Thursday, September 28, 2017

New SFP Series To Begin with New Chamber Opera

This past June this site reported that, early in the 38th season of San Francisco Performances (SFP), there would be the launch of the Hear Now and Then Series. This would be a series of five programs that would interleave contemporary and recent music with the early music repertoire. The first of these programs will be the third event in the 2017–2018 SFP Calendar, following the first concert in the Vocal Season with mezzo Isabel Leonard and the 38th Season Gala.

The Hear Now and Then Series will begin with a one-hour spoken-word chamber opera by Danny Clay, which will be given a staged performance directed by Sean San José. The title of the opera is “Echoes;” and it will involve an impressive diversity of performers. The text sources will come from the poet-performers of the group Youth Speaks, led by collaborating curator Tassiana Willis. The participating poets will include Gabriel Cortez, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Enrique García Naranjo, Ashley Smiley, and Michael Wayne Turner III, all of whom will perform their own texts.

Clay’s score will provide the auditory context in which these poems will be performed. He will combine field recordings of streetscapes with music for the combined resources of the Kronos Quartet and The Living Earth Show. Kronos, whose members are violinists David Harrington and John Sherba, violist Hank Dutt, and cellist Sunny Yang, have been promoting adventurous repertoire since the group formed in 1986; and they participated in the inaugural 2016 season of the SFP series PIVOT: New Adventures in the Performing Arts. The Living Earth Show is the duo of guitarist Travis Andrews and percussionist Andy Meyerson, which commissioned composers to provide the music they would play for Do Be, a full-evening theater piece presented by Post:Ballet a little over a year ago.

This performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 7. The venue will be Herbst Theatre, whose entrance is on the ground floor of the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Avenue on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. Premium tickets are $55 with tickets in other sections of the house selling for $45 and $30. Tickets may be purchased online through a City Box event page, which provides a floor plan color-coded according the the ticket prices. As of this writing, tickets are available at all prices. In addition, student tickets will be sold at the door at a 50% discount in all sections. Those wishing further information may call 415-392-2545.

Because this is the first concert of a series, subscriptions are also still on sale for $295 for premium seating, $250, and $150. Subscriptions may be purchased online in advance through a City Box Office event page, which includes information about the locations associated with each of the price levels. Orders may also be placed by calling the SFP subscriber hotline at 415-677-0325, which is open for receiving calls between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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