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Virginia Opera: Sanctuary Road

Center for the Arts at George Mason University
4373 Mason Pond Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22030

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.

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