Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Second Sunday of June will be Just as Busy as the First

As could be seen in some of last Friday’s dispatch, June tends to be the month of end-of-season programming. So it should be no surprise that the second Sunday of the month will be as busy as the first. In this case, however, one event will mark end of one season, while the following event will mark the anniversary of another. Here is the current “state of play” for concerts taking place on Sunday, June 11:

3:30 p.m., Swedenborgian Church of San Francisco: The HIP (Historically Informed Performance) Forum is an ensemble that gives performances on period-appropriate instruments of music from both the Baroque and Classical periods. This month’s concert will be devoted entirely to works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The program will offer the K. 478 quartet in G minor, played by Derek Tam at the fortepiano and the string trio of violinist Kati Kyme, violist Anthony Martin, and cellist Erik Anderson. Less familiar will be the K. 138 divertimento in F major, which features major solo work for bass, played by Kristin Zoernig. The final selection will be the K. 251 divertimento in D major, scored for two violins, viola, bass, oboe, and two horns.

The Swedenborgian Church is located in the “border area” between Pacific Heights and Presidio Heights. The address is 2107 Lyon Street, near the northwest corner of Washington Street. General admission will be $30 with a $25 rate for seniors and members of the San Francisco Early Music Society and a $10 rate for students with valid identification. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through a Brown Paper Tickets event page.

4 p.m., Luggage Store Gallery: The Beth Custer Ensemble will host a performance of Water Worship, a multimedia oratorio about the use, misuse, and regeneration of our most precious resource. The instrumentation will include a collection of water-inspired instruments, assembled and performed by Bart Hopkin. He will be joined by a string quartet consisting of members of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. The text will be narrated by Dean Santomieri, and the additional media will take the form of projections presented by Craig Baldwin. As most readers should know by now, the Luggage Store Gallery is at 1007 Market Street, directly across from the Golden Gate Theatre at the corner of Golden Gate Avenue and Taylor Street. No advance information has been provided about admission, which may mean that donations will be appreciated.

4 p.m., San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM): Symphony Parnassus will conclude its season by highlighting two young musicians. There will be the world premiere performance of “Luz Dorada” (golden light) by Stefan Cwik, the ensemble’s composer-in-residence, who is currently an SFCM faculty member. The piece was inspired by three paintings by the artist Eduardo Rodriguez Calzado. Appropriately enough, the intermission will be followed by a performance of Maurice Ravel’s orchestration of Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition suite. The other young musician will be seventeen-year-old pianist Elliot Wuu, who will perform Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Opus 43 rhapsody based on the last of Niccolò Paganini’s solo violin caprices.

This performance will take place in the SFCM Concert Hall. SFCM is located at 50 Oak Street, a short walk from the Van Ness Muni Station. Ticket prices are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $10 for those under the age of 26. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through a Brown Paper Tickets event page.

8 p.m., Herbst Theatre: The Merola Opera Program will launch its 60th Anniversary Season with a special concert. Two of Merola’s most well-known alumnae, soprano Deborah Voigt (1985) and mezzo Dolora Zajick (1983), will be featured soloists. They will be joined by several more recent alumni. The program will be divided into four sections.

The first section will begin with Voigt and Zajick singing the famous duet “Belle nuit, o nuit d’Amour” (beautiful night of love) from Jacques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann. The 2017 Merolini will provide the choral accompaniment. This will be followed by “Suzel, buon di” (Suzel, you are good), the so-called “Cherry Duet” from the second act of Pietro Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz (friend Fritz). The vocalists will be soprano Julie Adams and tenor Pene Pati, both 2013 Merola graduates.

The second section will begin with baritone Quinn Kelsey (2002), who will be singing the title role of Rigoletto during the Summer Season performances of the San Francisco Opera (SFO). He will sing Gérard’s aria “Nemico della patria” (enemy of the state) from Umberto Giordano’s Andrea Chénier. Soprano Tracy Dahl (1985) will then sing the famous coloratura aria “Je suis Titania” (I am Titania) from Ambroise Thomas’ opera Mignon. The two of them will then join forces for the duet “Il pallor funesto, orrendo” (the horrid pallor) from Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.

In the third section Zajick will return to sing “Voi la sapete” (you know it) from Mascagni’s one-act opera “Cavalleria rusticana.” She will then join tenor Issachah Savage (2013) in the duet “Ai nostri monti” (to our mountains) from Giuseppe Verdi’s Il trovatore (the troubadour). Then, in a sort of tag-team approach, Savage will take the briefly-heard role of Samson as mezzo Zanda Švēde (2013) sings Delilah’s aria “Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix” (my heart opens itself to your voice) from Camille Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah. He then will sing “Siegmund heiss’ ich” (my name is Siegmund) with soprano Sarah Cambridge (2016) in the plot-critical duet of Siegmund and Sieglinde in the first act of Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre (the Valkyrie).

The final section will be devoted to the greatest classic musicals of Broadway. Mezzo Catherine Cook (1990) will join Voigt to sing “Anything you can do” from Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun. Jerome Kern’s Show Boat will then be represented with the duet “You are love” sung by soprano Kristin Clayton and bass-baritone Bojan Knežević. Cook will then sing “I am easily assimilated” from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide with backup from tenor Amitai Pati and baritone Andrew G. Manea. The evening will then conclude with an all-hands performance of “Make our garden grow,” the finale of Candide.

The entrance to Herbst Theatre is on the ground floor of the War Memorial Veterans Building, located at 401 Van Ness Avenue on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. All tickets for this concert are being sold for $60. They are being handled by the SFO Box Office, which is in the outer lobby of the War Memorial Opera House, on the other side of the War Memorial complex at the northwest corner of Grove Street. The Box Office can also be reached by telephone at 415-864-3330. There is also an event page on the SFO Web site for online purchase.

Finally, this concert will be preceded by a Gala Dinner that will be held across the street in City Hall. This event is currently completely sold. However, there is a waiting list for any openings. Those interested in being on that waiting list may contact Miriam Rosenfeld at 415-936-2311.

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