The first Friday of next month will be the first evening of the month when readers will have to make a hard choice. As of this writing there will be four [added 4/23 12:05 p.m.: now five] overlapping concerts. Furthermore, for those who tend to make their decisions on the basis of genre, all four of these events will be vocal recitals. On the other hand each will take its own approach to program presentation; so the options for the would-be concert-goer should be relatively distinctive, Here are the specifics in order of appearance and distance from the Civic Center:
Friday, May 6, 7:30 p.m., Herbst Theatre: San Francisco Performances (SFP) will host the third of the four concerts in its Vocal Series. This will be the recital debut of soprano Rosa Feola, who, as was previously announced, will be replacing Anna Caterina Antonacci, who could not make her originally scheduled appearance on this date. Feola will be accompanied by pianist Fabio Centanni. She has prepared a recital based on texts by great Italian poets. Many of the settings will be by composers associated with opera, including Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Giuseppe Verdi; but Feola will also perform three art songs by Paolo Tosti. In addition she will recognize Petrarch through Franz Liszt’s settings of three of his sonnets (numbers 47, 104, and 123). She will also perform Giuseppe Martucci’s cycle of three songs, which was clearly influenced by Liszt.
Herbst Theatre is located at 401 Van Ness Avenue on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. Single tickets are on sale at $65, $55, and $40. City Box Office has an event page for single ticket purchases.
Friday, May 6, 8 p.m., Taube Atrium Theater: A rather different approach to vocal performance will take place when soprano Deborah Voigt brings the West Coast premiere of “Voigt Lessons” to SF Opera Lab. This is a one-woman show that Voigt developed with playwright (and opera fanatic) Terrence McNally and director Francesca Zambello. Voigt will weave songs and opera arias from her repertoire into a vivid and moving account of her life and career. She will be accompanied by Music Director Kevin Stites at the piano, and the production will be staged by Richard Jay-Alexander. Running time is expected to be about an hour and fifteen minutes, performed without an intermission.
The Taube Atrium Theater is located on the fourth floor of the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Avenue on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. All tickets will be $45 for general admission seating. Tickets may be purchased online from an event page on the SFO Web site. There will also be a second performance at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 8. The event page has hyperlinks for tickets for both of the performances. Tickets may also be purchased by calling the San Francisco Opera Box Office at 415-864-3330. Tickets will also be available at the door one hour before each show begins.
[added 5/6, 2:35 p.m.: San Francisco Opera just announced that the May 6 concert will be cancelled. SFO General Director David Gockley explained that Voigt is recovering after experiencing a ruptured eardrum last night. However, it is expected that the May 8 performance will proceed as planned. Box Office staff will be in communication with all ticket holders for this evening’s sold-out show asking them to hold on to their tickets for a future June performance or provide a ticket refund. The Box Office can be reached at (415) 864-3330. Refunds for pre-ordered food and drinks will be processed immediately.]
[added 5/7, 7 p.m.: The May 8 concert has also been cancelled; the two performances will be rescheduled next month.]
Friday, May 6, 8 p.m., Center for New Music (C4NM): Soprano Amy Foote has formed an innovative trio with pianist Anne Rainwater and cellist Helen Newby. C4NM will host the performance of their first program. Entitled Goddess, the program is dedicated to the divine feminine. It provides a glimpse into the generations of the group’s past, recognizing all the women that have preceded them. The entire trio will perform Kaija Saariaho’s “Mirage,” while Foote and Rainwater will present the West Coast premiere of John Zorn’s “Jumalaterett.” In addition Newby will perform Klaus Lang’s “Tehran Dust” accompanied by Rainwater on harmonium.
C4NM is located at 55 Taylor Street, about half a block north of where Golden Gate Avenue meets Market Street. General admission will be $20 with a $15 rate for C4NM members. Tickets will be available only at the door.
[added 4/23, 12:05 p.m.:
Friday, May 6, 8 p.m., Canessa Gallery: This will be a celebration of the 15th anniversary of the formation of the Cornelius Cardew Choir by Tom Bickley. That ensemble was named not only in honor of the composer but also to affirm his conviction that a healthy political economy involves collective music-making by professionals, amateurs, and novices. The concert will be held in conjunction with the opening of an exhibit of graphic and text scores at Canessa curated by David Samas. The exhibit will include one of Samas’ own works, which he conceived as a sonic labyrinth. The score is a canvas twelve feet long and nine feet wide that sits on the floor, and performers are required to walk through it. Samas calls his piece “Forest Walk;” and it will be part of the program for the concert given by the Cardew Choir. Cardew, himself, will be represented on the program with a performance of “Paragraph 6” from The Great Leaning, Cardew’s epic cantata based on Ezra Pound’s translations into English from the classic Confucianist text. Bickley’s own music will be included in the program with a performance of “Tuning Fork Mosquitos.” The other works on the program will be “Transmission Conduction” by Bob Marsh, “Temperamental Vessels” by Bryan Day, and “Frog Haiku” by Brenda Hutchinson.
The concert will be preceded by the opening reception for the gallery exhibit, which will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Canessa Gallery is located at 708 Montgomery Street, where the Financial District bumps into North Beach. Admission to the concert will be by donation. The suggested donation amount is $10, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.]
Friday, May 6, 8 p.m., San Francisco State University (SFSU): The Morrison Artists Series of the College of Liberal and Creative Arts at SFSU will conclude its 2015–2016 season with a performance by New York Polyphony, a four-member chamber male chamber choir. The program will focus on different periods of the Renaissance with works by Francisco Guerrero, John Dunstable, John Pyaour, John Plummer, Antoine Brumel, and Jacob Clemens non Papa. (The suffix was provided by publisher Tielman Susato, who wanted to make sure that the composer was not confused with Pope Clement VII.) The program will also include works by contemporary composers Michael McGlynn, Ivan Moody, and Geoffrey Williams.
As always, this concert will be held in the McKenna Theatre in the Creative Arts Building. The entrance to the campus is on the northwest corner of 19th Avenue and Holloway Street, and the entrance to the Creative Arts Building is on Holloway Street. There will also be a pre-concert lecture-demonstration at 7 p.m. presented by Artistic Director Richard Festinger. Tickets are free; but, because of demand, reservations are highly recommended. Reservations may be made online through a Vendini event page with a two-ticket limit for each reservation. Reserved tickets will be available for pick-up at the Box Office in the Creative Arts Building beginning on April 22, and there will be a Will Call desk on the evening of May 6. Specific seat selection and printing of tickets reserved online is no longer supported.
In addition, there will be a master class held earlier the same day (May 6), beginning at 11 a.m. This will take place in the Choral Room of the Creative Arts Building and last for two hours. This event will be free and open to the public to observe. No tickets are required.