Ciao, Opera Mavens. The spring opera season is getting off to a roaring start!
SAN FRANCISCO OPERA LAB https://sfopera.com/sfoperalab/ or 415-864-3330
The Source – Four vocalists and seven-instrument chamber ensemble follow a fever-dream assemblage of Twitter feeds, news reports, and video exposing the media hysteria surrounding Chelsea Manning’s infamous leak of classified military documents to WikiLeaks. Tickets $35, available through website or SFO Box Office.
Wed Mar 1, Thu Mar 2, Fri Mar 3 at 8pm
La Voix Humaine (Poulenc) – Soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci (Cassandra in SFO’s The Trojans and Cesira in Two Women) returns in an intimate performance featuring a selection of French art songs and a one-woman opera about a desperate woman on the phone with her soon-to-be ex-lover. Tickets $95 (General Admission), available through website or SFO Box Office.
Sat Mar 11, Tue Mar 14, Fri Mar 17 at 8pm
All performances at Taube Atrium Theater, Veterans Bldg, 401 Van Ness Ave, SF
ISLAND CITY OPERA www.islandcityopera.org or 510-263-8060
Don Quixote (Massenet) – Rarely performed masterpiece (based on the Cervantes novel) about an old gentleman’s quest and world-weary insights about honor, nobility, and love; starring bass William Pickersgill as Don Quichotte, mezzo Buffy Baggot as Dulcinee, and baritone Igor Vieira as Sancho. Tickets: Preview General Admission $25 Adults, $22.50 Seniors, $10 Students; Performance Reserved Table Seating $60, Performance General Admission $40 Adults, $36 Seniors, $10 Students
Wed Mar 1 (Preview / Final Dress Rehearsal), Fri Mar 3 & 10 at 7:30pm; Sun Mar 5 & 12 at 2pm, Elks Lodge Ballroom, 2255 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda
* Anchor Society Lectures held one hour prior to curtain
PHILHARMONIA BAROQUE ORCHESTRA https://philharmonia.org/ or 415-252-1288
Operatic Heroes – Countertenor Iestyn Davies and conductor Jonathan Cohen perform works by Baroque composers (including Gluck & Handel) from their Grammy award winning Arias for Guadagni accompanied by period instruments. Ticket pricing varies by venue, see website for more information.
Wed Mar 1 at 7:30pm, Bing Concert Hall, Stanford
Fri Mar 3 at 8pm, Herbst Theatre, San Francisco *
Sat Mar 4 at 8pm, First Presbyterian Church, Berkeley *
Sun Mar 5 at 4pm, Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, Lafayette *
* Buy one ticket, get one free when you order online and use promocode BOGOMarch
OPERA SANTA BARBARA www.operasb.org or 805-898-3890
The Cunning Little Vixen (Janácek) – Humans and animals bump into one another in a moonlit Czech forest in this humorous and tender allegory about the circle of life. Starring Isabel Bayrakdarian as Vixen Sharp Ears, mezzo Lauren McNeese as Fox Goldenstripe, baritone David Kravitz as The Forester, tenor Benjamin Brecher as the Schoolmaster / Mosquito, and bass-baritone Scott Levin as the Priest / Badger; Kostis Protopapas conducting.
Fri Mar 3 at 7:30pm & Sun Mar 5 at 2:30pm, Granada Theater, 1330 State St, SB
VERISMO OPERA www.verismoopera.org or 707-864-5508
Werther (Massenet) – One of opera’s greatest depictions of impossible love (based on Goethe’s novel The Sorrows of Young Werther), this grand French opera is a musical and psychological exploration of romantic obsession and poetic desire.
Fri Mar 3,10 & 17 at 8pm, Sun Mar 19 & 26 at 2pm, Sat Mar 25 at 7:30pm
Rigoletto (Verdi) – Tragic tale of a lascivious duke who seduces the innocent daughter of his court jester; fully staged by rotating casts with chamber orchestra in an intimate setting.
Sat Mar 4, 11 & 18 at 7:30pm; Sun Mar 5 & 12 at 2pm
All performances at Bay Area Stage Theater, 515 Broadway, Vallejo
Tickets: $20 General, $15 Seniors & Students, Children (under 12) FREE; available by phone or through brownpapertickets.com
OPERA CULTURA www.operacultura.org or 415-845-7216
Coyotes and Rabbits: A Bilingual Children’s Opera – One of the oldest Mexican folk tales known turned into a lesson about the value of an education and taken into local schools to promote reading. Tickets: $20 Premium Seats, $15 General Admission, $5 Children (under 18)
Two performances: Sat Mar 4 at 12noon and 2pm
Mexican Heritage Theater, 1700 Alum Rock Ave, San Jose
ALBANY CONSORT www.albanyconsort.org or 408-480-0182
The Salvation of Israel by Esther (Lidarti) – A dramatic story of love, treachery, and heroism, with beautiful melodies in a style somewhere between Handel and Mozart; innovatively staged with 17 players on period instruments, sung in Hebrew with supertitles. Tickets for Berkeley performance $30; Los Altos Hills Concert FREE.
Sat Mar 4 at 8pm, Christian Science Organization, 2601 Durant (at Bowditch), Berkeley
Sun Mar 5 at 3pm, Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd, Los Altos Hills
POCKET OPERA www.pocketopera.org or 415-972-8934
La Boheme (Puccini) – Impoverished young artists enjoy the best of times & the worst of times in Bohemian Paris; their rapture and despair turn into ravishing music. Cast features soprano Alexandra Sessler as the seamstress Mimi, mezzo Erin O’Meally as the singer Musetta, tenor Michael Desnoyers as the poet Rodolfo, baritones Samuel Rabinowitz as the painter Marcello and Phillip Harris as the musician Schaunard, and bass William O’Neill as the philosopher Colline, led by Guest Music Director David Drummond. Tickets: $45 Adult, $42 Senior, $15 Youth (18 & under)
Sun Mar 5 at 2pm, Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St, Berkeley
Sun Mar 12 at 2pm, Florence Gould Theatre, Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave, SF
Thu Mar 16 at 2pm, Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto
The Doctor In Spite of Himself (Gounod) – Based on the Moliere comedy, a gluttonous & alcoholic woodcutter is thrust into the role of medical wizard without knowing it; he quickly adjusts to his promotion and finds an extraordinary cure for an endangered romance. Starring baritone Lee Strawn as the woodcutter Sganarelle, sopranos Laurel Rice as his wife Martine and Liesl McPherrin as his “patient” Lucinde, tenor Patrick Hagan as Lucinde’s lover Léandre, and bass Lawrence Venza as her father Géronte; Donald Pippin directing.
Sun Mar 19 at 2pm, Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St, Berkeley
Sun Mar 26 at 2pm, Florence Gould Theatre, Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave, SF
OPERA ON THE SPOT www.operaonthespot.com
March MADness – Join us for an evening of delicious Italian food & wine accompanied by very angry young opera singers! This month, to honor a sports tradition, we will be singing some of opera’s most fierce and feisty arias and scenes. This is a free event, but please make reservations in advance at opentable.com or by calling the restaurant at 415-252-1110.
Mon Mar 6 at 7:30pm, Caffe Delle Stelle, 395 Hayes St, San Francisco
MONDAVI CENTER AT UC DAVIS http://mondavi.ucdavis.edu/ or 530-754-2787
Tenor Brian Jagde with soprano Ailyn Perez – Presenting romantic arias and duets from the operatic repertoire and more including Mozart, Verdi, Massenet, Bizet, Puccini, and Bernstein.
Sat Mar 11 at 8pm, Ann E. Pitzer Center, 144 Hutchinson Dr, Davis
SAN FRANCISCO CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC www.sfcm.edu or 415-503-6275
Atalanta (Handel) – Follow the fierce hunter Atalanta and rejoice as the characters eventually solve the confusion and multiple mix-ups of love and marriage in this concert version of a charming pastoral opera performed on period instruments by the SFCM Baroque Ensemble. FREE, no tickets required.
Sat Mar 11 at 7pm & Sun Mar 12 at 2pm, SFCM Concert Hall, 50 Oak St, San Francisco
LIVERMORE VALLEY OPERA www.livermorevalleyopera.com or 925-960-9210
The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart) – Stage director Brian Luedloff’s creative vision of 1940s Hollywood stars making a film portraying the opera’s traditional characters of the 1700s; you get two shows in one! Cast includes sopranos Christie Conover as Susanna and Lacy Sauter as the Countess, mezzo Kristen Choi as Cherubino, and baritones Efrain Solis (Adler 2014-15) as Figaro and Bernardo Bermudez as Count Almaviva; Alexander Katsman (Merola 1999-2000) conducting.
Sat Mar 11 & 18 at 7:30pm, Sun Mar 12 & 19 at 2pm
Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St, Livermore (925-373-6800)
FREE Outreach Preview Performance Fri Mar 3 at 7pm
Inklings Coffee & Tea, 530 Main St, Pleasanton
LIEDER ALIVE! www.liederalive.org or 415-561-0100
Brahms & Schumann – Mezzo Kindra Scharich, bass Kirk Eichelberger (OSJ 2001-03, 2005-06), and pianist Ronny Michael Greenberg (Adler 2015-16) perform works by Brahms (Vier ernste Gesänge) and Schumann (Wilhelm Meister Lieder). Tickets: $75 Premium Reserved, $35 General Admission (in advance), $15 Students / Working Artists; available through eventbrite.com.
Sun Mar 12 at 5pm, Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez St, San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO PERFORMANCES www.sfperformances.org or 415-392-2545
Salon at Hotel Rex – Tenor Nicholas Phan and pianist Robert Mollicone (Adler 2012-13) perform selections from Phan’s recently released solo album Gods & Monsters, an expression of his life-long fascination with myths and legends, in a thematic program of lieder by great Romantic composers of the Germanic tradition. Tickets $25; available through cityboxoffice.com.
Wed Mar 22 at 6:30pm, Hotel Rex, 562 Sutter St, San Francisco
FRESNO GRAND OPERA www.fresnograndopera.org or 559-442-5699 and
TOWNSEND OPERA www.townsendopera.com or 209-523-6426
Cabaret Series – Soprano Carrie Hennessey wowed audiences with her portrayal of Blanche Dubois in our 2015 production of A Streetcar Named Desire, and returns with a quirky and entertaining cabaret performance that is guaranteed to make you laugh! Ticket price includes a glass of wine or champagne. Dinner is optional, and not included with the price of admission. Tickets: $40 Reserved, $25 General Admission
Thu Mar 23 at 7:30pm, Painted Table, 1211 N Wishon Ave, Fresno
Fri Mar 24 at 7:30pm, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St, Modesto
LYRIC THEATRE www.lyrictheatre.org or 408-986-1455
Princess Ida (Gilbert & Sullivan) – Princess Ida and Prince Hilarion were betrothed in babyhood twenty years before the story begins; she has grown up to head a woman’s university, where men are not only not allowed, they are reviled. Gilbert’s resetting of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s epic poem The Princess inspired some of Sullivan’s most beautiful music, including the group of songs in Act II known as the “string of pearls”. Tickets: $32-37 Adults, $11 Children (17 & under)
Sat Mar 25 & Fri Mar 3 at 8pm, Sun Mar 26, Sat Apr 1 & Sun Apr 2 at 2pm
All performances at Montgomery Theater, 271 So Market St, San Jose
ARS MINERVA www.arsminerva.org
Salon at Hotel Rex – Mezzo Celine Ricci, accompanied by harpsichordist Derek Tam, sings love incantations written for three powerful sorceresses (Armida, Circe, and Medea) written by various 17th & 18th century composers (including Charpentier, Handel, and Lully). Tickets $30, available through cityboxoffice.com (use code “Rex” for a $5 discount).
Sun Mar 26 at 6:30pm, Hotel Rex, 562 Sutter St, San Francisco
MEROLA OPERA PROGRAM & SAN FRANCISCO OPERA CENTER
Schwabacher Debut Recital – Mezzo Taylor Raven and baritone Cody Quattlebaum accompanied by pianist Mark Morash. Tickets: $30 General Admission; available online or by calling through the SFO Box Office (415-864-3330).
Sun Mar 26 at 5:30pm, Taube Atrium Theater, Veterans Bldg, 401 Van Ness Ave, SF
SAN JOSE SYMPHONIC CHOIR
Beethoven: A Celebration – Come hear the 120-voice San Jose Symphonic Choir as they sing the rarely-performed Missa solemnis with the San Jose Orchestra and soloists soprano Crystal Kim, mezzo Liliane Crome, tenor Woojeong Lee, and baritone Krassen Karagiozov (OSJ 2008-12). Beethoven dedicated this work to his friend and pupil, Archduke Rudolf of Austria, and many consider it to be the culmination of all he wrote before. The 1882 Musical Times protested it is so difficult that “no human lungs can endure the strain imposed by it” but we think our Choir is up to it…do come and find out! Tickets: $30 General in advance ($35 at the door), $25 Senior / Student / Military in advance ($30 at the door), Children under 12 free; available through the Symphony Silicon Valley Box Office online or by phone (408-286-2600 x230).
Sun Mar 26 at 7:30pm, California Theatre, 345 So First St, San Jose
Free pre-concert lecture at 6:15pm