 and beyond,” said Rick Davis, the Center for the Arts’s Artistic Director opening the conference. Members of the media, donors, sponsors, the Center’s staff, and the faculty of the College of Visual and Performing Arts heard Reynolds elaborate on the artists and events coming to Fairfax beginning Fall 2007 and continuing through the Spring of 2008.
“I am very pleased to announce, following a year’s hiatus, the theater series is back with five diverse productions (Enthralling Theater includes offerings from several companies including the Actors’ Gang out of Los Angeles, The Acting Company and Aquila Theatre Company),” began Reynolds, Director of Artistic Programming, Marketing and Audience Services, as he illustrated a season featuring new innovations as well as visits from artists referred to as “old friends.” And, Reynolds continued, “This season allows us to do something we have hoped to do for many years: present a full-length production by the Mark Morris Dance Group – Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, whose chamber ensemble Mr. Morris will himself conduct.” In addition to Morris, returning artists include the Virginia Opera, Chanticleer, King’s Singers, Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, Jeffrey Siegel’s Keyboard Conversations®, and the St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre. The news, however, was reserved for what Center patrons had not seen before, including Barbara Cook, Doc Watson, the Bergen Philharmonic, Rockapella, Perú Negro, and Rik Reppe – creating what Reynolds called “the exhilaration of bringing artists to our stage for the first time.” “I'm excited about the shape of the 07-08 season that Tom has put together,” stated Davis. “It maintains the high artistic level of our music and dance offerings, increases the visibility of the theater series, and adds some innovative international work and special attractions that should bring a lot of festivity to the Concert Hall. There's truly something for everyone.”
Davis continued, “Tom is an experienced, thoughtful, and most importantly, tasteful hand in the presenting business, and has been an important presence behind the scenes of the series since I've been in charge. This has allowed me to focus on the broader implications of my role as Artistic Director of the Center for the Arts, a dynamic and multi-faceted institution that is deeply involved in its various communities of Northern Virginia and George Mason University.”
William Reeder, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the academic “parent” of the Center, commented on the Center’s connections and relationship-building within the Mason and greater community, saying “Through the Great Performances, George Mason University seeks to reach out to the communities of Northern Virginia and across its own campus constituency of faculty, staff, and students.” Reeder likened the Center for the Arts to the university’s “front door…through the arts, extending a warm welcome to all.”
INTERNATIONAL CLASSICAL PROGRAMMING OF THE FIRST ORDER
The Center announced a Magnificent Music Series anchored by musician and music historian Andrew Manze’s deep exploration of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E flat major – “Eroica” – with aid of the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, in March. In this innovative program’s first half, the ensemble features Mozart’s Overture to “The Magic Flute;” then, Manze elucidates the history of the “Eroica,” revealing the work’s impact and inspirations. Following intermission, this internationally acclaimed group of virtuosos performs the work in its entirety. Also on the Magnificent Music schedule: pianist Andre Watts joins the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra for a program including Grieg, Prokofiev and Shostakovich; the King’s Singers usher in the yuletide season, and Pinchas Zukerman conducts London’s Royal Philharmonic in a program of Elgar, Bruch, and Tchaikovsky. Under Enrique Bátiz, the State Symphony of Mexico covers Mendelssohn, and welcomes pianist Leonel Morales interpreting the monumental “Rach 3.”
MORE IN DANCE – MODERN, CLASSICAL, AND GLOBAL
The Center’s venerated Dynamic Dance series continues to aim high. In addition to Morris’s Dido & Aeneas, performances by folkloric groups like Ballet Folklórico de México and the Georgian State Dance Company, the Center continues a lengthy tradition of bringing diverse cultural traditions to the region. Choreographer Bill T. Jones returns to the Center for an exclusive area presentation of his company’s full-length 2006 work, Chapel/Chapter, again using his trademark combination of on-the-mark movement, video, text, and autobiographical elements. In its 80th Anniversary Season, the legendary Martha Graham Dance Company performs for the first time since the Center’s inaugural season in 1990, and the St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre brings the esteemed Russian tradition of classical ballet to two productions—Swan Lake and Carmen.
The Theater Series kicks off with cutting-edge dramatists Aquila Theatre Company in Joseph Heller’s own adaptation of his searing treatise on war’s futility: Catch-22. Tim Robbins’s award-winning Actors’ Gang returns to the Center with Orwell’s look at a doomed futuristic society in 1984; America’s premier touring troupe, The Acting Company comes in for two diverse productions: Orson Welles’s play-within-a-play Moby Dick Rehearsed, and Shakespeare’s bittersweet farewell to the stage, The Tempest. Monologist Rik Reppe brings his one-man observation on the human condition, Staggering Toward America (based on events after September 11, 2001), to Fairfax in March 2008.
JAZZ MASTERS – A MUSICAL GENRE BORN IN AMERICA
The Center continues a tradition of preserving “America’s music” – jazz – by presenting some of the area’s, and the world’s, finest musicians in the genre. The Center’s own Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra joins forces with D.C.’s exuberant Capitol Bones to salute Stan Kenton, and the world’s ultimate jazz festival, Monterey, goes on tour. The Monterey Jazz Festival stops in Fairfax with trumpeter Terence Blanchard, saxophonist James Moody, pianist Benny Green, vocalist Nnenna Freelon, bassist Derrick Hodges, and drummer Kendrick Scott – all together for an evening of riffs and jams in some of the finest from this celebrated festival.
Center veteran artist Jeffrey Siegel returns for a 15th season of his popular ‘concerts with commentary,’ Keyboard Conversations®. These entertaining programs feature the renowned pianist speaking about a related selection of compositions and/or composers, playing the works in their entirety, and then taking questions from the audience. This season, Siegel offers a musical travelogue beginning in America with Gershwin, Copland and others; moving to France for Debussy, Ravel and Fauré; on to Russia to hear great works by Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich; and Central Europe for delights from Liszt, Johann Strauss, Jr., and Schubert.
With a reputation for bringing all the opulence, quality and musicality of the world’s great operatic productions to throngs of appreciative patrons each season, Virginia Opera does not disappoint with an insightful and adventurous season featuring four of the genre’s most intriguing tales. The season in Northern Virginia opens with the Virginia Opera premiere of Offenbach’s thought-provoking Tales of Hoffmann. Audience favorite The Pirates of Penzance and bel canto masterwork Lucia de Lammermoor are also on offer, and the company brings its inaugural presentation of a Russian opera with Tchaikovsky’s most popular opera, Eugene Onegin, featuring the debut of Russian-born soprano Veronica Mitina as Tatyana to Fairfax in February 2008.
ARTS BY GEORGE!
Following a successful launch last fall, the College of Visual and Performing Arts announces the return of its gala evening supporting scholarships, Arts by George! on Saturday, September 29th. The event features food, performing, and visual arts and culminates with a concert by one of Broadway’s most glamorous and brightest stars, Barbara Cook. Cook, who brings her own unmistakable imprint to anything she performs, promises an evening of Sondheim, songs from Candide, Carousel, The King and I, and much, much more.
With concerts by Leon Bates who joins with vocalists Louise Toppin and Robert Mack to celebrate the “Great White Way,” and veteran bluegrass icon Doc Watson sitting in with Richard Watson on guitar and David Holt on banjo, American music is showcased in groundbreaking and entertaining ways, from the sounds of the city to the echoes of the Great Smoky Mountains.
HOLIDAY WISHES FROM FAIRFAX
Holiday programming has long been a staple at the Center. This season, recognizing audience desires for choice during the winter months, Reynolds seized the opportunity to cross genres with the powerful and imaginative vocals of the King’s Singers, and the unique and mesmerizing stylings of
a cappella geniuses Rockapella, as well as the always-welcome antics of the Canadian Brass. Teaming up the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra with Washington’s top brass: the Capitol Bones, recreates “A Stan Kenton Christmas.”
A GROWING CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
“The Friends of the Center for the Arts (FCFA), is our dedicated volunteer group celebrating its second decade supporting the Great Performances at Mason,” announced Brian Marcus, Center for the Arts Associate Dean for Development. “FCFA broke all records in the level of its financial support for the Great Performances Series,” Marcus continued, elaborating that this support is, “just one more indication of the important part Great Performances plays in the lives of arts lovers throughout Northern Virginia.” Marcus, elated with the news that PNC Bank will sponsor the season, commented on the Center’s corporate support program saying, “The Center for the Arts and the Great Performances Season is attracting growing sponsorship support from the corporate community. The business advantages, high value, and unique benefits of supporting Great Performances makes the Center for the Arts a natural fit for some of the leading companies in the region.”
OUTREACH: AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE MISSION
The Center’s outreach department is working toward bringing artists to the Fairfax campus and region for extended visits in conjunction with their performances. For example, the Center is already at work developing masterclasses and residencies around the Mark Morris Dance Group, Martha Graham Dance Company and The Acting Company’s performances during the season. Other artists for whom lengthier periods of time in Fairfax and/or special events for audience segments might be in the offing are: Aquila Theatre Company, Perú Negro, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and Diavolo.
Rick Davis also announced the germination of a new festival in the works for summer 2008. Its working title is the Arts at Mason Festival, and the endeavor is being organized under the auspices of the Center’s professional theater company-in-residence, Theater of the First Amendment.
“The festival will feature a wide range of theater, music, dance, visual arts, and opera, and will showcase the best of the arts in the region,” explained Davis. “Work will be drawn from many of our partners, including Fairfax Symphony and the Fairfax Choral Arts Society, among others, and, for three weeks in June Fairfax will becomes the epicenter of innovative work in all genres and forms to populate every venue on campus, spilling out onto plazas and sidewalks! Stay tuned for formal announcements concerning the Festival specifics and its programming.”
Subscriptions to Great Performances at Mason are available now. For a brochure or more information call 703-993-2787.
The Center for the Arts is pleased to recognize the generous support of
PNC Bank as sponsor of the
2007-2008 Great Performances at Mason Season
# # #
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.