Audiences Look Back on a Memorable 2023/2024 Season


The 2023/2024 season at the Center for the Arts had something for everyone whether it was classical music that left audience members swooning or shadow puppetry that transported viewers to an ancient land. Looking back on the season, audiences share their favorite moments and memories below! 

(L-R) Richard Martinez, Steven Golsch (ARTS by George! Co-Chair), Renée Elise Goldsberry, Nesa Amarlooi, Joe Dooley, Sherri Dalphonse, Colin Haynes.  Photo Credit: Risdon Photography
(L-R) Richard Martinez, Steven Golsch (ARTS by George! Co-Chair), Renée Elise Goldsberry, Nesa Amarlooi, Joe Dooley, Sherri Dalphonse, Colin Haynes.
(Photo Credit: Risdon Photography)

Renée Elise Goldsberry in Concert 

  • “Absolutely superb performance!” 

  • “AMAZING! Completely blown away. My son's first concert and a wonderful experience” 

  • “This was absolutely amazing!! Thank you for the incredible experience. I left inspired, uplifted, and with a new appreciation for George Mason.” 

  • "The performance was OUTSTANDING!”

  • “Fabulous show!”

  • "You can't beat someone of Renée Elise Goldsberry's caliber and she seemed well-prepared for the reason of the night and the location/audience she would have. Bravo to the Center for the Arts team on staging such a fantastic event."


Register for the annual ARTS by George! on Saturday, September 28, 2024! This annual benefit event supports student scholarships for George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, Mason Community Arts Academy, Green Machine Ensembles, and the Great Performances at Mason season at the Center for the Arts. Broadway superstar and Tony Award winner, Lea Salonga, headlines at the 2024 ARTS by George! event, promising an unforgettable evening.  

Virginia Opera: Sanctuary Road's

Virginia Opera: Sanctuary Road's Conductor Everett McCorvery leads a post-performance toast with audience members in the Center's lobby, introducing the work's Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec.

Virginia Opera 

  • Siegfried: “An excellent production and performance of the opera Siegfried. The production made full use of contemporary video and electronics to create an exciting, interesting, and very smooth and persuasive work of art. Once again, VA Opera did not disappoint.” 

  • Barber of Seville: “My 6 and 9-year-old boys loved the show, almost as much as my husband and I! Thank you so much for the generosity in sharing access to this performance with us. We’ve found operas to be intimidating in our previous ignorance, but now that we’ve had some experience, we are looking forward to our next!” 

  • Sanctuary Road: "Top marks for Sanctuary Road: beautiful, expressive score, sumptuously played by Virginia Symphony, and well conducted; accessible libretto; the five principal singers were outstanding, backed by a large and well-coordinated chorus. The story of the Railroad was by turns gripping, poignant, humorous (the two veiled mourners weeping for their nonexistent aunt), touching (the reunion of the Still brothers).” 

  • Madama Butterfly: “It was an absolutely wonderful performance! The singers were exceptional and we loved everything about it. Best production this season and one of the best productions of Madama Butterfly we've ever seen!” 

Silkroad Ensemble: American Railroad 

  • “This concert was one of finest I have ever attended. The combination of voices with international instruments made this experience spectacular.” 

  • “It was wonderful. Creative, imaginative, and introduced me to music I loved but never heard before.” 

  • “The performance last night was absolutely amazing. I also appreciated the pre-performance talk and the opportunity in the morning to meet with three of the musicians in a discussion at the Harris Theater. Can't wait to see what Silkroad brings next year.” 

Interested in learning more about Mason Artist-in-Residence Silkroad Ensemble’s three-year residency? Check out this article that captures 2023-2024's second year at Mason. 
A special reception celebrating the world premiere of "American Railroad" with Silkroad members, Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens, Executive Director Ben Hartley, Silkroad board members, and Center for the Arts donors and staff.

A crowd gathers to toast the world premiere of the Silkroad Ensemble's American Railroad. Attendees at the special post-performance reception in the Center for the Arts Monson Grand Tier included Silkroad artists and board members, Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens, Executive Director Ben Hartley, as well as Center for the Arts donors and staff.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Isata Kanneh-Mason 

  • “Ms. Mason's performance was almost unbelievable- grace, power, and beauty! We have never seen RPO perform live, and we were so impressed with the orchestra as a whole, all of the soloists, and Mr. Petrenko. They played our favorites better than we had ever heard them before. Heavenly!” 

  • “I had a season ticket to the Center for the Arts for several years until I moved from Springfield. This was my first visit in about a decade and what a wonderful reintroduction to the Center. The Royal Philharmonic and Ms. Kanneh-Mason reminded me of what I have been missing. I'll certainly be returning.” 

  • “The guest pianist was fantastic. It was a virtuoso performance and she deserved the standing ovation she got. The orchestra did a wonderful job accompanying her and on the two selections they did alone.” 

A family poses at Mutts Gone Nuts.
A family poses at Mutts Gone Nuts.

Mutts Gone Nuts 

  • “This was an enjoyable and hilarious show for people of all ages. I enjoyed it just as much as my two children did!” 

  • “The coloring, photo screen, and activities in the front lobby were great. Excellent job putting that together!” 

  • "It was really cool to see world-class level dog trainers and their dogs perform at this event!"

  • “Great fun with the talented dogs and engaging commentary and comedy. Highly recommended, especially for youngsters (and old folks like us). 

  • "Wow! This show was so much fun for all ages! Every one of us just loved all the dogs and were amazed at the performances."

The Center for the Arts thanks its 2023/2024 season sponsors and grantmaking organizations: Sandy Spring Bank, National Endowment for the Arts, Tom and Evelyn Kiley Fund, The Mather, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Woodleigh Chase, The Seeley Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, Eloise Stinger, Didlake, Wendy Frieman and David Johnson Fund, and Joyce Goche-Grimes.