The overall title for the 2016–17 season of San Francisco Renaissance Voices (SFRV) is The Renaissance Woman. At the end of next week SFRV will perform the first program of the season in San Francisco. The title of the program is Devoted Daughters and Weird Sisters.
The major work on the program will be Giacomo Carissimi’s 1648 oratorio Jephte, based on the Old Testament story of Jephthah in the Book of Judges. Before leading the Israelites in a battle against the Ammonites, Jephthah vowed that he would sacrifice his daughter if victorious; and she is the “devoted daughter” of the program’s title. The oratorio is scored for six voices and continuo. Music Director Katherine McKee will conduct vocalists Lisa May and Yuhi Aizawa Combatti (sopranos), Naomi Braun (mezzo), Elisabeth Eliassen (contralto), Corey Head (tenor), and Joey Valkevich (bass). The continuo will be provided by members of the MUSA Baroque Instrumental Ensemble (Derek Tam, Director).
The second half of the program will be devoted to music inspired by the plays of William Shakespeare. The “weird sisters” of the program title will be found in music composed by Richard Leveridge for a 1702 revival of Macbeth. Other plays that will be represented by selections will be Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, and The Tempest. (Only the last of these comes closest to having a daughter known for her devotion, even if her father eventually releases her to marry the man she loves, just as he also gives up command of magic powers.)
SFRV continues to give its San Francisco performances at the Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church. This is located at 1329 Seventh Avenue, about a block south of the Seventh Avenue stop on the Muni N line. The performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 17. General admission is $35 with a $30 rate for students and seniors and $20 for children aged twelve or younger. Tickets may be purchased in advance from a Brown Paper Tickets event page. Tickets will go on sale at the door at 7 p.m.