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DECEMBER 2017 AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS featuring: Virginia Opera’s The Girl of the Golden West; Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy; American Festival Pops Orchestra; Vienna Boys Choir; and more!

October 24, 2017
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.

(FAIRFAX)—George Mason University’s Center for the Arts released today its schedule of performances for December 2017—many of which are holiday-themed—as part of the Great Performances at Masonseries. The calendar features an assortment of choral, orchestral, vocal, and Celtic music ensembles, as well as classical dance, in distinctive programs that celebrate the forthcoming festive season. The schedule also includes dance, music, and opera performances by regional arts organizations and Mason students and faculty.

Virginia Opera opens the month of December with Puccini’s “spaghetti western,” The Girl of the Golden West, which is the second full-scale production in the company’s 26th season at the venue. The Center’s holiday season, which kicks off on November 25 with the all-male ensemble Chanticleer,continues on December 8 with the fiddling and step-dancing duo of Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy. The couple will be joined by their children for a heartfelt and joyous performance entitled A Celtic Family Christmas.The American Festival Pops Orchestra will deck the Concert Hall with boughs of holly on December 9 with its family-friendly program, Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season. The annual sing-a-long features jolly carols and season classics that will leave the audience merry and bright. Finally, one of the finest choral ensembles in the world, the Vienna Boys Choir returns on December 17 to present Christmas in Vienna—a concert of sacred hymns, holiday pops music, and Christmas carols.

A full schedule of performances for December 2017 is below. Unless otherwise noted, performances will take place in the Center for the Arts’ Concert Hall located at 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax, Virginia. Tickets are available for purchase in person at the Center for the Arts’ Ticket Office (open Tuesday–Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), by calling 888-945-2468, or through the Center for the Arts’ website at cfa.gmu.edu.

 

Great Performances at Mason

 

Virginia Opera

The Girl of the Golden West

Saturday, December 2 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, December 3 at 2 p.m.

Images: Virginia Opera

Virginia Opera continues its season with Giacomo Puccini’s magnum opus, The Girl of the Golden West (La fanciulla del West), considered the first “spaghetti western.” Set during the California Gold Rush of 1849, this Italian opera is Puccini’s take on the rough and tough Wild West and features familiar themes of unrequited love, jealousy, betrayal, redemption, and changing fate. The story follows Minnie, a gun toting saloon owner of the Polka Saloon. Minnie is the object of desire for all of the whiskey-guzzling and card-playing patrons of her establishment, but Minnie rebuffs the cowboys and gold-diggers and instead falls head over heels for a mysterious stranger who might just be a wanted highway bandit in disguise. This thrilling Western melodrama is vividly brought to life under the direction of Virginia Opera’s beloved Lillian Groag. Sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Pre-Performance Discussion with Glenn “Dr. Opera” Winters begins 45 minutes before each performance.

Tickets: $110, $90, $54 

1 Free Student Ticket Available with Mason ID beginning on November 21

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy

A Celtic Family Christmas

Friday, December 8 at 8 p.m.

Images: Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy

Two of Canada’s brightest stars, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, marry their exceptional talents in this festive evening of lightning-fast fiddling and lively step-dancing. This husband and wife duo captivates the audience with their unmistakable chemistry as they perform foot-tapping rave-ups, heartfelt ballads, and remarkable step dancing. In their newest program, A Celtic Family Christmas, they are joined onstage by talented musicians and their whole family to recreate all of the warmth and joys of a typical Christmas in their home on Cape Breton Island. “Dual fiddle wizardry…amazing synergy,” raves the Intelligencer Journal. Celebrate the holidays as they share their traditions in song, dance, and stories by the fire.

Pre-Performance Discussion with a Member of the Company begins 45 minutes before the performance.

Tickets: $55, $47, $33 

1 Free Student Ticket Available with Mason ID beginning on November 28

American Festival Pops Orchestra

Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season

Saturday, December 9 at 8 p.m.

Images: American Festival Pops Orchestra

Celebrate the Christmas season with Northern Virginia’s very own pops orchestra in its annual family concert of cheerful carols and cherished holiday tunes. This jovial evening includes a program of sentimental favorites including Leroy Anderson’s festive “Sleigh Ride,” and culminates in a rousing sing-a-long in which the audience gets a chance to share in the experience. Under the baton of founder and artistic director Anthony Maiello, these talented musicians from the greater D.C. area perform favorites that are guaranteed to fill you and your family with holiday warmth and merriment.

Pre-Performance Discussion with Bryan Kidd, Arranger in Residence begins 45 minutes before the performance.

Tickets: $55, $47, $33

1 Free Student Ticket Available with Mason ID beginning on November 28

Vienna Boys Choir

Christmas in Vienna

Sunday, December 17 at 2 p.m.

Images: Vienna Boys Choir

One of the finest choral ensembles in the world makes its traditional visit to the Center for its glorious vocal celebration of Christmas. Always a highlight of the Center’s holiday season, this concert features cherished carols, pop favorites, and sacred hymns sung with the purity and excellence of these talented young boys—all between the ages of 10 and 14. This internationally renowned choir has stood the test of time since its founding in 1498 and continues to share its bright, light voices through the centuries” (The New York Times) with the world. Don’t miss this heartwarming concert, perfect for the holiday season!

Pre-Performance Discussion with a Member of the Company begins 45 minutes before the performance.

Tickets: $55, $47, $33 

1 Free Student Ticket Available with Mason ID beginning on December 5

 

Mason Student and Faculty Performances

 

Mason Opera

Hansel and Gretel

By Engelbert Humperdinck

Friday, December 1 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, December 2 at 3 p.m.

Harris Theatre

Sunday, December 3 at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Old Town Hall, Fairfax (off campus)

Mason Opera is proud to present Engelbert Humperdinck’s take on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel. This magical story charms children with its visions of sweets, mystical woodland creatures, and an eerie and enchanting forest—and adults are entranced by its beautiful and sophisticated score.

Tickets: $12 adult, $8 seniors, $5 youth through grade 12

1 Free Student Ticket Available with Mason ID beginning on November 21

Six Appeal Vocal Band

Holiday Show

Tuesday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Concert Hall

One of the busiest a cappella ensembles in the country, Six Appeal is known for its vivid musical style, sharp comedic timing, and playful charm. The vocal band performs music from a wide range of decades and styles, including classic oldies, current chart toppers, and original tunes. Don't miss the winners of the 2012 National Harmony Sweepstakes Championship!

Tickets: $20

Free Tickets for Students with Mason ID beginning on November 1

Dance Innovations

Thursday, December 7–Saturday, December 9 at 8 p.m.

Harris Theatre

Tickets: $15 full, $10 students, staff and seniors, $7 groups of 10 or more

1 Free Student Ticket Available with Mason ID beginning on November 21, 2017

Mason Symphony Orchestra

Holiday Concert

Sunday, December 10 at 7 p.m.

Concert Hall

Tickets: $20 adults, $15 seniors, $5 youth through grade 12

2 Free Student Tickets Available with Mason ID beginning on November 28

School of Art

Senior Art + Design Show

Monday, December 11–Friday, December 15

Reception: Friday, December 15 from 6-9 p.m.

Fine Arts Gallery

George Mason University’s School of Art presents the Fall 2017 Senior Art+Design Show, an exhibition highlighting works produced by the graduating senior class. Included in the exhibition will be a presentation of work encompassing many different artistic disciplines, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking, as well as, installation and new media.

Tickets: Free and open to the public.

 

Other Performances and Events 

 

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and Fairfax Ballet

The Nutcracker

Saturday, December 16 at 4 p.m.

Concert Hall

Experience this timeless holiday classic with the FSO and the Fairfax Ballet—a holiday tradition your family will always cherish. Enjoy a winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes, sugar plum fairies and epic battles between heroic toy soldiers and mischievous mice. It’s the perfect holiday treat for the entire family!

Tickets: $65, $53, $39

Moscow Ballet

Great Russian Nutcracker

Wednesday, December 20 at 7 p.m.

Thursday, December 21 at 7 p.m.

Concert Hall

Celebrate this Christmas with the experience taking North America by storm! Marking the 25th Anniversary Tour, Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker features over-the-top production and world class Russian artists. Larger than life Puppets, Nesting Dolls and gloriously hand-crafted costumes bring the Christmas spirit to life. Gather the family and see why the press is raving “Knock Out!”—The New York Times; “Christmas Cheer!”—LA Times. Get the best seats today and memories for a lifetime at Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker!

Tickets: $175 platinum, $130 gold circle, $89, $69, $49, $28

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 35,000 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.

 

For more information, please visit: 

George Mason University’s Center for the Arts

#MasonArts

PRESS CONTACTS

Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications

703-993-8794 | cdevlin6@gmu.edu 

Hyla S. Helsel London, Interim Director of Marketing

703-993-9808 | hhelsel@gmu.edu