Winter Events Announced At The Center For The Arts At George Mason University

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Winter Events Announced At The Center For The Arts At George Mason University

The Center for the Arts at George Mason University continues the 2019/20 season this November and December with an array of dance, theater, opera, and music from around the world through programs from Great Performances at Mason, the Family Series, as well as signature events from Mason's College of Visual and Performing Arts.

November kicks off with the return of Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Review on November 9. Packed with action, romance, comedy and glamour Taj Express features spectacular dance numbers performed to India's pop hits, along with folk-music classics. The following evening on November 10, 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.

The following weekend, Virginia Opera returns to the Center with Daniel Catán's tragic-comedic opera, Il Postino, directed by Crystal Manich in collaboration with Chicago Opera Theater and Albuquerque's Opera Southwest, November 16 and 17.

November 22, the innovative Montreal based dance company RUBBERBANDance Group creates a bridge between the grace and structure of classical ballet and the raw, improvisational moves of hip-hop in their most recent work, Vic's Mix. Aquila Theatre returns to the Center Sunday, November 23 with George Orwell's dystopian classic 1984. The month wraps up with the beloved return of A Chanticleer Christmas, with the ensemble's festive program of Gregorian chant, Renaissance motets, Gospel melodies, and Christmas carols.

December kicks off with the second Family Series performance featuring everyone's favorite caterpillar in The Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas. This brightly colored friend along with other beloved Eric Carle characters delights in an irresistible holiday treat inspired by the storybook classics. December 8, the dynamic D.C.-based, a cappella ensemble, Sweet Honey in the Rock make their Center for the Arts debut with their Celebrating the Holydays concert. The following weekend celebrates the return of two holiday favorites at the Center: The Vienna Boys Choir, December 13, and The American Festival Pops Orchestra: Songs of the Season, December 14.

A full schedule of performances for November and December is below. Unless otherwise noted, performances will take place at the Center for the Arts located at 4373 Mason Pond Drive in Fairfax, VA. Tickets are available for purchase in person at the Center for the Arts' Ticket Office (open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), by calling 703-993-2787, or through the Center for the Arts' website.

The Great Performances at Mason Series brings some of the finest artists from around the country and the world to the Center for the Arts Concert Hall in Northern Virginia:

Taj Express
The Bollywood Music Revue-Global Music & Dance
Saturday, November 9 at 8 p.m.
$48, $41, $29; Family-friendly

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).

The Four Seasons
Zurich Chamber Orchestra
Daniel Hope, Violin
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
Max Richter: Recomposed
Sunday, November 10 at 2 p.m.
$48, $41, $29

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.

Virginia Opera
Il Postino
Saturday, November 16 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 17 at 2 p.m.
$110, $70, $40

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.

Vic's Mix

Friday, November 22 at 8 p.m.
$48, $41, $29

RUBBERBANDance 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).

Aquila Theatre
George Orwell's 1984
Adapted by Michael Gene Sullivan
Saturday, November 23 at 8 p.m.
$44, $37, $26

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).

A Chanticleer Christmas
Saturday, November 30 at 8 p.m.
$55, $47, $33

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).

Sweet Honey in the Rock
Celebrating the Holydays
Saturday, December 7 at 4 p.m.
$50, $43, $30. Family-friendly.

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.

Vienna Boys Choir
Christmas in Vienna
Friday, December 17 at 8 p.m.
$55, $47, $33; Family-friendly

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.

American Festival Pops Orchestra
Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season
Saturday, December 14 at 8 p.m.
$55, $47, $33; Family-friendly

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.

The Center for the Arts' Family Series presents performances designed to introduce young audiences to the arts through lively and engaging programs in song, dance, and story:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas
Featuring Eric Carle's 'Dream Snow'

Sunday, December 1 at 1 p.m.
$15 for Adults/$10 Children. Family-friendly.
Recommended for ages 2 to 7

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."

Mason Student and Faculty Performances & Events

Mason School of Theater

Book by Joseph Stein (with revisions by David Thompson)
Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Music by Charles Strouse
Directed by Rick Davis
Musical Direction by Joe Walsh
Concert Hall

Thursday, October 31 at 8 p.m.
Friday, November 1 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 2 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, November 2 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 3 at 4 p.m.
$30 Adult, $15 Students, Staff, Seniors and Groups

Composed by the creators of Wicked, Godspell, Annie, Bye Bye Birdie and other American classics, Rags is a heart-warming and powerful tale showcasing the grit and optimism of immigrants arriving in Ellis Island at the turn of the 20th century. Mason's School of Theater has a rare opportunity to work with the award-winning creative team on this new adaptation of a hidden musical gem. Be among the first to hear Rags' newly revised libretto in this D.C.-area premiere, and take in the ravishing score and sweeping saga of American's immigrant past blending with new American values.

Mason School of Dance
Fall New Dances
Harris Theatre
Thursday, November 7 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 8 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, November 8 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 9 at 8 p.m.
$15 full; $10 Students, Staff, Seniors: $7 Groups of 10 or more

Every dance is a premiere, and all were created by choreographers at the start of their careers.

Mason School of Music
Jazz 4 Justice
Center for the Arts, Concert Hall
Friday, November 8 at 8 p.m.
Tickets: $20/$15

The Mason Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jim Carroll, collaborates with the law community to present its annual benefit concert, Jazz 4 Justice. Proceeds from this performance support vital community efforts by the Bar Foundation and the George Mason University Jazz Studies Department.

Mason School of Music
Wind Symphony & Symphonic Band Concert
Center for the Arts, Concert Hall
Monday, November 11 at 8 p.m.
Tickets: $12/$8/$5

The Mason Symphonic Band under the vibrant musical leadership of Profs. John Kilkenny and Denny Stokes, provides music majors and increasingly growing numbers of non-music majors an opportunity to study and perform a wide variety of traditional and contemporary wind band literature. The George Mason University Wind Symphony, led by composer-conductor Mark Camphouse is a select ensemble comprised of outstanding wind, brass, and percussion players in the School of Music and the University. The ensemble's mission is to study and perform the best literature available for wind band, while emphasizing soloistic and orchestral performance practice. The Wind Symphony ranks among the finest collegiate wind bands in the Commonwealth and performs the best of new band literature. Programs include world premieres of student and faculty compositions, student and faculty soloists, and more traditional repertoire.

Mason School of Music
Jazz Workshop Concert
Harris Theatre

Wednesday, November 13 at 8 p.m.

Jazz Saxophone faculty, Rick Parrell directs the Mason Jazz Workshop big band in their concert! The Jazz Workshop performs music by Thad Jones, Mike Tomaro, Alan Baylock, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Neal Hefti and many others.

Mason School of Music
Guitar Ensemble Concert
Harris Theatre
Saturday, November 23 at 8 p.m.

Join us for the George Mason University Guitar Ensemble's concert. The program will include music for two, three, and four guitars, as well as music for large ensemble. Under the direction of Professor Matt Trkula, the George Mason University Guitar Ensemble features School of Music guitar students from a variety of majors including guitar performance, music technology, and music education. The group performs music that spans the entire course of Western music ranging from Renaissance to contemporary composers.

Mason School of Music
Mason Jazz Vocal Night
Center for the Arts, Concert Hall
Saturday, November 25 at 8 p.m.

Join us for an evening of music dedicated to Jazz Vocals! Performances by Mason Jazz Studio soloists and the Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble, directed by Dr. Darden Purcell.

Mason School of Dance
Dance Innovations
Harris Theatre
Thursday, December 5 at 8 p.m.
Friday, December 6 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 7 at 8 p.m.
$15 full; $10 students, staff, and seniors; $7 groups of 10 or more

School of Music
Mason Symphony Holiday Concert
Center for the Arts, Concert Hall
Sunday, December 8 at 7 p.m.

Mason Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Dennis Layendecker. The Mason Symphony Orchestra is comprised of outstanding string, wind, and percussion players from throughout the School of Music.

Mason School of Music
String Chamber Concert
Harris Theater
Tuesday, December 10 at 8 p.m.

Other Programming at the Center for the Arts

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra: Nostalgic Nights
Harris Theatre
Saturday, November 16 at 8 p.m.
$15 for limited student tickets.

Berta Rojas, guitar
Honegger: Summer Pastoral
Ravel: Pavane for a dead princess
Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez
Mozart: Symphony No. 35 (Haffner)
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 (Classical)

Be swept away by the romantic charm of the classical guitar as the FSO takes you on a journey to Spain with Rodrigo's masterpiece. The blind composer drew his inspiration from "the fragrance of magnolias, the singing of birds, and the gushing of fountains" in the palace gardens of Aranjuez. Berta Rojas ranks among today's foremost classical guitarists. Praised as "guitarist extraordinaire" by The Washington Post and by Classical Guitar Magazine as "Ambassador of the classical guitar," Berta Rojas ranks among today's foremost interpreters of Rodrigo's music. "Rojas is renowned for the elegance of her playing - her hand glides effortlessly over the fretboard as if brushing a piece of silk. Her Aranjuez was an enrapturing experience..." (The Post-Ireland) MORE THAN NOTES: Hear the stories behind the music with music director Christopher Zimmerman and special guests before the concert at 7 p.m.

Fall for the Book
The Beck Environmental Lecture : Sounding the Alarm
Tuesday, November 19 at 6 p.m.
Harris Theatre

In his travelogue of our near future, The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, David Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await-food shortages, refugee emergencies, and other crises that will reshape the globe. But the world will be remade by global warming in more profound ways as well, transforming our politics, our culture, our relationship to technology, and our sense of history. Learn how it will be all-encompassing, shaping and distorting nearly every aspect of human life as it is lived today. And yet Wallace-Wells offers hope that because we engineered this problem, we must be able to engineer an escape from it. The Beck Lecture is sponsored by Robert and Lucy Beck.

Moscow Ballet
Moscow Ballet's: Great Russian Nutcracker
Center for the Arts, Concert Hall
Tuesday, December 10 at 7 p.m.
Wednesday, December 11 at 7 p.m.
$175 platinum; $130 Gold Circle, $99, $89, $69, $49, $29

This Christmas give your family the gift of Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker! Step into a simpler time filled with sweet dreams and Christmas magic. With world-class artists, over 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets and soaring birds, don't miss your chance to ring in the holidays with this acclaimed Christmas extravaganza. The New York Times, "Hot Ticket!" Celebrate this cherished holiday tradition and relive the dream with Tchaikovsky's timeless score. Get tickets for the whole family now!

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra: The Nutcracker
Center for the Arts, Concert Hall
Saturday, December 21 at 4 p.m.
Sunday, December 22 at 4 p.m.
$89, $69, $39

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!

The Washington Chorus
Kids, Families, and Friends Christmas
Center for the Arts, Concert Hall
Monday, December 23 at 1 p.m.
$29, $15

Join TWC for our new signature holiday concert for the entire family, including ugly Christmas sweaters, carol sing-alongs, candy canes, and a special appearance from Jolly Old St. Nick himself!

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