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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS ANNOUNCES 2014-2015 GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON SEASON

April 3, 2014
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

ANNOUNCES

2014-2015 GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON SEASON

 

Featuring

 

  • Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award winner Patti LuPone performing at the ninth annual ARTS by George! benefit event
  • Dynamic contemporary dance by Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Mark Morris Dance Group and MOMIX
  • Magnificent classical music by Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, State Symphony Orchestra of México, BBC Concert Orchestra, and Christopher O’Riley and Pablo Ziegler with “Two to Tango”
  • Virginia Opera’s 40th anniversary season, featuring “Sweeney Todd,” “H.M.S. Pinafore,” “Salome” and “La Traviata”
  • Bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley on his Farewell Tour
  • Jazz greats Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Allen Toussaint, and Doc Severinsen and Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra
  • Jasmine Guy and the Avery Sharpe Trio with “Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey”
  • Global music and dance by The Senegal St. Joseph Gospel Choir, The National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China, Tango Buenos Aires and Danú with its 20th anniversary tour
  • Holiday performances by Seraphic Fire, The 5 Browns, American Festival Pops Orchestra and Vienna Boys Choir
  • And much, much more!

 

 

FAIRFAX, Va., April 2, 2014 – George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax announces its 2014-2015 Great Performances at Mason season featuring a collection of outstanding performances by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists and ensembles spanning the globe and genres. The Great Performances at Mason season comprises nine performing arts series, beginning in September 2014 and continuing on through May 2015.

“I’m thrilled to reveal our 2014-2015 Great Performances at Mason season, featuring an extraordinary range of talent, from the incomparable Patti LuPone, who appears on our stage for the first time at our ARTS by George! benefit event, to bluegrass patriarch Dr. Ralph Stanley, who performs at the Center for the last time when he brings his Farewell Tour to Fairfax,” said Tom Reynolds, the Center’s director of artistic programming. “We’re excited to welcome to our stage for the first time Alonzo King LINES Ballet, The Senegal St. Joseph Gospel Choir, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Seraphic Fire, Jasmine Guy and the Avery Sharpe Trio, The 5 Browns and Todd Ellison. We’re pleased to bring back such past favorites as Allen Toussaint, Martha Graham Dance Company, BBC Concert Orchestra, Doc Severinsen, MOMIX, Christopher O’Riley and The National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China. And we are honored to present four stunning Virginia Opera performances as part of the company’s 40th anniversary season.”

 

 

 

ARTS BY GEORGE!

 

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) kicks off the performance season with its ninth annual ARTS by George!gala on Saturday, Sept. 27. This highly anticipated benefit event, which is among the most popular arts events in the greater Washington, D.C. area, supports CVPA student scholarships in the areas of dance, music, theater, visual arts, film and video studies, computer game design and arts management, as well as the Great Performances at Mason season. This unique evening commences with a showcase of the amazing talents of CVPA’s gifted students and faculty amid a sumptuous array of buffets and beverages. Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award winner Patti LuPone then takes the Concert Hall stage for an unforgettable performance titled “COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA….played that role.” LuPone performs the songs from roles in musicals that she could have played, would have played or should have played, along with those that she did play or will play. Included in the program are songs from “Hair,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Funny Girl,” “West Side Story” and “Peter Pan,” and, of course, from “Gypsy” and “Evita.” After the concert, ARTS by George! guests are welcomed onto the stage for a post-performance champagne and dessert reception with the artist.

 

 

DYNAMIC DANCE

 

One of the premier destinations for contemporary dance in the greater D.C. area, the Center presents four of the best and brightest companies in the dance world today with its Dynamic Dance series. The recent recipient of a Jacob’s Pillow Creativity Award, choreographer Alonzo King has been honored for his commitment to moving ballet in “a very 21st century direction,” and for using principles of science to further develop the language of movement. With his celebrated company, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, King creates work that imbues classical ballet with a diverse set of deeply rooted cultural traditions, and that is renowned for its profound sense of humanity. Martha Graham Dance Company returns with a marvelous evening featuring the pioneering company performing “Appalachian Spring Suite,” which includes a narration created from letters between Martha Graham and Aaron Copland; Graham’s “Cave of the Heart” and “Maple Leaf Rag”; and “Echo,” a new work by Andonis Foniadakis. An important presence at the Center for more than 18 years, Mark Morris Dance Group presents a brilliant program of new works and favorites from Morris’ expansive repertoire, including 1993’s “Grand Duo.” From the brilliant and untamed mind of founder and choreographer Moses Pendleton, MOMIX presents “Alchemia,” a new multimedia spectacle that focuses on the four classic elements of earth, air, fire and water to create a visually arresting theatrical experience. Bringing the grand tradition of Russian ballet to the Center’s stage, Russian National Ballet Theatre returns with two enchanting storybook ballets, “Cinderella” and “The Sleeping Beauty.”

 

 

MAGNIFICENT MUSIC

 

The Center presents some of the most illustrious orchestras and artists in today’s classical music scene in its Magnificent Music series. Under the baton of Jiří Bělohlávek, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra performs Janáček’s “Taras Bulba” and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” while renowned pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins the ensemble for Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major. Dazzling Miami-based a cappella group Seraphic Fire raises rapturous voices in song for a Christmas concert, “Carols by Candlelight.” Under the baton of Enrique Bátiz, State Symphony Orchestra of México pays tribute to the music of great Spanish composers, and is joined by piano soloist Irina Chistiakova and guitar soloist Alfonso Moreno. One of the foremost pianists of his generation, Christopher O’Riley returns with Latin Grammy Award-winning pianist Pablo Ziegler for a program called “Two to Tango,” featuring two-piano arrangements of tango music. Under the baton of principal conductor Keith Lockhart, BBC Concert Orchestra performs music of such British and French composers as Ravel, Vaughn Williams and Benjamin Britten, accompanied by piano soloist Charlie Albright.

 

GLOBAL VIEW

 

            Each season, the Center introduces audiences to music and dance from the far corners of the globe through its popular Global View series. Known throughout its homeland as a symbol of peace, hope, humanity and brotherhood, The Senegal St. Joseph Gospel Choir speaks to the soul through glorious voices, which perform the polyphonic sounds of traditional African songs, gospel spirituals and magnificent masses in the country’s four national languages. The National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China have enchanted audiences in previous appearances at the Center, and now the ensemble returns with a new show titled “Cirque Peking,” featuring jaw-dropping acrobatic feats that astound audiences of all ages. Celebrating 20 years of spirited music-making with its 20th anniversary tour, Ireland’s Danú presents a lively night of Celtic music when the band appears at the Center just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Known as Argentina’s greatest cultural export, Tango Buenos Aires pays homage to the country’s larger-than-life former first lady with “Song of Eva Perón.” Through their passionate and sensual art form, these celebrated dancers, singers and instrumentalists tell Perón’s story, from her impoverished childhood in the slums to her position as one of Argentina’s most powerful and influential figures.

 

AMERICAN ECHOES

 

            The Center’s American Echoes series captures the diversity of American music – from Broadway to bluegrass to Big Easy jazz. Bluegrass patriarch Dr. Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys bring an unforgettable night of music to the Center as part of the mountain music legend’s Farewell Tour. This fantastic celebration of Dr. Ralph Stanley’s life features him and his band performing the treasured music he has made famous, and that has influenced countless musicians throughout the years. Two musical titans from the Big Easy pay homage to their hometown when legendary jazz and R&B pianist Allen Toussaint performs “New Orleans Legends” with Preservation Hall Jazz Band, bringing incredible sounds straight from the heart of the French Quarter to Fairfax. Under the baton of founder and conductor Anthony Maiello, American Festival Pops Orchestra pays tribute to the celebrated musical genre that is a cherished part of American pop culture. Led by founder and alto sax virtuoso Jim Carroll, Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra presents “An Evening with Doc Severinsen” when it teams up with the trumpet legend to present a concert of high-hitting big band music. Distinguished pianist and Broadway conductor Todd Ellison takes the Concert Hall stage for “Love on Broadway,” featuring an evening of romantic tunes just in time for Valentine’s Day, and “Classic Broadway,” showcasing hits from “Damn Yankees,” “Les Misérables,” “West Side Story” and more.

 

 

 

ENTHRALLING THEATER

 

The Center presents a collection of beloved classics and contemporary favorites as part of the Enthralling Theater series. British American touring troupe Aquila Theatre brings one of fiction’s most tempestuous romances to life with Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights,” as well as Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” America’s premier radio theater company, L.A. Theatre Works, presents “In the Heat of the Night,” which is both a gripping detective murder mystery and a vivid portrayal of the black experience in the deep South during the 1960s. Renowned actress, singer and dancer Jasmine Guy, along with the acclaimed Avery Sharpe Trio, honors Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Zora Neale Hurston, W.E.B. DuBois and other African-American artists from the Harlem Renaissance with “Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey,” a moving work that weaves together poetry, song, movement and imagery in a panoramic experience. Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre presents David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “A Life in Theatre,” a humorous and heartfelt play about a veteran actor and promising young thespian competing for the spotlight and the dressing room, based on Mamet’s own experiences as an actor.

 

VIRGINIA OPERA

 

Virginia Opera, the Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, celebrates its 40th Anniversary Season with four glorious masterpieces, from a Tony Award-winning musical thriller to a timeless comic operetta, and from a chilling one-act work about a wicked femme fatale from the Bible to one of the most heartrending tragedies of all time. The company begins its 2014-2015 season with Stephen Sondheim’s deliciously disturbing “Sweeney Todd,” the tale of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, who schemes with shop owner Mrs. Lovett to exact revenge on his enemies while helping her thriving pie business. The season continues with Gilbert and Sullivan’spopular maritime masterpiece, “H.M.S. Pinafore,” filled with toe-tapping tunes, saucy satire and nutty nautical humor. Then, Virginia Opera performs Richard Strauss’ adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s notorious play about the beautiful yet troubled stepdaughter of Herod who requests the head of John the Baptist after he spurns her seductions. “Salome” shocked audiences more than a century ago with its extravagant debauchery and rich, evocative score, and its title role is among the most demanding in the operatic canon. The company concludes its anniversary season with “La Traviata,” Verdi’s timeless tale of the desirable and fragile courtesan who gives up her lavish Parisian lifestyle for love.

 

KEYBOARD CONVERSATIONS® WITH JEFFREY SIEGEL

 

A cherished institution at the Center, piano virtuoso Jeffrey Siegel returns in 2014-2015 with four concerts in his 22nd season of presenting his popular Keyboard Conversations®series in Fairfax. This outstanding “concerts with commentary” series presents a unique introduction to classical music, as this gifted musician provides fascinating insight into the lives and music of the world’s most prolific composers, and plays their most famous works, as well as some that are less frequently performed. Siegel begins the season with an exciting collection of favorites by Gershwin, Chopin, Schubert, Mendelssohn and more in “Classics Go Pop!” Siegel returns later in the fall to explore the creative genius of three of the world’s most revered composers with “Three Great B’s – Beethoven, Brahms and Bartók!” In his third concert of the season, Siegel performs Liszt’s heavenly “Ave Maria,” his devilish “Mephisto Waltz” and more in “Torment and Triumph – Franz Liszt, Satan or Saint?” Finally, Siegel concludes his season with “Rachmaninoff and Friends,” a brilliant performance highlighting the life and works of the celebrated Russian composer, as well as pieces by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Scriabin. Steinway Piano Gallery of Washington, D.C. is returning as the 2014-2015 Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel Series Sponsor.

 

HOLIDAYS AT THE CENTER FOR THE ARTS

 

The Center welcomes both new artists and old friends to Fairfax this Christmas season. Led by its founder and artistic director, Patrick Dupré Quigley, Grammy-nominated a cappella ensemble Seraphic Fire appears at the Center for the first time, bringing “Carols by Candlelight,” a Christmas concert filled with Gregorian chant, carols, motets and contemporary favorites. “Holiday Celebration with The 5 Browns” features the five young virtuoso pianists – who are also siblings – performing everything from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite” to Vince Guaraldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” when they make their Center for the Arts debut. Fairfax favorite American Festival Pops Orchestra presents  “Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season,” a concert filled with treasured Christmas carols, holiday favorites, guest soloists and a popular carol sing-along. Capturing the childlike wonder and magic of the Christmas season, Vienna Boys Choir returns with “Christmas in Vienna,” a spirited performance featuring everything from ancient hymns and traditional Christmas carols, to popular holiday favorites and songs from across the globe.

 

Subscriptions to Great Performances at Mason are available now and single tickets go on sale on Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. For a brochure, please call (703) 993-2787 or email stagecfa@gmu.edu. For more information about this upcoming season, please visit cfa.gmu.edu. Like George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Facebook at Facebook.com/gmucfa and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @GMU_CFA.

 

About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance, Art and Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.

 

About George Mason University

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.