Ciao, Opera Mavens. Here are your opera, concert, and recital options for the month…
WEST EDGE OPERA www.westedgeopera.org or 510-841-1903
The Cunning Little Vixen (Janáček) – Suffused with a bewitching blend of European folk melodies and lyrical modernism, this opera has the distinction of being the only one in the repertory based on a graphic novel, and was requested by the composer as his memorial. Featuring soprano Amy Foote as the Vixen, mezzo Nicola Printz as the Fox, tenor Joseph Meyers as the Schoolmaster, baritone Nikolas Nackley as the Parson, and bass-baritone Philip Skinner (Adler 1986-87) as the Parson; sung in Czech with English supertitles and directed by Patrick Diamond with Jonathan Khuner conducting.
Sat Jul 30 at 8 pm, Sun Aug 7 at 3 pm, and Sat Aug 13 at 1 pm
Powder Her Face (Adés) – The first West Coast staging of this modern masterpiece based on the life of Margaret Campbell, the “Dirty Duchess” whose sexual exploits were the stuff of scandal & gossip in Britain during her 1963 divorce proceedings. Sung by sopranos Laura Bohn & Emma McNairy, tenor Jonathan Blalock, and baritone Hadleigh Adams (Adler 2013-14) in English with English supertitles; directed by Elkhanah Pulitzer with Mary Chun conducting.
Sun Jul 31 at 3 pm, Sat Aug 6 at 1 pm, Thu Aug 11 at 7:30 pm, and Sat Aug 13 at 8 pm
Agrippina (Handel) – This “comic prequel” to Monteverdi’s L’incoronzione di Poppea vanished for almost 200 years but is once again performed and beloved for its satirical wit and lurid tale of one of ancient Rome’s most tangled webs of intrigue. Starring sopranos Sarah Gartshore as Agrippina & Hannah Stephens as Poppea, mezzo Celine Ricci as Nero, and countertenor Ryan Belongie (Adler 2009-10) as Ottone; sung in Italian with English supertitles and directed by Mark Streshinksy with Jory Vinikour conducting from the harpsichord.
Sat Aug 6 at 8 pm, Fri Aug 12 at 8 pm, and Sun Aug 14 at 3 pm
All performances at Oakland’s Abandoned Train Station at 16th Street and Wood
Tickets for individual operas: $96 Gold Seats (reserved), $57 Silver Seats (general), $19 Bronze Seats (back row, available one week in advance via website only)
OPERA ON THE SPOT www.operaonthespot.com
The Audition – Enjoy dinner and/or a glass of wine while listening to young, classically trained singers embarking on professional careers perform their fall audition repertoires; free performance, just call restaurant (415-252-1110) to make reservation.
Mon Aug 1 at 7:30pm, Caffe Delle Stelle, 395 Hayes St, SF
MEROLA OPERA PROGRAM www.merola.org or 415-565-6492
Cosi fan tutte (Mozart) – The battle of the sexes rages on in this witty take on romance and fidelity; Mark Morash conducting. Tickets: $45-65
Thu Aug 4* at 7:30pm and Sat Aug 6 at 2pm
* Free pre-show talk by director Ted Huffman on Thu Aug 4 at 6:30pm
Grand Finale & Receptions – Hear these amazing young artists perform arias and scenes from favorite operas before heading out into the world; Rory Macdonald conducting. Tickets $25-45, Students $15.
Start your evening in grand style with an open bar and light nibbles at our new Grand Night Mix (6pm, Veterans Building Green Room, $25), or toast their successes at a celebratory post-performance reception (Veterans Building Green Room, $50)
Note: reception tickets sold separately
Sat Aug 20 at 7:30pm, War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco
FESTIVAL OPERA www.festivalopera.org or 925-944-9610
Abduction from the Seraglio (Mozart) – Star Trek inspired production & revised English libretto by director Josh Shaw. Follow the adventures of ‘Captain’ James T. Belmonte (tenor Brian Cheney) as he sets off on a mission to rescue kidnapped crew members ‘Lieutenants’ Constanza & Blondie (sopranos Shawnette Sulker & Sara Duchovnay) and ‘Mister’ Pedrillo (tenor Robert Norman) from an all-too-familiar set of villains (including bass Kevin Thompson as Osmin), Michael Morgan conducting.
Fri Aug 5, Sat Aug 6, and Mon Aug 8 at 8pm; Tue Aug 9 at 2pm
Regents’ Theatre, Valley Center for Performing Arts, Holy Names University, Oakland
VERISMO OPERA www.verismoopera.org or 707-864-5508
Il Trovatore (Verdi) – Set in the early 15th century, three intertwining sub-plots tell the story of the revenge-minded gypsy Azucena, the mysterious troubadour Manrico, his rival the Count de Luna, and Leonora, the woman they both love; performed by rotating casts with piano and chamber orchestra. Tickets: $30 General, $25 Seniors, $20 Students (children under 12 yrs free); available through Brown Paper Tickets.
Sat Aug 13 at 7:30pm and Sun Aug 14 at 2pm, Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St, Berkeley
Sat Aug 20 & 27, Sep 3 & 10 at 7:30pm and Sun Aug 21 & 28, Sep 4 & 11 at 2pm,
Bay Area Stage Theater, 515 Broadway St, Vallejo
LIVERMORE VALLEY OPERA www.livermorevalleyopera.com or 925-462-6964
Opera in the Vineyard – Bring your own picnic, sip exclusive wines, explore the gardens, and enjoy a live performance in the round of operatic & Broadway musical entertainment at this private venue not open to the public; $40 per person in advance, $50 at the door, $320 table for 8.
Sun Aug 14 at 4pm, Nella Terra Cellars, 5005 Sheridan Rd, Sunol
SAN FRANCISCO CHORAL SOCIETY www.sfchoral.org or 415-221-5590
Verdi’s Requiem – First performed in 1874, this blood-stirring and immortal mass for the dead was inspired by the passings of author Alessandro Manzoni and composer Gioacchino Rossini; Verdi’s intent was not to compose ecclesiastical music, but to pay tribute to these two cultural giants of the day. Featuring soloists soprano Hope Briggs, contralto Edith Dowd, tenor Noah Stewart, and bass-baritone Eugene Brancoveanu (Adler 2005-06). Tickets $29-35, available through City Box Office.
Fri Aug 19 & Sat Aug 20 at 8pm, Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave, SF
…and here are some special extracurricular opera-tunities:
SAN FRANCISCO OPERA GUILD
Marin Chapter: Champagne Gala – Featuring the Adler Fellows in concert and guest speaker SFO General Director Matthew Shilvock; $50 per person, for more information contact Anne Zucchi (415-924-9352 or email@example.com)
Sun Aug 7 at 2pm, San Domenico Music Conservatory, 1500 Butterfield Rd, San Anselmo
Peninsula Chapter: An Afternoon with Bright Sheng – SFO Dramaturg Kip Cranna will interview Bright Sheng, composer and co-librettist of Dream of the Red Chamber; after the interview enjoy a musical performance and partake of wine & hors d’oeuvres in the garden. $50-$150 per person, reservations required by Aug 15; for more information contact Judy Kahn (650-948-8881 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sun Aug 21 at 2pm, private residence (directions emailed with reservation confirmation), Palo Alto
East Bay Chapter: Getting Acquainted with Bright Sheng – Sheng, in conversation with Kip Cranna, will describe the creation and content of his work. $65 per person ($25 tax-deductible), reservations required by Aug 21; for more information contact Silvia Lin (925-838-9255 or email@example.com).
Sun Aug 28 at 11:30 am, Sequoyah Country Club, 4550 Heafey Rd, Oakland