There’s so much going on at San Francisco Opera these days that opera lovers find themselves surrounded by a veritable embarrassment of riches! Take a look at the SF Opera website to see what’s on offer.
The Dianne and Tad Taube Atrium Theater in the newly renovated Diane B Wilsey Center has a schedule packed with good things – like Chamberworks, curated by members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and featuring the 2016 Adler Fellows. There are interactive family workshops on Rossini’s Cinderella, plus screenings in the Opera in an Hour series, and Benoît Charest leads a series of live performances of his original score during a screening of The Triplets of Belleville. The last in the current series of Schwabacher Debut Recitals features Kihun Yoon, baritone, with pianist Mark Morash, and soprano Deborah Voigt presents Voigt Lessons – an account in words and song of her life and career.
This weekend sees the opening of a most unusual production, though, Ana Sokolović’s Svadba- Wedding, an a capella opera for six female voices. Directed by Michael Cavanagh, this chamber opera is sung in Serbian and takes place on the night before a wedding, as the bride-to-be and her girlfriends prepare for the following day’s marriage, and celebrate their last night as a group of single friends.
Ana Sokolović has based her work on Slavic and Balkan folk tales and myths, with music inspired by her Balkan heritage. She explains that when Toronto’s Queen of Puddings Music Theatre commissioned this work from her in 2011, she “took this opportunity to explore the wedding theme, especially the night before the ceremony, where we are privy to private and ancient rituals between the bride and her girlfriends. …… A wedding is an important turning point in every woman’s life, usually steeped in tradition and always signifying change and juncture. Milica’s rite of passage is universal, an archetype of human experience.”
Toronto’s Now Magazine wrote of Svadba-Wedding: “Prenuptial celebrations are rarely as hauntingly musical as they are in Ana Sokolović’s a cappella opera that begins in the ordinary world and ends in a magical realm.” Opera News described her music as “dazzlingly inventive” and the work as “compelling and beautifully transparent”.
This production of Svadba-Wedding is conducted by conducted by Dáirine Ní Mheadhra, and features Jacqueline Woodley as the bride Milica, Liesbeth Devos as Danica, Laura Albino is Lena, Pauline Sikirdji is Zora, Nada is sung by Andrea Ludwig, and Ljubica by Krisztina Szabó.
Svadba-Wedding opens on April 2 and runs for seven performances through April 10, and audiences are invited to a complimentary post-performance after-party with champagne and wedding cake. For more information, and to book tickets, visit http://sfopera.com/sfoperalab/.
Opera lovers will also want to watch KQED’s new season of broadcast operas which opens this evening with San Francisco Opera’s production of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s Show Boat, followed – on consecutive Thursdays – by the Company’s productions of Bellini’s Norma, Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah and Rossini’s Cinderella.
And on the subject of broadcast opera, KDFC – the Bay Area’s classical music radio station – features San Francisco Opera’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute on Sunday evening, April 3, at 8.00 pm.
More information on the TV and radio broadcasts can be found on http://sfopera.com/discover-opera/tv-and-radio-broadcasts/
San Francisco Opera www.sfopera.com