Operas, Concerts, and Recitals – September 2015

Ciao Opera Mavens. Summer is ending, let the fall season begin!

Leah Crochetto

Leah Crochetto

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA  www.sfopera.com or 415-864-3330
Luisa Miller (Verdi) – Longing only for love, a brave young woman sacrifices her own happiness in a desperate attempt to save her father’s life. Starring soprano Leah Crocetto (Adler 2009-11) in the title role, tenor Michael Fabiano as her suitor Rodolfo, Ukrainian baritone Vitaliy Bilyy in his SFO debut as Luisa’s over-protective father, and bass Daniel Sumegi (Adler 1993-94) as Rodolfo’s father Count Walter; Nicola Luisotti conducting.
Fri Sep 11 at 8pm
Wed Sep 16, Sat Sep 19*, Tue Sep 22*, and Fri Sep 25* at 7:30pm
Sun Sep 27 at 2pm

Brian Mulligan

Brian Mulligan

Sweeney Todd (Sondheim) – A man exiled by a corrupt judge returns to Dickensian London to quench his thirst for vengeance in this macabre musical thriller. Baritone Brian Mulligan and mezzo Stephanie Blythe star as the revenge-minded barber and his culinary accomplice in director Lee Blakeley’s production; Patrick Summers conducting.
Sat Sep 12, Tue Sep 15*, Fri Sep 18*, Wed Sep 23*, Sat Sep 26, Tue Sep 29 at 7:30pm; Sun Sep 20* at 2pm
* OperaVision HD video projection screens featured in Balcony Level
All performances at War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco
Pre-Opera Talks begin one hour prior to curtain time in the Orchestra section of the main theater before every performance; FREE to ticket holders.

OPERA SAN JOSE  www.operasj.org or 408-437-4450
Tosca (Puccini) – The lives of a beautiful opera diva, her rebel artist lover, and a lecherous, treacherous police chief intersect on a fateful day and night in Rome. Sopranos Olga Chernisheva and Elizabeth Baldwin share the title role, tenor Kirk Dougherty is Cavaradossi, and barihunk Matthew Hanscom is the scheming Scarpia; Joseph Marcheso conducting.
Sat Sep 12, Thu Sep 17, Fri Sep 25 at 8pm
Sun Sep 13, Sep 20, Sep 27 at 3pm
California Theatre, 345 So First St, San Jose
Introduction to the Opera Talks by General Director Larry Hancock begin 90 minutes before each performance; FREE to ticket holders.

BAY SHORE LYRIC OPERA  www.bslopera.com
Opera in the Park: Don Giovanni (Mozart) – FREE family-friendly performances
Sat Sep 12 at 4pm, Wildwood Park, downtown Saratoga
Sun Sep 13 at 5pm, 2220 Broadway, Redwood City
Sun Sep 20 at 2pm, Esplanade, Capitola-by-the-Sea

Heidi Moss

Heidi Moss

LIEDER ALIVE!  www.liederalive.org or 415-561-0100
Neue und Alte Liederfest – Soprano Heidi Moss and pianist Daniel Lockert perform a program of works by almost a dozen 19th, 20th, and 21st century composers. Tickets: $75 Premium Seating, $35 Open Seating, $15 Students
(all tickets include free-flowing bubbly and a reception with the artists!)
Sun Sep 13 at 2pm, Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez St, San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC  www.sfcm.edu or 415-503-6275
Embellished Mozart: The Art of Vocal Improvisation – Explore the art of vocal improvisation in a performance featuring dazzling embellishments written for JC Bach’s Adriano in Siria, Mozart’s Lucio Silla, and Le nozze di Figaro; program also includes arrangements of Mozart’s music for guitar and voice. FREE, no tickets required
Sun Sep 13 at 4pm, SFCM Sol Joseph Recital Hall, 50 Oak St, San Francisco

Victorian Voices: Art Song from 19th Century Britain – Faculty Artist Recital by tenor Kenneth Woods and pianist Darryl Cooper featuring the works of Loder, Hubert, Parry, Sullivan, and White. FREE, no tickets required
Mon Sep 21 at 8pm, SFCM Sol Joseph Recital Hall, 50 Oak St, San Francisco

Ailyn Perez

Ailyn Perez

Letters from Russia – Soprano Ailyn Pérez (Merola 2005; last seen at SFO as Violetta in La Traviata) in a program that features masterworks by Russian composers (including “The Letter Scene” from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin) and Jennifer Higdon.
Open Rehearsal – Wed Sep 16 at 10am, Kanbar Performing Arts Center, SF
Thu Sep 17 at 8pm, First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley
Fri Sep 18 at 8pm, First United Methodist Church, 625 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto
Sat Sep 19 at 8pm, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak St, SF
Sun Sep 20 at 5pm, Osher Marin JCC, 200 No San Pedro Rd, San Rafael

OPERA THEATER UNLIMITED  www.operatheaterunlimited.com
The Turn of the Screw (Britten) – The newest addition to the Bay Area’s opera scene presents this harrowing story of a governess’s fight against overwhelming forces of darkness to protect two children from corruption that reaches beyond the grave.
Tickets $35 Regular, $25 Seniors / Young Adults (under 30)
Fri Sep 18 and Sat Sep 19 at 7:30pm, StageWerx, 446 Valencia St, San Francisco

OPERA CULTURA www.operacultura.org or 415-845-7216
Bless Me Ultima, A Workshop Reading – An encore performance of excerpts from Hector Armienta’s new opera based on Rudolfo Anaya’s epic novel of the same title; four arias will be performed by the original cast, followed by a discussion with the composer / librettist and singers (entire presentation will last approximately one hour). FREE, but seating is limited and advance reservations are recommended.
Sat Sep 26 at 3pm, Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 150 E San Fernando St, San Jose

Marie Plett

Marie Plett

LIVERMORE VALLEY OPERA  www.livermorevalleyopera.com or 925-960-9210
Madama Butterfly (Puccini) – An American naval officer marries a young Japanese girl for convenience and then deserts her, but she faithfully awaits his return. Featuring soprano Marie Plette (Merola 1992) as Cio-Cio San (aka Butterfly), mezzo Michele Detwiler (OSJ 2002-07) as her faithful servant Suzuki, tenor Alexander Boyer (OSJ 2008-13) as Lt. Pinkerton, and bass-baritone Philip Skinner (Adler 1986-87) as the U.S. Consul Sharpless; directed by Brad Dalton.
Sat Sep 26 and Oct 3 at 7:30pm, Sun Sep 27 and Oct 4 at 2pm
Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St, Livermore (925-373-6800)
Pre-opera lectures are presented in the theater one hour before each performance

CAL PERFORMANCES  www.calperfs.berkeley.edu or 510-642-9988
Gustavo Dudamel at the Greek – The charismatic conductor leads the dynamic Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony including its majestic “Ode to Joy” with soloists Mariana Ortiz, J’nai Bridges, Joshua GuerreroSoloman Howard. Tickets start at $50.
Fri Sep 25 at 7:30pm, Hearst Greek Theatre, Berkeley

SAN JOSE STATE OPERA THEATRE  www.sjsu.edu/music/ or 408-924-4673
Layna Chianakas Recital (mezzo, OSJ 1995-97)
Wed Sep 30 at 7:30pm, Concert Hall – Music 176, One Washington Square, San Jose


Opera Broadcasts – September 2015

Ciao, Opera Mavens! Here are your broadcast opera-tunities for September:

Madame Butterfly (Puccini) – Patricia Racette (Adler 1990, Cio-Cio-San), Brian Jagde (Adler 2010 – 12, Pinkerton), Elizabeth DeShong (Suzuki), Brian Mulligan (Sharpless), Julius Ahn (Goro), Jacqueline Piccolino (Adler 2015, Kate Pinkerton), Efraín Solís (Adler 2015, Prince Yamadori), Morris Robinson (The Bonze), Hadleigh Adams (Adler 2014, The Commissioner); conducted by Nicola Luisotti. Recorded Summer 2014, War Memorial Opera House.
Sun Sept 5 at 10am on WFMT.com
The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart) – Philippe Sly (Adler 2014, Figaro), Lisette Oropesa (Susanna), Nadine Sierra (Adler 2012, Countess Almaviva), Kate Lindsey (Cherubino), Luca Pisaroni (Count Almaviva), John Del Carlo (Bartolo), Catherine Cook (Adler 1991, Marcellina); conducted by Patrick Summers. Recorded Summer 2015, War Memorial Opera House.
Sun Sept 6 at 8pm on KDFC (available on-demand for 4 weeks after airing at KDFC.com)

Norma (Bellini) – Sondra Radvanovsky (Norma), Jamie Barton (Adalgisa), Russell Thomas (Pollione), Christian Van Horn (Oroveso), Jacqueline Piccolino (Adler 2015, Clotilda), A.J. Glueckert (Adler 2014, Flavio); conducted by Nicola Luisotti. Recorded Fall 2014, War Memorial Opera House.
Sat Sept 12 at 10am on WFMT.com

Susannah (Floyd) – Patricia Racette (Adler 1990, Susannah Polk), Brandon Jovanovich (Sam Polk), Raymond Aceto (Rev. Olin Blitch), Catherine Cook (Adler 1992, Mrs. McLean), James Kryshak (Little Bat McLean); conducted by Karen Kamensek. Recorded Fall 2014, War Memorial Opera House.
Sat Sept 19 at 10am on WFMT.com

A Masked Ball (Verdi) – Julianna Di Giacomo (Amelia), Heidi Stober (Oscar), Ramón Vargas (Gustavus III), Thomas Hampson (Count Anckarström), Dolora Zajick (Adler 1985, Madame Arvidson); conducted by Nicola Luisotti. Recorded Fall 2014, War Memorial Opera House.
Sat Sept 26 at 10am on WFMT.com

Madama Butterfly (Puccini) – To open our season we will be showing the 2009 Metropolitan Opera production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, the story of a young Japanese woman and former geisha who marries an American sailor in early 20th century Japan. She chooses to die honorably, rather than to suffer in shame after learning of her husband’s betrayal. This haunting and tragic tale is captured in the delicate and lush Puccini score and shamelessly tugs at your heartstrings. (Tissues will be provided.)
Sat Sept. 12 potluck at 12 noon followed by DVD presentation at 2pm
10350 Cabrillo Hwy, 3 miles south of Pescadero Road (look for the American flag)

Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni) / Pagliacci (Leoncavallo) – Opera’s most enduring tragic double bill returns to the Met! The moodily atmospheric production by Sir David McVicar sets the action across two time periods in the same Sicilian village. A 1900 village square setting of Cavalleria transforms to a 1948 truck stop for the doomed vaudeville troupe of Pagliacci. Marcelo Álvarez rises to the challenge of playing the dual tenor roles of Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana and Canio in Pagliacci with Eva-Maria Westbroek (Cav) and Patricia Racette (Adler 1990, Pag) singing the unlucky heroines. Fabio Luisi conducts.
Sun Sept 13 at 12noon – KQED Plus
Sun Sept 13 at 8pm – KQED Plus
Mon Sept 14 at 2am – KQED Life

La Donna del Lago (Rossini) – Bel canto superstar Joyce DiDonato (Merola 1997) is the “lady of the lake” of the title with Juan Diego Flórez as the king who relentlessly pursues her, their vocal fireworks embellishing the romantic plot in this Met premiere production conducted by Michele Mariotti.
Sun Sept 20 at 12noon – KQED Plus
Sun Sept 20 at 8pm – KQED Plus
Mon Sept 21 at 2am – KQED Life

Le Comte Ory (Rossini) – Cecilia Bartoli and Javier Camarena take the leads in this boisterous farce, wittily transposed to post-war France in Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s 2012 production for the Zürich Opera House. Muhai Tang conducts.
Sat Sept 26 at 7pm Jarvis Conservatory 1711 Main Street, Napa, CA

Madama Butterfly (Puccini) – Starring Mirella Freni, Plácido Domingo, Christa Ludwig, Robert Kerns, Michel Sénéchal.
Sun Sept 27 at 1pm San Francisco Public Library (100 Larkin St.), Koret Auditorium
Admission is free. Seating is on a first-come basis. Doors open at 12:30 pm

Norma (Bellini) – In Roman-dominated Gaul, the high priestess Norma (Sondra Radvanovsky) has broken her vow of chastity by entering a relationship with the Roman pro-consul Pollione (Gregory Kunde) and the birth of their two children has been kept secret. But when she discovers she has a rival, jealousy sets in. This 2015 Gran Teatro del Liceu Barcelona production was directed by Kevin Newbury and conducted by Renato Palumbo.
Sun Sept 27 at 12noon & Tues Sept 29 at 7:15pm
Camera 3 Entertainment, 288 S. Second Street, San Jose


Opera Lectures, Classes, and Workshops – September 2015

Ciao, Opera Mavens! Here are all the educational opera-tunities we’ve gathered for you this month:

Ninety-minute sessions by noted musicologists, composers, librettists, and singers, locally sponsored by SF Opera Guild Chapters and the San Jose Opera Guild. These special events explore each opera’s historical and musical context as well as musical and dramatic challenges. Every session is illustrated by audio & visual examples and includes a question & answer and discussion period.
Luisa Miller by Mary Ann Smart, Professor of Music, UC Berkeley
Sweeney Todd by Simon Williams, Theater and Dance Professor, UCSB
Lucia di Lammermoor by Alexandra Amati-Camperi, Music Program Director, USF

Luisa Miller – Mon Aug 31
Sweeney Todd – Thu Sep 10
Lucia di Lammermoor – Mon Sep 28
7pm complimentary refreshments, 7:30pm lecture; $10 fee
Villa Marin, 100 Thorndale Dr, San Rafael

Luisa Miller – Tue Sep 1
Sweeney Todd – Tue Sep 8
7pm complimentary refreshments, 7:30pm lecture; $10 per person
First Presbyterian Church, 1140 Cowper St, Palo Alto

Luisa Miller – Tue Sep 1
Sweeney Todd – Wed Sep 9
Lucia di Lammermoor – Wed Sep 30
West Bay Opera Season Preview – Fri Sep 25
10am lecture; FREE to SJOG and JCC members, $10 for everyone else
Addison-Penzak JCC Silicon Valley, 14855 Oka Rd, Los Gatos

Luisa Miller – Wed Sep 2
Sweeney Todd – Tues Sep 8
Lucia di Lammermoor – Mon Sep 28
12 noon lecture; *FREE*
Koret Auditorium, Lower Level, New Main Library, 100 Larkin St,  San Francisco

Luisa Miller – Wed Sept 2
Sweeney Todd – Wed Sept 9 (reservation required)
Lucia di Lammermoor – Thur Oct 1 (reservation required)
7:30pm check-in and coffee, 8pm lecture; $10 fee
Lafayette Library & Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette

Before each performance, listen to a 25-minute overview of the opera with insights on the music, composer and historical background. Pre-Opera Talks are FREE to ticket holders and take place in the Orchestra section of the theater beginning 55 minutes prior to curtain. Note: No Pre-Opera Talk on Opening Night, Fri Sep 11
Luisa Miller by Alexandra Amati-Camperi, USF Music Program Director
Sweeney Todd by Marcia Green, Humanities Education and Research Association

Tosca Preview – One-hour presentation by General Director Larry Hancock including lecture and performances by OSJ artists.
Tue Sep 1 at 12 noon, Beethoven Center, MLK Library, 4th & San Fernando Sts, SJ
Introduction to Opera  – At 6:30 before evening performances, and at 1:30 before matinees, a free talk is presented in the California Theatre to acquaint you with the composer’s life, his place in the history of opera, the story and its characters. You must be ticketed for that day’s performance; your ticket will be torn as you enter the building.

Washington National Opera Ring Talk
– In conjunction with the WNO the WSNC will present a talk by WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello about the first Ring Festival to be held in Washington D.C.
Thur Sep 10 at 6:30pm at Absinthe Restaurant 398 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA
Space is limited, admission is FREE and is available by reservation only.  If you would like to attend and hear more about the WNO Ring please RSVP to Colin Brush at CMBrush@Kennedy-Center.org and include your full name, phone number and e-mail address.
Wagner: Genius in Exile
In this biographical and musical road movie by Andy Sommer, Antoine Wagner Pasquier heads to Switzerland on the trail of his great-great-grandfather, renowned composer Richard Wagner. In order to comprehend the composer’s complex personality, Antoine returns to sites where his ancestor lived, meeting historians, musicologists, musicians, and enlightened amateurs, and exploring the landscapes that inspired Richard Wagner in one of his most artistically rich periods. Free for WSNC members; $10 for non-members
Sat Sep 19 at 1pm, JCC-SF, 3200 California St, San Francisco

Increase your understanding of opera and enjoy the upcoming OSJ performances of Tosca all the more by attending one of Bradford Wade’s 90-minute preview talks. FREE of charge (except 9/9 in Lafayette) but reservations requested (see info below)
Tue Sep 1 at 7pm, Italian American Heritage Foundation, 425 N Fourth St, San Jose
RSVP caradelia@yahoo.com or OperaAtYourDoorstep@gmail.com
Tue Sep 8 at 7:30pm, Law Offices of Sheppard Mullin, 379 Lytton Ave, Palo Alto
RSVP OperaAtYourDoorstep@gmail.com
Wed Sep 9 at 1:30pm, Lafayette Library, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette; $10 fee
Thu Sep 10 at 7:30pm, Pat Miller’s Music School, 14107 Winchester Blvd, Los Gatos
RSVP pat@patmillermusic.com or 408-871-7010

Opera and Musical Theater Performance Workshop – Explore the many aspects of being on stage, including character development, stage technique, musicality, and style. Students will learn how to combine acting and solo singing skills through music from operas and/or musicals. Assignments will be given in addition to what the participants bring in to work on. Students will work on their own repertoire and observe the development of other participants. The class will culminate in a performance at the end of the quarter. Students will have an opportunity to visit SF Opera rehearsals as part of its curriculum. Classes begin Sept 2; registration and fee info at the link above.

Vocal Coaching Master Class with Patrick Summers, Artistic Director and Music Director of the Houston Grand Opera and Principal Guest Conductor for the SF Opera. SFCM’s Master Class series invites renowned performers and conductors to share insights with Conservatory students about technique, style and the business – sprinkled with backstage tales – all before a live audience. FREE but reservations required; click on link above for more information and to reserve your spot.
Mon Sep 14 at 7:30pm, SFCM Concert Hall, 50 Oak St, San Francisco

Giacomo Puccini: Always Romantic – No composer communicates more directly with an audience than Puccini.  Instructor John Kendall Bailey, Music Director of the Trinity Lyric Opera, brings us selections from Puccini’s works and insights into the life and times of this genius of the late Romantic era.
FREE for OLLI members and Baywood Court residents; $5 for non-members.
Sat Sept 19 1:30 – 3pm Baywood Court, 1966 Dolores Street, Castro Valley

Afternoon at the Opera – Join us for another thrilling course in opera appreciation. This fall we present opera history with mezzo-soprano Deborah Rosengaus discussing the characteristics of the Baroque, Classical, Bel Canto / Italian Verismo, Romantic, and Contemporary periods along with musical illustrations. Shari Deghi will guide us through overviews of the upcoming Met broadcasts: Il Trovatore, Otello, Tannhäuser, and Lulu. Course fee $85 (register the first day of class); drop-in fee $15 per single session
Mon Sep 21-Nov 16 from 2-4pm, 2645 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

Interactive sessions take you on the journey of creating an opera; newcomers and seasoned opera-goers alike will enjoy exploring the process from the ground up and behind the scenes. Four consecutive Monday sessions, 7-9pm; package price $80 per person (+$11 reg fee). Space is limited, call Box Office (415-864-3330) to purchase.
Mon Sep 21: Telling the Story with Kip Cranna, SF Opera Dramaturg
Mon Sep 28: Performing with Sheri Greenawald, SF Opera Center Director
Mon Oct 5: Designing and Building with SFO Production Department staff members
Mon Oct 12: Assembling the Pieces with SFO Assistant Stage Director Roy Rallo
Chorus Room, War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco

edX.com MOOC
Introduction to Italian Opera – Enrollment going on now for this FREE online distance learning MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) offered through Dartmouth College and edX. This seven-week course will focus on giving you the tools and experiences to become better students of opera. Act I will give you a toolbox of skills to listen for specific moments and gestures in opera. Act II will focus applying these skills to listening activities with your favorite Italian composers. At the end of the course, we will help you to carry these experiences beyond the course, encouraging you to become lifelong listeners and lovers of opera. Want to listen to an opera for the first time? Have you been listening to opera for your entire life? This course is suited for beginners and advanced opera listeners alike! Begins Oct 13th.


Now: One Site for Streaming European Summer Festivals

Ciao, Opera Mavens. Go to: Logan D YouTube There you will find HD streams of:

Glyndebourne Festival’s Poliuto (Donizetti) with Michael Fabiano

Salzburg Festival’s Fidelio with Jonas Kaufmann

Bayreuth’s Tristan und Isolde with Stephen Gould and Evelyn Herlitzius

Choregies D’Orange Il Trovatore with Roberto Alagna

Glyndebourne Festival’s Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail

NDR Klassik Open Air La Boheme with Michael Fabiano, Mariusz Kwiecien, and Angel Blue

Plus a recital by Juan Diego Florez and a concert with Pretty Yende.