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George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Presents Virginia Opera Gilbert and Sullivan’s “H.M.S. Pinafore” Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 at 2 p.m.   George Mason University showcases “H.M.S. Pinafore” artifacts from Gilbert and Sullivan collection in an exhibition titled “Pinafore Craze in America 1878-1879”

November 3, 2014
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George Mason University’s Center for the Arts

Presents

Virginia Opera

Gilbert and Sullivan’s “H.M.S. Pinafore”

Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 at 2 p.m.

 

George Mason University showcases “H.M.S. Pinafore” artifacts from

Gilbert and Sullivan collection in an exhibition titled “Pinafore Craze in America 1878-1879”

 

FAIRFAX, Va., Nov. 3, 2014 – Virginia Opera, the Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, continues its landmark 40th anniversary season by setting sail with Gilbert and Sullivan’s maritime masterpiece and first international success, “H.M.S. Pinafore.” All aboard the grand British naval ship where the Captain plans to wed his dear daughter to the First Lord of the Admiralty, despite her forbidden love for a sailor of humble means. Hilarity ensues and secrets are revealed when the young couple ignores social convention and plans to elope. Filled with toe-tapping tunes, saucy satire and nutty nautical humor, Virginia Opera performs this delightful tale at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 at 2 p.m.

Patrons attending the performances will also have the opportunity to view an exhibition titled “Pinafore Craze in America 1878-1879,” which will include original photographs, programs, librettos, sheet music, playbills, souvenirs, advertising ephemera and other artifacts from the media blitz phenomenon that surrounded the earliest productions of “H.M.S. Pinafore.” The artifacts are from George Mason University benefactors David and Annabelle Stone, who recently announced that they are giving their collection of treasured Gilbert and Sullivan memorabilia to the Mason Libraries’ Special Collections. The exhibition will be on display in the Center for the Arts’ Concert Hall lobby on Dec. 5-7.

Renowned British-born director and choreographer Nicola Bowie brings her native knowledge of Britons’ fascination with class and social convention to this charming comic operetta. “Gilbert and Sullivan are marrying irony and satire together in order to poke fun at the British Navy and the British establishment,” Bowie said. “There are characters in the show who are absurd, although Gilbert wanted them to play it straight and believe in the absurdity, which all just adds to the fun.”

Fresh from conducting Virginia Opera’s outstanding season opener, “Sweeney Todd,” Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Adam Turner leads a stellar cast of Virginia Opera talents and conducts the Virginia Opera Orchestra. Following his smashing success as Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd and credited by The Washington Post for “creat(ing) a rounded and richly sung portrayal,” opera veteran Jake Gardner debuts the role of the amusingly absurd Sir Joseph Porter. Returning are perennial audience favorites Christopher Burchett and Margaret Gawrysiak, in the roles of Captain Corcoran and Little Buttercup. Both Burchett and Gawrysiak have performed prominent roles in previous comic operas produced by Virginia Opera; “Die Fledermaus” and “The Marriage of Figaro,” respectively. And proving that “love does indeed level all ranks,” the romantic leads of Josephine and the lowly sailor Ralph Rackstraw will be sung by two outstanding artists. As Josephine, soprano Shannon Jennings, who performed two years ago in Virginia Opera’s production of “Camelot,” will provide “the perfect blend of beauty and spirit.” Ralph Rackstraw is portrayed by Cullen Gandy, who was lauded by The New York Times for his “sweet-voiced tenor.” The cast is rounded out by prominent members of Virginia Opera’s Emerging Artists Program.

“H.M.S. Pinafore” will be performed in English with English supertitles. A pre-performance discussion with Glenn “Dr. Opera” Winters, free to ticketholders, will be held 45 minutes prior to each performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III and is sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

Images will be available online at vaopera.org/news-media in the coming weeks. Virginia Opera may also be found on the web at vaopera.org, on Twitter at @vaopera and on Facebook at Facebook.com/VaOpera.

 

Read more about the Gilbert and Sullivan collection coming to George Mason University: http://newsdesk.gmu.edu/2014/10/gilbert-sullivan-collection-make-home-mason/

 

Tickets for VIRGINIA OPERA’S production of “H.M.S. PINAFORE” are Friday: $86, $72 and $44, and Saturday: $98, $80 and $48. Youth Discount: tickets are half price for youth through grade 12. Visit the ticket office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu. The Center for the Arts complex is located on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the Mason Pond Parking Deck adjacent the Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university Lot K. For more information, please visit cfa.gmu.edu. Like us 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 Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Mason is also one of the best values in higher education, producing graduates who lead all Virginia schools with the highest annual salaries.