Arts Activities Coincide with Family Weekend

Posted: October 13, 2011 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: October 12, 2011 at 9:19 pm

As if all the activities around Family Weekend weren’t enough, the Fairfax Campus will be host to several major cultural presentations this weekend.

  • The Center for the Arts welcomes back the Virginia Opera, which kicks off its 2011-12 season with its premiere production of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida” on Friday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 16, at 2 p.m. Set in Ancient Egypt, this tragic masterpiece is the heartbreaking tale of a bitter love triangle and an epic struggle between two warring nations. Conducted by Maestro John DeMain and directed by Lillian Groag, this Virginia Opera production features both new faces and favorite returning artists. The Virginia Opera also partners with the Richmond Ballet for this production of “Aida.” Malcolm Burn, ballet master of Richmond Ballet, choreographs the production with Groag. For tickets, see the Center for the Arts website.
  • The Center for the Arts presents “An Evening with Branford Marsalis” featuring the Branford Marsalis Quartet on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m. Joined by pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Justin Faulkner, Marsalis will perform a program of original compositions and modern jazz standards. Known for his unmatched technique, forward-thinking approach and incredible versatility, three-time Grammy-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis is a member of the first family of jazz and has performed and recorded with many 20th-century jazz giants, including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Sonny Rollins, as well as artists from the popular and classical music realms. He has released more than 20 recordings, including his most recent, “Songs of Mirth and Melancholy.” A collaboration with pianist Joey Calderazzo, this summer 2011 release features seven original compositions, as well as a cover of Wayne Shorter’s “Face on the Barroom Floor” and Brahms’s “Die Trauernde.” This is a family-friendly performance, with tickets half-price for youth. See the Center for the Arts website for more information.
  • Don’t forget that Wanda Sykes will appear at the Patriot Center on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m. See the Gazette article for all the details.
  • Finally, David Gaines, a gifted mime and movement artist, will bring his highly acclaimed one-man show, “7 (x 1) Samurai,” to Mason on Friday, Oct. 14, and Saturday, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m. in TheaterSpace. Check out the Gazette article for ticket information.

Write to gazette at