MEROLA OPERA SEASON – Free Concert – Sunday, July 24th at Yerba Buena Gardens

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Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

The Merola Opera Program summer season will open with the popular Schwabacher Summer Concert, presented on Friday, July 22, at 7:30 p.m. at the Herbst Theatre and offered to the community for free on Sunday, July 24th, at 2:00 p.m. as part of the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. Conductor and Merola alumnus Robert Wood will lead members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra for the concert, which will feature a variety of extended scenes from popular operas. Wood has worked as a conductor across the country, with companies such as the Chicago Opera Theatre, the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Ballet, Vancouver Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera Company. He has served as Conductor in Residence at the Minnesota Opera and as Chorus Master at The Santa Fe Opera. This past season Wood launched a contemporary opera company in Washington, DC, called Urban Arias.

MEET THE ARTISTS

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Elizabeth Zharoff – Phillipe Sly – Mark Diamond – Clinton Smith

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Timothy Cheung – Suzanne Rigden – Suchan King – Scott Quinn

The scenes concert will be directed by renowned stage director Peter Kazaras, who directed Merola’s extremely popular production of Albert Herring in 2008. Kazaras, who has received worldwide acclaim as an operatic tenor, currently serves as Seattle Opera’s Artistic Advisor and Principal Artistic Instructor of the Young Artist Development Program, and was recently appointed Director of Opera and Music Theater at UCLA.

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Robert Mollicone – Renee Rapier – Peixin Chen – Ragnar Conde

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Marina Harris – Laura Krumm – Joo Wan Kang – Jonathan Michie

The concert will feature extended scenes from popular Italian operas, including Don Carlo, I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Rigoletto as well as a scene from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.  “This year’s Schwabacher Summer Concert features singers with unique voices that might not easily fit within the framework of our fully staged opera, Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia. Of course this means that on a sheer vocal level, this concert holds some real treats for our audiences,” says San Francisco Opera Center Director Sheri Greenawald.  “While I have to be very circumspect about what repertoire I choose for the fully staged opera every year, this concert allows us to bring in repertory that I know our audiences crave: Verdi, Bellini, Tchaikovsky, and the more dramatic Donizetti works.”

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John Maynard – Heath Huberg – Guodong Feng – Deborah Nansteel

 The Schwabacher Summer Concert is named in memory of James H. Schwabacher (1920-2006).  Mr. Schwabacher, a noted singer and scholar, was not only instrumental in the establishment and development of the Merola Opera Program, he became its heart and soul demonstrating an unwavering commitment to the next generation of vocal talent. He provided vital financial and administrative stewardship to Merola, serving as President of the Board of Directors for 29 years and subsequently as Chairman of the Board for 15 years.

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Daniel Curran – Cooper Nolan – Ana Maria Otamendi

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Adam Lau – Xi Wang

Click here to purchase tickets to the Friday, July 22nd concert at the Herbst Theatre: Schwabacher Summer Concert

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.


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