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The Center For The Arts At George Mason University Announces The 2019/2020 Season Of 'Great Performances At Mason'

The Center For The Arts At George Mason University Announces The 2019/2020 Season Of 'Great Performances At Mason'

The Center for the Arts at George Mason University announced today the 2019/2020 season of Great Performances at Mason, its annual series featuring leading national and International Artists in the disciplines of classical music, opera, jazz, ballet, modern dance, theater, and global music and dance. The Center also announced the return of the Family Series, offering its second season of affordable programming for young audiences.

"For nearly 30 years the Center for the Arts has been offering the best of the performing arts in Northern Virginia, a tradition I am thrilled to be able to support and uphold moving forward," shared Programming Manager Adrienne Bryant Godwin. "Our season helps fulfill our mission to make the arts an intrinsic part of the lives of our community members. I have worked collaboratively with my predecessor, Thomas Reynolds, to put together a program that features artistic virtuosos and visionaries from across the globe. The season features masters performing the classics you know and love, as well as innovative new works, including our first commissioned project by the Center in more than 20 years. I look forward to sharing in these exciting artistic experiences with audiences throughout the season."

In addition to the Great Performances at Mason series, Bryant Godwin announced the launch of the Mason Artists-in-Residence program. The inaugural cohort of artists include LADAMA, a quartet of female powerhouse Latin American musicians; Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, one of the most innovative and influential modern dance companies today; and composer, conductor and 2019 NEA Jazz Master Maria Schneider. These visionary artists will spend time in our community, interacting with our audiences both on and off campus through activities designed to broaden the reach and deepen the impact of the Center's artistic programming.

The Great Performances at Mason season kicks off with a concert by acclaimed Broadway legend and Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award winner Audra McDonald in her Center for the Arts debut, as part of the ARTS by George! Benefit. During this one-night-only event, McDonald will perform her trademark mix of hits from Broadway and the Great American Songbook.

The Center's diverse lineup of classical artists kicks off with The Four Italian Tenors in Viva Italia!, showcasing a new generation of world-class tenors performing some of Italy's most beloved classics and arias. The fall continues with a presentation of The Four Seasons by the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, led by music director and violin virtuoso Daniel Hope-performing Vivaldi's original composition followed by a re-imagined one written specifically for Hope by neo-classical composer Max Richter. In the new year, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine celebrates their Jubilee 100th concert season with a concert featuring cellist Natalia Khoma. The following weekend, NPR's From the Top records a LIVE broadcast from the Center featuring some of America's best pre-collegiate, classically trained musicians, with guest hosts and piano duo Anderson and Roe. In March, the vocal ensemble The King's Singers will fill the Center with Love Songs-a program of romantic music spanning 500 years, and multiple Grammy Award-winning conductor José Serebrier leads the RTE National Symphony Orchestra featuring British teenage prodigy Alma Deutscher, performing her own violin concerto.

The Center's dance lovers will be treated to innovative works throughout the season beginning with Montreal-based RUBBERBANDance Group and their genre-bending fresh style melding hip-hop traditions with ballet technique, resulting in Victor Quijada's signature technique dubbed the RUBBERBAND Method. In January, Alonzo King LINES Ballet presents Figures of Speech a daring evening-length work drawing inspiration from poet and activist Bob Holman's research from the Endangered Language Alliance, set to an original soundscape designed by Alexander MacSween. The following month, Mason Artist-in-Residence Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company will present the world premiere of On the Water, an examination of group identity and its relationship to aloneness. On the Water is a co-commission by the Center for the Arts. In March, the Russian National Ballet returns to the Center for a weekend filled with iconic ballet pieces featuring a double bill of Romeo and Juliet and Carmen one evening, followed by Cinderella the next day.

The season is rich with music and talent from across the globe. In October, audiences will celebrate Hispanic Heritage month with the vibrant "Latin Alternative" quartet LADAMA. Mason Artists-in-Residence Lara Klaus, Daniela Serna, Mafer Bandola and Sara Lucas are musical trailblazers hailing from Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, and the U.S. pioneering a new dynamic sound. Later that month, the elite circus artists and acrobats of Cirque Mei return to the Center with their amazing feats of agility, strength and poise. In November, Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue dazzles audiences once again with this colorful celebration of all things Bollywood. In March, the Center welcomes Ballet Folclórico Nacional de México de Silvia Lozano in a showcase of Mexico's rich cultural gifts of dance, music, folklore, and costumes as well as the Grammy Award-winning Irish legends The Chieftains for a thrilling St. Patrick's Day celebration as part of their Irish Goodbye Tour.

The Center's 29th season welcomes the return of Aquila Theatre and L.A. Theatre Works with two powerful works of drama. L.A. Theatre Works-in collaboration with D.C.-based non-profit Vital Voices-presents SEVEN, which features the true stories of seven women from around the globe, who bravely fought for real and lasting change in their communities. SEVEN was written by playwrights Paula Cizmar, Catherine Filloux, Gail Kriegel, Carol K. Mack, Ruth Margraff, Anna Deavere Smith, and Susan Yankowitz. Aquila Theatre brings one of the great novels of the 20th century to the Center with George Orwell's dystopian 1984.

In April, the Center welcomes Northern Virginia's own pops and jazz ensembles beginning with the American Festival Pops Orchestra playing a tribute to The Great White Way in an evening of iconic hits and show tunes and reuniting Maestro Anthony Maiello with Lisa Vroman, a Broadway veteran and "musical and theatrical marvel" (The San Francisco Chronicle). The following weekend, Grammy Award-winning composer and conductor Maria Schneider leads the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra in a night of cool, expressive jazz. Schneider is a 2019 NEA Jazz Master, and a member of the inaugural Mason Artist-in-Residence program.

Virginia Opera offers three productions as part of Great Performances at Mason, featuring Tosca, one of Giacomo Puccini's most acclaimed and performed works; contemporary composer Daniel Catán's tragic-comedic Il Postino (The Postman), based in part on the 1994 Oscar-winning film; and one of Gioachino Rossini's most beloved comedic operas Cinderella (La Cenerentola).

The ultimate performer-commentator Jeffrey Siegel returns for his 27th season of Keyboard Conversations at the Center, in which he performs and shares stories for those who love classical music and those who want to. First Siegel dives into Humor and Heartache-Music of Mozart and Haydn exploring the range of emotions depicted by these great composers; followed by Mistresses and Masterpieces-revealing stories behind great romantic pieces by Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Bartok; next in Commemorating Rachmaninoff and Debussy audiences will hear some of the most famous works by these two popular composers; and to close out the season, Siegel presents Close Encounters of a Musical Kind, bringing to life the music of the "three great Bs:" Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms.

The Holiday season at the Center welcomes the return of audience favorites, A Chanticleer Christmas, the American Festival Pops Orchestra in Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season, and the angelic, youthful voices of the Vienna Boys Choir. This season, the Center is proud to include D.C.-based African-American a capella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock performing holiday songs from across the country and around the world in Celebrating the Holydays.

In its second season, the Family Series at the Center offers great family entertainment at very affordably prices, making introducing the arts to young audiences accessible and fun. The season includes Enchantment Theatre Company's Peter Rabbit Tales, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas featuring Eric Carle's "Dream Snow," Hot Peas 'N Butter, and The Magic of Bill Blagg Live.

A chronological listing of 2019-2020 Great Performances at Mason and Family Series events is below. Performances take place in the Center for the Arts' Concert Hall located at 4373 Mason Pond Drive in Fairfax, Virginia. Season subscriptions are on sale to Friends of the Center for the Arts at cfa.gmu.edu/preview or by phone at 703-993-2787. Subscriptions go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, April 17 and tickets for individual events go on sale Thursday, August 1 at the Center for the Arts' Ticket Office (open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and two hours prior to performances), by phone at 703-993-2787, or through the Center for the Arts' website.

2019/2020 Great Performances at Mason


Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel
Humor and Heartache-Music of Mozart and Haydn
Sunday, September 22 at 7 p.m.

Become a classical music insider with virtuoso pianist Jeffrey Siegel. Popular with classical music lovers and newcomers alike, his unique "concerts with commentary" format gives the story behind the music. This concert explores the wide range of emotions the music of these two great composers express: deep anguish and sadness to irresistible charm, wit, and joy. Siegel opens the season with a program that includes Haydn's exuberant Gypsy Rondo and melancholy Variations in F minor as well as Mozart's passionate Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor. Jeffrey Siegel is "one of those few pianists who impresses first as interpreter. A first-class musician who can sketch and colour with greatness" (The London Times). An interactive Question and Answer session will conclude this program.
$44, $37, $26
Family friendly

An Evening with Audra McDonald
Songs from the American Music Theater
Saturday, September 28 at 8:30 p.m.

Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award winner Audra McDonald makes her Center for the Arts debut. In this concert, McDonald performs her trademark mix of hits from Broadway and the Great American Songbook. In addition to a record-breaking six Tony Awards- distinguishing her as the most decorated performer in American theater-she is the recipient of two Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, and a 2015 National Medal of Arts bestowed on her by President Barack Obama. Tony-winning performances include Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill. Blessed with a luminous soprano voice and an incomparable gift for dramatic truth-telling, she is as much at home on Broadway and concert stages as she is on film and television. As a recording artist, she has released six solo albums. Her training in classical voice at Juilliard has led to appearances with leading opera companies and orchestras around the world. For this one-night-only ARTS by George! benefit, McDonald will be joined onstage by Andy Einhorn on piano, Mark Vanderpoel on bass, and Gene Lewin on drums.
$100, $75, $50
This performance is part of the ARTS by George! benefit.

Mason Artist-in-Residence
LADAMA
Harris Theatre
Friday, October 4 at 8 p.m.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with an extraordinary performance by the "Female Latin Powerhouse group LADAMA" (LA Weekly). This fresh and vibrant quartet innovates "Latin Alternative" music, seamlessly shifting instrumentation between bandola llanera (a mandolin relative), guitar, voice, and various percussion instruments. Each of these talented women, Lara Klaus, Daniela Serna, Mafer Bandola, and Sara Lucas, are musical and social trailblazers, hailing from across the Americas-Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and the United States. Their unique and energetic sound is not easily categorized: it effortlessly glides from electric to acoustic, from Spanish to English to Portuguese, and blends South American and Caribbean styles such as cumbia, coco, maracatu, onda nueva and joropo with soul, R&B, and pop. "The result is a vivid montage of music of the Americas with irresistible spirit and universal appeal," (NPR).
$25

The Four Italian Tenors
Viva Italia!
Saturday, October 5 at 8 p.m.

Be transported to bella Italia and indulge in Italy's rich culture and vocal music with The Four Italian Tenors in their U.S. debut tour Viva Italia! Hear a new generation of world-class tenors entertain with panache singing familiar classics and arias like Donizetti's "Una furtiva lagrima" from L'Elisir d'Amore; Puccini's "Che gelida manina" from La Boheme and "Nessun Dorma" from Turandot. The evening wouldn't be complete, of course, without "Caruso" and "That's Amore." Don't miss this charming quartet of four great tenor talents in an evening of classic Italian wit, dramatic flair, and music you know and love.
$55, $47, $33

Virginia Opera
Tosca
Saturday, October 12 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, October 13 at 2 p.m.

Virginia Opera opens its 45th season with one of Giacomo Puccini's most acclaimed and performed works, Tosca. This tour-de-force opera features some of Puccini's best-known lyrical arias, including "Vissi d'Arte" and "E lucevan le stelle." Set in Rome on the brink of military invasion, this gripping story of romance, jealousy, intrigue, and murder follows a trio of tragic figures-a heroic painter, Cavaradossi; his jealous lover, Tosca; and a sadistic Police Chief, Scarpia, who sets the plot in motion by arresting Cavaradossi. The action is taut and lethal, spanning less than a single day, during which time no one-neither hero or villain-survives to the end. Lillian Groag directs a stellar cast in this production that surges with timeless passion, unforgettable characters, and an emotional musical score that will leave you breathless. Sung in Italian with English supertitles.
$110, $70, $40

L.A. Theatre Works
SEVEN
Friday, October 18 at 8 p.m.
SEVEN is a powerful theatrical experience that tells the true stories of seven women from around the globe, who bravely fought to create real and lasting change in their communities. These courageous women from Pakistan, Nigeria, Ireland, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Russia, and Cambodia faced life-threatening obstacles to bring about major improvements in the lives of women and girls in their home countries. Seven acclaimed playwrights - Paula Cizmar, Catherine Filloux, Gail Kriegel, Carol K. Mack, Ruth Margraff, Anna Deavere Smith, and Susan Yankowitz - collaborated to weave together a tapestry of poignant stories relaying the struggle, threats, and violence along the road to triumph. The documentary play, created with the support of the D.C.-based non-profit Vital Voices Global Partnership, has been translated into 27 languages and performed worldwide in more than 30 countries. "SEVEN emphasizes the truth that the dignity and rights of women are essential to every culture around the globe" (AudioFile Magazine).
$44, $37, $26

Cirque Mei
Elite Circus Artists and Acrobats from the Hebei Province, China
Saturday, October 19 at 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.

Direct from the People's Republic of China, this ensemble of elite circus performers thrills the young and old alike with their amazing feats of agility, strength, and poise. The spectacular performances are a colorful and lively celebration of the Chinese circus arts, which are famous throughout the world. Cirque Mei blends ancient artistry with breathtaking energy for a non-stop extravaganza of acrobatics, contortion tricks, juggling acts, and balancing feats. This remarkable company features 40 leading circus artists and acrobats from the northern Hebei Province who execute many of the most popular Chinese circus routines, including hoops diving, lion dance, collective bicycle skills, flying meteors, foot juggling with umbrellas, and more. Bring the whole family to experience the beauty, wonder, and excitement of Cirque Mei.

$50, $43, $30
Family friendly

Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel
Mistresses and Masterpieces
Sunday, October 20 at 7 p.m.

Enjoy music inspired by the "significant others" in the lives of Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Bartok. For his second concert of the season, Jeffrey Siegel plays compositions that would not be what they are without the romantic inspiration of certain women in the composers' lives. Perfect for classical music lovers and newcomers alike, Siegel gives the back story about the piece and composer he is about to perform. "An unusual gift for commentary as well as extraordinary pianism bring Siegel's audience wholly into the musical experience" (Los Angeles Times). An interactive Question and Answer session will conclude this program.
$44, $37, $26
Family friendly

Taj Express
The Bollywood Musical Revue
Saturday, November 9 at 8 p.m.

Back by popular demand, this international sensation explodes onstage with the look and feel of the Indian Bollywood movies that have been entertaining people around the globe for generations. Taj Express follows the story of one man's passion and another's genius, and is packed with action, romance, comedy, and glamour. Spectacular dance numbers are performed to India's pop hits, including the songs of Oscar-winning composer A. R. Rahman, along with folk-music classics. This intoxicating production is the brainchild of acclaimed Bollywood choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant and her sister, director/producer Shruti Merchant. Taj Express, which dazzled audiences in their last appearance at the Center, blends vibrant costumes, rollicking music, and joyous dance with familiar film excerpts for a soaring adventure like no other. "The dancing goes straight to the heart," (Sunday Express). "Riotous. Exotic. Graceful" (The Times of India).
$48, $41, $29
Family friendly

The Four Seasons
Zurich Chamber Orchestra
Daniel Hope, violin
Sunday, November 10 at 2 p.m.

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
Max Richter: Recomposed

Rediscover the beauty of The Four Seasons, both in its original form and also in a completely reimagined one. In this groundbreaking program, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, led by music director and charismatic violin virtuoso Daniel Hope, pairs Vivaldi's iconic masterpiece The Four Seasons with neo-classical composer Max Richter's piece Recomposed. Written in 2012 specifically for Hope, his recording of Richter's piece topped classical music charts in 22 countries and received widespread critical acclaim. "It's a beautiful recomposition," The Independent raved, "with undulating string beds carrying Daniel Hope's lyrical lone violin lines." You won't want to miss this exciting classical concert that celebrates a masterwork and makes it new again.
$48, $41, $29

Virginia Opera
Il Postino
Saturday, November 16 at 8 p.m.
Sunday November 17 at 2 p.m.

Contemporary and classical opera enthusiasts alike are in for a special treat with this production of Mexican composer Daniel Catán's tragic-comedic opera, Il Postino (The Postman). Based in part on the 1994 Oscar-winning film, it was commissioned by Los Angeles Opera and was critically lauded in its premiere in 2010. Il Postino recalls the imagined life of exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda as he provides his long-suffering and love-struck postman, Mario, with the words to reveal his heart to the love of his dreams, Beatrice. It's a universal story of love longed for, and won, featuring an opulent score with arias, duets, and tonal music paying homage to Puccini. "Il Postino delivers in a way few modern operas do" (The Boston Globe), and the San Francisco Chronicle described it as "lush and singable." Crystal Manich directs this Virginia Opera debut production. Sung in Spanish with English supertitles.
$110, $70, $40

RUBBERBANDance Group
Vic's Mix
Friday, November 22 at 8 p.m.

RUBBERBANDance Group creates a bridge between the grace and structure of classical ballet and the raw, improvisational moves of hip-hop. Montreal's innovative company is stretching the limits of contemporary dance to create a fresh, new aesthetic. Their latest work, Vic's Mix, showcases highlights of company founder Victor Quijada's creations and the evolution of his signature dance technique, dubbed the Rubberband Method, that he developed over a 15 year period of time. A native of Los Angeles, Quijada's genre-bending style mixes his experiences from urban street and club scene dancing with his professional experience dancing with acclaimed postmodern and ballet companies. "Between them, the dancers and the choreographer seem like they have enough electricity to power the theater without any external circuits" (Dance Magazine).
$48, $41, $29

Aquila Theatre
George Orwell's 1984
Saturday, November 23 at 8 p.m.

Aquila Theatre brings one of the great novels of the 20th Century to the stage-George Orwell's dystopian 1984-in a chilling and timely production. The cautionary tale is set in the super-state Oceania, a totalitarian regime ruled by the "Party" and its leader, "Big Brother," who employ the "Thought Police" to quell individualism and independent thinking. Obedient rank-and-file Party member Winston Smith secretly hates the repressive regime and dreams of a rebellion against Big Brother. He begins a forbidden relationship with Julia, a fellow employee, and his life sets off in a dangerous direction. Published in 1949, 1984 examines the issues of truth, nationalism, censorship, surveillance, privacy, and individualism. Aquila Theatre's production of 1984 provides a space to contemplate the value of individual thought. "Aquila's productions are beautifully spoken, dramatically revealing, and crystalline in effect" (The New Yorker).

$44, $37, $26

Chanticleer
A Chanticleer Christmas
Saturday, November 30 at 8 p.m.

Unwrap holiday magic as Chanticleer returns to the Center to usher in the season with a festive program of Gregorian chant, Renaissance motets, Gospel melodies, and Christmas carols. Called "the world's reigning male chorus" (The New Yorker) this sublime ensemble of vocalists takes a musical journey through the ages with a level of clarity and virtuosity that is unmatched by others. It has become known around the world as an orchestra of voices, ranging from countertenor to bass, original interpretations of vocal literature from Renaissance to jazz and popular genres, as well as contemporary composition. Chanticleer has sold well over a million albums and won two Grammy awards in addition to many other honors. "Chanticleer fascinates and enthralls for much the same reason a fine chocolate or a Rolls Royce does: through luxurious perfection" (Los Angeles Times).
$55, $47, $33

Sweet Honey in the Rock
Celebrating the Holydays
Saturday, December 7 at 4 p.m.

Welcome the dynamic Washington, D.C.-based, African-American a cappella ensemble, Sweet Honey in the Rock, in Celebrating the Holydays. With five-part harmonies and sign language interpretation, Sweet Honey's sound ranges from African to blues to gospel and jazz. Celebrating the Holydays offers a rare fusion of traditional American holiday spiritual songs and hymns, as well as songs from other cultures and religions ranging from Africa to Israel. The three-time Grammy Award-nominated and internationally renowned group will also perform songs from the group's extensive repertoire, which includes We Are, Let There Be Peace, The Women Gather, and Come Ye. Since 1973, Sweet Honey has empowered and inspired with songs about a range of social issues, blending potent message with gorgeous artistry to stir the mind and the soul.
$50, $43, $30
Family friendly

Vienna Boys Choir
Christmas in Vienna
Friday, December 13 at 8 p.m.

There is no sound more celestial than the angelic voices of the Vienna Boys Choir, who return for their annual holiday concert to celebrate the magic of the season. The world's foremost children's choral group performs a delightful program of classical masterpieces, contemporary pop favorites, Austrian folk songs, and beloved Christmas carols with their signature old-world charm and youthful vocal purity. This ensemble of sopranos and altos, comprised of boys between the ages of 9 and 14 and representing 31 countries, is enormously popular across the globe. With more than six centuries of choral tradition, it is among the oldest of all musical organizations. Over the centuries, illustrious composers have written masterpieces for the choir and many great musicians and composers got their musical start as members of the choir. These young cultural ambassadors are adored for their wide range of repertoire, purity of tone, and generosity of musical spirit. It is the perfect holiday gift for you and your family.
$55, $47, $33
Family friendly

American Festival Pops Orchestra
Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season
Saturday, December 14 at 8 p.m.

Just hear those Sleigh Bells jinglin' as the American Festival Pops Orchestra ushers in the season with its annual holiday concert. A beloved tradition at the Center, the uplifting evening includes treasured classics like Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride", "A Christmas Festival," and a rousing carol sing-a-long. Maestro Anthony Maiello leads Northern Virginia's very own pops orchestra and special guest artists in a cherished holiday celebration.
$55, $47, $33
Family friendly

Alonzo King LINES Ballet
Figures of Speech
Saturday, January 25 at 8 p.m.

Since 1982, visionary choreographer Alonzo King has been redefining contemporary ballet by creating daring new works that marry the science of artistic movement with the beauty of other art forms. In his latest collaboration, Figures of Speech, King addresses the fact that languages of the world are vanishing at an alarming rate, and draws on the research of poet and activist Bob Holman, pioneer in the slam poetry movement and co-founder of the Endangered Language Alliance. His expressive choreography takes inspiration from a soundtrack of poetry recited by native speakers of languages nearing extinction and music played on traditional instruments. The movement interprets this soundscape, created by composer and sound designer Alexander MacSween, which is ethereal, alien, primal, and elegant. The San Francisco Chronicle proclaimed, "The finale, an unbreakable chain of 10 bodies, strong and sculptural, is a stunner."
$48 $41, $29

Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel
Commemorating Rachmaninoff and Debussy
Sunday, January 26 at 7 p.m.

Virtuoso pianist and storyteller extraordinaire Jeffrey Siegel, is popular with classical music lovers and newcomers alike with his unique "concerts with commentary" format. Hear some of the most famous works by these two popular composers who have recently had anniversary celebrations in the musical world: the 100th anniversary of the death of Debussy and the 75th of Rachmaninoff. In this program, Siegel plays Debussy's Clair de Lune and Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C-sharp minor as well as colorful Preludes by both composers. "An exquisite performance...superb music making. This was an achievement of a sort seldom heard" (The New York Times). An interactive Question and Answer session will conclude this program.
$44, $37, $26
Family friendly

Mason Artist-in-Residence
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company
On the Water (world premiere)
Saturday, February 1 at 8 p.m.

For more than 35 years, the landmark Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company has revolutionized modern dance while exploring issues of identity through social commentary. In this world premiere, co-commissioned by the Center for the Arts, Bill T. Jones examines group identity and its relationship to aloneness through his iconic choreography, set to spoken word and live music. Lauded as a groundbreaking leader in modern dance, Bill T. Jones is the recipient of the National Medal of Arts, MacArthur Genius Award, Kennedy Center Honors Award, and multiple Tony Awards. Welcome the breathtaking Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company back to the Center for this innovative new work that provokes thought about belonging versus isolation, and one's role in a community.
$48, $41, $29

On the Water is co-commissioned by the Center for the Arts at George Mason University

Virginia Opera
Cinderella
Saturday, February 15 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, February 16 at 2 p.m.

Gioachino Rossini's Cinderella (La Cenerentola) is one of his funniest and best-known comic operas. Following on his success of The Barber of Seville, Rossini and librettist Jacopo Ferretti worked day and night to create this opera in just three weeks. The story differs somewhat from the classic fairytale: there is no fairy godmother, magic pumpkin, or even a glass slipper! Even so, this enchanting tale delivers with all of the glimmering splendor, the comic characters, and the happy ending, of course. Best of all, it includes Rossini's effervescent score with the epic orchestral storm before the Prince finally finds Cenerentola, and the arias "Miei rampolli femminini," and "Nacqui all'affanno...Non più mesta." Virginia Opera's production celebrates this classic tale with unforgettable performances while making this charming and story new again for our audiences. Directed by Kyle Lang. Sung in Italian with English supertitles.
$110, $70, $40

National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine
Volodymyr Sirenko, conductor
Natalia Khoma, cello
Saturday, February 22 at 8 p.m.

Lyatoshynsky: Grazhyna, Op. 58
Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme, for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 33
Sibelius: Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39

Celebrating their Jubilee 100th concert season, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (NSOU) presents a concert of Eastern European delights, including a showpiece for cello by Tchaikovsky, Sibelius' first symphony which displays his unique Nordic style as well as his admiration for Tchaikovsky, and Ukrainian composer Borys Lyatoshynsky's symphonic ballade composed as a tribute to the Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz on the centenary of his death. Considered one of the finest symphony orchestras in Eastern Europe, NSOU has achieved international recognition with its extensive touring schedule and more than 100 acclaimed recordings, including Lyatoshynsky's Symphonies No. 2 and No. 3 named The Best Recording of the Year by the Australian Broadcasting Company. Under the direction of Volodymyr Sirenko, the orchestra is joined by world-renowned cellist Natalia Khoma, known for her "soaring, penetrating sound" (State News) as the featured soloist. "This is an orchestra with many virtues. Its strings can conjure up a vibrant songfulness; the woodwinds have a fruity, penetrating ripeness; the brass could endanger the walls of Jericho; the percussion might wake the dead..." (The Sydney Morning Herald).
$60, $51, $36

NPR's From the Top
Hosted by Anderson and Roe
Saturday, February 29 at 8 p.m.

Attend a live recording of this popular NPR radio show, featuring the acclaimed piano duo Anderson and Roe as guest hosts. From the Top celebrates the stories, talents, and character of America's best pre-collegiate classically-trained musicians. It began as an experiment in 2000 and quickly grew to become the most popular weekly one-hour classical music program on public radio. It delights both seasoned classical listeners and new classical music fans alike. With a mission to empower young musicians and inspire music lovers, From the Top showcases the extraordinary gifts and stories of the young musicians. Guest hosts Greg Anderson (a From the Top alum himself) and Elizabeth Joy Roe will emcee the program and perform alongside the young artists. Following the performances, the featured young artists discuss balancing their musical passions and dedication to their craft around school, hobbies and full family schedules. From the Top records before live audiences across the country, and broadcasts presentations are recorded before a live audience and broadcast on more than 220 stations nationwide to an audience of more than half a million listeners. Locally, it airs Sundays on WETA 90.9 FM at 6 p.m. Don't miss the unique opportunity to witness this delightful musical experience live.
$48, $41, $29
Family friendly

The King's Singers
Love Songs
Friday, March 6 at 8 p.m.

This celebrated vocal ensemble returns to the Center to sweep you off of your feet with their new program called Love Songs featuring a repertoire of romantic music spanning 500 years. With impeccable a cappella harmonies, The King's Singers perform a range of songs related to matters of the heart from Renaissance madrigals to contemporary pop favorites. Founded in 1968 by recent graduates of King's College, Cambridge, the sextet was distinguished from the beginning by its musical diversity, unique charm, and sublime musical craft. The group has appeared on many of the great stages of the world, including Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall, and has earned two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy, among numerous other honors. "These six singers can do almost anything a full-sized chorus can do, with a degree of perfection that drops the jaw and delights the ear" (Seattle Times).
$55, $47, $33

Russian National Ballet
Romeo and Juliet / Carmen
Saturday, March 7 at 8 p.m.

With lush music and exquisite grace, the Russian National Ballet returns to the Center to perform two of the world's greatest ballets: Romeo and Juliet together with Carmen. Both ballets express the torments of love. Young love, bursting with exhilarating passion, is at the heart of Romeo and Juliet, with the perilous fate for the star-crossed lovers. While with Carmen, it is unrequited love, burning with obsession that is at the center of this beautifully tragic ballet. Under the direction of the legendary Bolshoi principal dancer Elena Radchenko, the company brings both timeless classics to life, articulating the nuances of love through expressive dance, elegant costumes, and lavish sets.
$56, $48, $34
Family friendly

Russian National Ballet
Cinderella
Sunday, March 8 at 2 p.m.

Some stories never grow old, they only grow more magical and endearing. So is the case with the timeless fairytale Cinderella. This family favorite of finding true love and meeting adversity with grace and kindness will be extravagantly brought to life by the world-renowned Russian National Ballet, known their grand productions of treasured classics. When sweet-natured Cinderella is forbidden to attend the royal ball, she is heartbroken, but then Cinderella's fairy godmother appears and transforms her fate, at least until midnight. Ballet novices and aficionados will delight with the jubilant music, gorgeous scenery, sumptuous costumes, and enduring beauty of Cinderella.
$56, $48, $34
Family friendly

The Chieftains
The Irish Goodbye
Thursday, March 19 at 8 p.m.

Irish music legends, The Chieftains, return to the Center for a thrilling night of their signature blend of traditional Celtic and contemporary. The six-time Grammy Award winners are celebrated for reinventing traditional Irish music and popularizing the form on a global scale. Now, audiences get a chance to celebrate this musical talent on "The Irish Goodbye" tour. The group has made numerous cross-over collaborations with artists like Elvis Costello, The Rolling Stones, Alison Kraus, and Luciano Pavarotti. Since forming in Dublin over five decades ago, these cultural ambassadors have been linked with seminal historic events, such as being the first Western musicians to perform on the Great Wall of China, participating in Roger Water's "The Wall" performance in Berlin in 1990, and being the first ensemble to perform a concert in the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. Don't miss your chance to experience a memorable evening of music, song and dance on this final journey.
$75, $60, $45

Ballet Folclórico Nacional de México de Silvia Lozano
Saturday, March 21 at 8 p.m.

This joyous company comes direct from Mexico to share its country's rich cultural gifts of dance, music, folklore, and costumes. In this spellbinding performance, Ballet Folclórico Nacional de México de Silvia Lozano showcases its country's finest music and dance, pulsating with hypnotic rhythms and swirling colors, including a mosaic of traditional folk dances such as the Jarabe Tapatío, the Deer Dance, the Aztecs/Concheros, and more. Since its founding in 1952, Ballet Folclórico Nacional de México has been touring the world entertaining audiences and demonstrating the richness of the Mexican culture. Experience for yourself the very essence of Mexico in this lively performance.
$48, $41, $29
Family friendly

RTE National Symphony Orchestra
José Serebrier, conductor
Alma Deutscher, violin
Sunday, March 29 at 4 p.m.

Hamilton Harty: With the Wild Geese, A Symphonic Poem
Alma Deutscher: Violin Concerto in G minor
Bizet/Serebrier: Carmen Symphony
Bill Whelan: Riverdance: A Symphonic Suite

Multiple Grammy Award-winning conductor José Serebrier leads the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, which has firmly established itself as a primary force in Irish musical life, in this not-to-be missed concert. Joining the orchestra is composer, pianist, violinist, and child prodigy Alma Deutscher, who performs her own violin concerto. Deutscher is a 15-year-old British prodigy who began playing piano at the age of two, picked up the violin at three, and by the age of six had composed her first piano sonata. The program also includes works of two Irish composers whose works reflect the beauty of the Emerald Isle. Bill Whelan's Riverdance, a symphonic suite based on his Grammy Award-winning and Platinum album Riverdance The Show, invokes the spirit and energy of the iconic dance program. Hamilton Harty conjures a musical painting of Ireland with his symphonic poem With the Wild Geese. The program also features Serebrier's imaginative symphonic treatment of Carmen. "Deutscher is an extraordinary talent. Prodigy is a much misused term, but the maturity of her composition would suggest that for once, it is not mere hyperbole" (The Telegraph).
$60, $51, $36

American Festival Pops Orchestra
Spotlight on Broadway
Featuring Lisa Vroman
Saturday, April 4 at 8 p.m.

The American Festival Pops Orchestra pays tribute to The Great White Way in an evening of iconic Broadway hits, memorable show tunes, and unforgettable musical theater scores. Maestro Anthony Maiello reunites with Broadway veteran and soprano Lisa Vroman, who starred on Broadway as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, and was the first to play both Fantine and Cosette in Les Misérables, among other acclaimed opera roles. Regarded as a "musical and theatrical marvel" (The San Francisco Chronicle), Ms. Vroman is a regular guest artist with symphonies around the world including San Francisco, Cleveland, Hong Kong, the Boston Pops, and New York Pops. Don't miss this exciting American Festival Pops program of Broadway classics featuring "one of American Musical Theater's most beautiful voices" (Sir Cameron Mackintosh) performing the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and more!
$50, $43, $30
Family friendly

Mason Artist-in-Residence
Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra
Featuring Maria Schneider, conductor
Saturday, April 11 at 8 p.m.

Grammy Award-winning composer and conductor Maria Schneider leads Northern Virginia's own Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra in a night of cool, expressive jazz. The evening's repertory includes instrumental excerpts from Winter Morning Walks, a set of song cycles composed by Schneider. Witness jazz perfection with Schneider, named 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, and the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, comprised of the most remarkable jazz performers in the metro region, in this highly anticipated event. "To call Schneider the most important woman in jazz is missing the point...She's a major composer-period." (TIME Magazine).
$46, $39, $28

Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel
Close Encounters of a Musical Kind
Sunday, April 19 at 7 p.m.

In his final concert of the season, Jeffrey Siegel brings to life the music of the "three great Bs:" Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. Enjoy a program of classics declassified that includes Beethoven's beloved Moonlight Sonata, Bach's exhilarating Toccata in D major, and the famous Waltzes and touching Intermezzi of Brahms. Virtuoso pianist Jeffrey Siegel is popular with classical music lovers and newcomers alike. His "concerts with commentary" format gives the back story behind the piece he is about to perform. "A musical bridge-builder in action...Siegel showed just how illuminating the combination of words and abstract music can be" (Toronto Star). An interactive Question and Answer session will conclude this program.
$44, $37, $26
Family friendly

2019/2020 Center for the Arts Family Series


Enchantment Theatre Company
Peter Rabbit Tales
Sunday, October 6 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

"Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were-Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter." For more than 100 years, Beatrix Potter's famous opening line to The Tale of Peter Rabbit has captivated generations of children, introducing them to a mischievous, little blue-coated rabbit and his escapades in Mr. McGregor's garden. Experience this beloved classic all over again with your little bunnies in Enchantment Theatre Company's delightful theatrical adaptation of Peter Rabbit Tales. All of the colorful whimsy and wisdom of the original stories will come alive on stage with the help of unforgettable characters, fantastical masks, playful puppets, gorgeous sets, and original music. "Everything about this world-class production is inventive and endearing; it fully captures the spirit of the beloved stories, the essence of childhood, and the imagination of the audience, both young and old" (Phindie.com).
Recommended for ages 5 and up
$15 adults; $10 children

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas
Featuring Eric Carle's "Dream Snow"
Sunday, December 1 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The magic of Christmas snow falls over the Center for the Arts with everyone's favorite caterpillar, the Very Hungry Caterpillar. This brightly colored friend along with other beloved Eric Carle characters delights in an irresistible holiday treat inspired by storybook classics including Dream Snow; 10 Little Rubber Ducks; Brown Bear Brown Bear, What do you See?; and, of course, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Featuring more than 75 puppets, Carle's vibrant style, and original music, the production tells the story of a farmer on Christmas Eve who wonders how Christmas will arrive without snow. Don't miss your chance to see this enchanting show nominated for the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Family Show and hailed by Time Out New York as "Five stars. Beautiful, rhythmic, and faithful to the author's work."
Recommended for ages 2 to 7
$15 adults; $10 children

Hot Peas 'N Butter
Sunday, March 1 at 1 p.m. & 4 p.m.

Praised by the Los Angeles Times for their "hot and mellow multicultural groove," Hot Peas 'n Butter will have you and your whole family on their feet dancing with their infectiously fun global music celebration. This Parent Choice Award-winning, family music ensemble blends together traditional Latin music, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, jazz, bluegrass, country, and rock to create a "rainbow of color and sound." (NY 1 TV). Singing in English, Spanish, French, Korean and Hebrew, Hot Peas 'n Butter aims to show multi-cultural interconnectedness. Their repertoire of songs like Number 1" and their signature Latin beat tracks "Somos Familia," "Amistad," "Que Llueva," and "Round the World" enjoy radio play nationwide.
Recommended for ages 2 to 6
$15 adults; $10 children

The Magic of Bill Blagg Live!
Sunday, May 3 at 2 p.m.
Witness the impossible with top illusionist Bill Blagg in his new mind-bending and hilarious magic show The Magic of Bill Blagg Live! "Unbelievable!" raves USA Today, and "Absolutely Incredible!" echoes The Chicago Tribune. The whole family will rub their eyes in disbelief as the "Houdini Times Ten" (NBC), makes objects disappear, teleports across the theater, levitates in mid-air, and so much more. Don't miss your chance to experience this thrilling, action-packed, and interactive show that will leave you and your family breathless. Bill Blagg is changing reality one city at a time, and Fairfax is next!
Recommended ages 8 and up
$15 adults; $10 children

Tickets to all Family Series events:
Individual tickets: $15 adults, $10 children
Purchase all four to save 20%; $48 adults, $32 children
Great Performances at Mason subscribers save 15%

The Center for the Arts is the premier destination for the arts in Northern Virginia. Each year, the Center welcomes hundreds of thousands of community members into its 2000-seat Concert Hall. The centerpiece of artistic programming within the Center, Great Performances at Mason, is an annual season of national and International Artists, featuring the best of classical music, opera, jazz, global music, dance, theater, and more. As a part of George Mason University's College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Center hosts many student and faculty performances presented by the Schools of Music, Theater, and Dance as well as events for School of Art and the Film and Video Studies, Computer Game Design, and Arts Management programs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts serves arts enthusiasts of all ages in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

George Mason University is Virginia's largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 37,000 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.



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