As the headline says, this announcement is based on news that showed up in my Inbox at 3 AM; but it is definitely material that should not be overlooked. Tonight the Bar Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS) will present a special concert in celebration of gay pride while also offering their contribution to this season’s focus on the centennial of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, which will take place this coming August 25. The major work on the program will be a concert performance of Bernstein’s one-act opera, “Trouble in Tahiti.”
This will be the first time the opera will be presented in a concert version. The opera took an eclectic approach to style in order to reflect the Zeitgeist of American life following the Second World War, when, during the Fifties, there was a mass population shift from cities to suburbs. The libretto dwells on the marital woes of Sam and Dinah, probably married right after the War, in their suburban life. The couple will be sung by baritone Eugene Brancoveanu and mezzo Renée Rapier, respectively. The only other vocal roles will be taken by a crooning trio, which serves as the narrative’s Greek chorus, while also providing “commercial interruptions.” Those parts will be sung by soprano Heidi Moss, tenor Andres Ramirez, and baritone Bradley Kynard.
By way of an “overture,” the program will begin with the string section playing Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Opus 48 serenade in C major. Music Director Dawn Harms will serve as conductor. As at past concerts, the program uses rainbow icons to identify LGBTQ artists involved, both as performers and composers.
This concert will begin at 8 p.m. tonight, June 9, in the Concert Hall of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM). The entrance to the building is at 50 Oak Street, about halfway between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street on the north side. This amounts to a short walk from the Van Ness Muni station. Ticket prices are between $10 and $35. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Tix event page or by calling 800-595-4TIX (4849).