Great Performances at Mason

Virginia Opera: Sanctuary Road

Center for the Arts, Concert Hall, Fairfax Campus

3 - 4

Composed by Paul Moravec
Libretto by Mark Campbell

In a pledge to nurture the next generation of gifted artists creating new opera experiences, Virginia Opera is thrilled to introduce audiences to the contemporary opera Sanctuary Road by composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell. Based on the life and writings of William Still, an African American leader on the Underground Railroad who helped more than 800 enslaved people escape to freedom, Sanctuary Road distills and dramatizes the stories from Still’s book. Interviewing the men and women he helped find passage north, Still kept careful records, including a brief biography and the destination for each, along with any alias they had adopted. Moravec and Campbell transformed these daring stories of courage, perseverance, and sacrifice into an enthralling historical oratorio. Sanctuary Road received its world premiere staging in 2020 at Carnegie Hall in New York—a performance praised by Broadway World for its “riveting, pulsating wall of sound [and] stellar soloists.” The music for this production is provided by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Sung in English with English surtitles.

Tickets: $110, $70, $40; half-price for youth through Grade 12

Run time: Approximately 60 minutes, with no intermission

Audio-described Performance on February 4 at 2 p.m.

The program for this performance will be available the week of the event. View digital program.

A pre-performance discussion with Mason Professor Spencer Crew, who served as president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center for six years and worked at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture for 20 years (nine as the director of NMAH), will take place in Monson Grand Tier, which is located on the third level of the Center for the Arts Lobby, 45 minutes prior to curtain. Seating is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Following the Sunday, February 4 matinee, a post-performance discussion will be held with the artists in the Center for the Arts main lobby.

A limited quantity of free student tickets will be available for each event. Learn more.

This program is sponsored by The Mather.