September Added Attractions

Ciao, Opera Mavens. We labored all weekend to find more good stuff for you!

An Overture to the 2014-15 Opera Season – The musicians of the SFO Orchestra are pleased to announce a FREE concert conducted by our own fabulous Dawn Harms, featuring operatic favorites as well as some special surprises!
Thu Sep 4 at 8pm, SFCM Concert Hall, 50 Oak St, San Francisco

Ailyn Pérez and Stephen Costello in Recital – Even if you can’t attend the concert, you can read about this lovely young “Operatic Power Couple” with connections to the Bay Area (Ailyn was Merola 2005 and sang Violetta to Stephen’s Alfredo in SFO’s Traviata this summer) and their thoughts on expanding the art form’s audience base:
Fri Sep 5 at 7:30pm, Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave, San Diego

Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park – Barihunk Mariusz Kwiecien will be featured in LOC’s annual preview concert singing the title character in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (which he performed at SFO in 2006); he will join sopranos Marina Rebeka, Ana María Martínez, and bass Andrea Silvestrelli in the final scene from the opera. The program also includes Wagner’s overture to Tannhäuser, the Act I finale of Puccini’s Tosca featuring baritone Mark Delavan (Adler 1986-87) as Scarpia (a role he will reprise at SFO later this fall), and the entire third act of Verdi’s Rigoletto.
Sat Sep 6 at 5:30pm PST, available live online at

Season Preview – General Director José Luis Moscovich and WBO’s singers present a preview of their upcoming season. FREE for San Jose Opera Guild and JCC Silicon Valley members, $10 non-members.
Fri Sep 19 at 10am, Addison-Penzak JCC Silicon Valley, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos

Season Preview – Two-hour program of vocal highlights and arias performed by members of OSJ’s resident ensemble followed by Q&A session. *FREE*
Wed Sep 24 at 7pm, Sunnyvale Public Library, 456 W. Olive Ave, Sunnyvale
Irene Dalis: Diva, Impresaria, Legend – Here’s another way to learn more about and support OSJ! Linda Riebel’s book (with foreword by Seattle Opera’s former General Director Speight Jenkins) is filled with backstage anecdotes, stories of luck and perseverance, and sketches of the great impresarios Rudolf Bing, Wieland Wagner, Kurt Herbert Adler, and Lotfi Mansouri. Now available in paperback for just $20 through; all proceeds benefit OSJ:

Virgil’s Aeneid: The Romans’ National Epic – Want to get a head start on SFO’s Les Troyens this summer? Go straight to the source! Associate Professor of Classics Christopher Krebs leads a six-week course of study on the story of Aeneas: his flight from Troy, adventures, sacrifices, and long-anticipated but delayed arrival in Italy. Cost $255; register online for course code CLA 49.
Tue Sep 23-Oct 28, 7-9pm, Stanford University

Let’s Make an Opera Unique opportunity for children (ages 5-16) to perform in one of the world’s most popular fairy tale operas, Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck! Principal roles will be taken by professional opera singers with a children’s chorus comprised of dancing and singing angels, animals, gingerbread children, and others; every child receives a part, no audition required. Cost $90, register on website:
Classes: Sun Sep 28 through Nov 16, 2-5pm; Dress Rehearsal: Fri Nov 21, 3-5pm
Performances: Sat Nov 22 at 7pm and Sun 23 at 11:30am and 4pm
Addison-Penzak JCC of Silicon Valley, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos

Blu-Ray Film Presentation
– Livermore Valley Opera’s production of Cenerentola from last season, plus a brief discussion of the production elements involved in staging the opera. FREE for members, $5 for non-members; open to all, includes light refreshments.
Tue Sep 30 at 12:30pm, Peacock Theatre, Golden Rain Rd, Walnut Creek

BONUS ITEM: Philippe Sly in Tolkien inspired video
The following is by Mathieu Sly, brother of current Adler Fellow Philippe Sly:
“Since 2001 when The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was released in theatres, my brother and I have been relentless fans of both films and books…
Here we offer our voices again. We want to thank everyone who made those first films and inspired two young boys to imagine.”


Tix For Sale: Susannah, Partenope, Tosca at SFO

OPERABOBB’S TICKET EXCHANGE — For the admissionally challenged; please communicate directly with the seller.

For Sale by Linda Barrett
Susannah, Tue Sept 16 at 7:30pm, one ticket, Balcony Front, Row C, Seat 117, $49
Partenope, Tue Oct 21 at 7:30pm, one ticket, Balcony Front, Row C, Seat 117, $49
Tosca, Tue Nov 4 at 7:30pm, one ticket, Balcony Front, Row A, Seat 109, $54

Hot News for Opera Fans

Ciao, Opera Mavens. Last evening a packed house at the SF Conservatory of Music Concert Hall listened intently to the Susannah Insight Panel. Sponsored by the SF Opera Guild, the panel members included the composer Carlisle Floyd, Patricia Racette (Merola 1988) (Susannah), director Michael Cavanagh, conductor Karen Kamensek, and SF Opera General Director David Gockley. It was an exciting discussion with lots of questions from the audience. Susannah runs Sep 6 thru Sep 21 at the SF Opera.

Carlisle Floyd

Carlisle Floyd

Patricia Racette

Patricia Racette

Michael Cavanagh and OperaBobb share a chuckle

Michael Cavanagh and OperaBobb share a chuckle




At the reception afterward, I was lucky enough to be given a copy of Linda Riebel’s new book on Irene Dalis. It’s subtitled Diva, Impresaria, Legend: How a Metropolitan Opera Star Created America’s Unique Opera Company (i.e., Opera San Jose). I’m looking forward to starting the book as soon as next week’s intensive opera schedule trails off.

Placido Domingo

Placido Domingo

Tomorrow Night, August 30 at 7pm PDT!
Thirteen singers will compete in a live webcast from Placido Domingo’s 2014 Operalia Competition in Los Angeles. The stream is at and will be available for the following two or three months on demand FREE of charge.


Wagner Fans Alert.
This summer’s Bayreuth Festival production of Tannhauser in now available on YouTube. I’ll be honest with you I don’t understand this production. It’s beyond my ken, but it didn’t get in the way of the wonderful singing. The chorus was sublime. Torsten Kerl (who sang here in the 2008 production of Die Tote Stadt) is Tannhauser.

For Anna Netrebko (Merola 1996) Fans

Tchaikovsky’s one act opera Iolanta from Baden-Baden 2009 is available on YouTube. Valery Gergiev conducts. Next February the Met will simulcast this opera along with Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle


Special Events – September 2014

Ciao, Opera Mavens. Plenty of opera-tunities to party hearty in your fanciest formalwear or get down and dirty in T-shirt and jeans!


Opera Ball 2014: Passione – A magical evening awaits! SF City Hall will be transformed into Caesar’s Palace for an elegant cocktail reception and banquet before the Opening Night performance of Norma followed by desserts and dancing afterwards. Tickets start at $1500 (a portion is tax-deductible); all proceeds help SFOG provide the benefits of arts education that only opera can deliver to more than 60,000 students in over 230 schools throughout Northern California every year.
Fri Sep 5 at 5pm, San Francisco City Hall

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA BRAVO! CLUB!-Gala-Tickets.aspx or 415-621-4403

Opening Night Gala – Celebrate SFO’s 92nd Season with other young opera lovers (ages 21-40)! Begin the evening with champagne on the outdoor loggia of the Opera House before the performance; festivities continue afterwards at nearby Jardinière restaurant featuring their signature cuisine and sophisticated cocktails, plus two floors of dancing. Tickets start at $195; last year’s Gala sold out so purchase your tickets soon to be included in this new tradition.
Fri Sep 5 at 6:30pm, War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco

OPERA SAN JOSE or 408-437-4450

Opening Night Party – Reception for OSJ’s new General Director Larry Hancock, new Music Director Joseph Marcheso, and opening night cast of Rigoletto; includes prosecco and wine, savories and dessert, coffee and tea. Tickets $50 per person; available by advance purchase only, no sales at the door.
Sat Sep 6 at 11pm, Palm Room, Sainte Claire Hotel, 302 So Market St, San Jose


Opera in the Park – Annual al fresco concert featuring stars from the upcoming fall season and SFO Orchestra conducted by Music Director Nicola Luisotti. *FREE*; bring a picnic to enjoy or purchase food and beverages at the event.
Sun Sep 7 at 1:30pm, Sharon Meadow, Bowling Green Drive, Golden Gate Park, SF

WEST EDGE OPERA or 510-841-1903

Opera Off the Deep End – WEO’s 4th Annual Comedy Night; enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres followed by a delicious buffet dinner and rollicking evening of hilarious musical entertainment including Music Director Jonathan Khuner’s Operatic Nightmares I Have Known: Tales from the Prompter’s Box, soprano Marie Plette’s version of Anna Russell’s hilarious lecture on Wagner’s Ring Cycle, tenor Pedro Rodelas singing selections from Cabaret, and a special appearance by the delightful Kathleen Moss. Tickets $125 VIP Preferred Seating, $75 Regular; all proceeds support WEO (a portion of the ticket price is tax-deductible).
Sat Sep 13 at 6:30pm, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 1501 Washington Ave, Albany


50th Anniversary Concert – Soprano Nicolle Foland (Adler 1995-96) and bass-baritone Bojan Knecevic (Adler 1995) present a program of opera arias and duets accompanied by pianist Ron Valentino (Merola 1990); also on the program is chamber music by the Delphi Piano Trio and the Rossmoor Chorus performing favorite songs from the 1960s. *FREE* and open to the public, no tickets required; light refreshments served at intermission.
Mon Sep 15 at 6:30pm, Rossmoor Event Center, 1021 Stanley Dollar Dr, Walnut Creek


Opera in the Park – Come enjoy a FREE family-friendly concert including beloved arias and ensembles from favorite composers plus a preview of music from our upcoming season (Hansel and Gretel, Madama Butterfly, The Child and The Spells).
Sun Sep 14 at 3pm, Town Square (across from Fox Theater), Redwood City
Sat Sep 27 at 11am, Santana Row Valencia Stage, San Jose


Showcasing the Arts Brunch
– Please join us for a special event to help underwrite our next opera series entitled Love, Lust and Longing (four lectures by Kayleen Asbo followed by movie presentations of SFO operas at Sonoma’s Sebastiani Theatre in November and December). Baritone Eugene Brancoveanu (Adler 2005-06) will sing selections from the featured operas (Don Giovanni, Lucia di Lammermoor, Porgy and Bess) in Judy and Irwin Miller’s lovely home filled with their photography and contemporary art collection. $150 per person, includes admission to upcoming series; to purchase contact or 707-540-6119 x3.
Sun Sep 21 at 11 am, Petaluma (address provided with ticket purchase)


Opening Night Gala – Welcome reception followed by three-course dinner with wine timed to accommodate pre-opera lecture and new earlier curtain time; specialty desserts served at the Bankhead Theater. Tickets $85 per person (separate ticket required for opera performance), available online or at the Bankhead Ticket Office.
Sat Sep 27 at 4pm, Uncle Yu’s at the Vineyard, 39 So Livermore Ave, Livermore