Thursday, June 15, 2023


Afrika America, who will host this season’s Expansive program (from the Opera Parallèle Web page for Expansive)

This coming August will see the second installment of the Expansive initiative, which showcases transgender and non-binary classical artists. (I am not quite sure why I never learned of the first installment, but nothing can be gained from crying over spilled notes.) The specific works to be performed have not yet been announced, but the performers have been finalized. Two vocalists and a harpist will be highlighted with piano accompaniment provided by Taylor Chang, and the entire program will be hosted by Afrika America.

The first vocalist will be Katherine Goforth, who sings in the tenor range and performed in the Opera Bend production of Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci in which the role of Beppe was reimagined as a female character. Mezzo Nikola Printz will probably be no stranger to those reading this site regularly, having performed last year in the Merola Opera Program, the Schwabacher Recital Series, and several Ars Minerva productions, the most recent being Leonardo Vinci’s Astianatte. The harpist will be Ahya Simone.

The program will be given two performances, both beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 3, and Friday, August 4. The venue will be the Strand Theater, which is the multipurpose space for American Conservatory Theater. It is located at 1127 Market Street, directly across from the Civic Center’s UN Plaza. The performance will be jointly presented by Opera Parallèle (OP) and The Transgender District, and tickets are being sold by OP. General admission will be $25 with a $10 rate for community members and those with low incomes. The first five rows will be held and distributed for free by The Transgender District to other community organizations supporting the transgender community in the Tenderloin. There is also a “Pay It Forward” rate of $50 to compensate for those not paying the general admission price. A single Web page has been created for online purchase of tickets for both performances.

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