On Saturday, November 5th at 2:00 pm, the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) celebrates Mexican culture in its fourth annual DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS (Day of the Dead) Community Concert, conducted by SFS Resident Conductor Donato Cabrera. Guest soloist tenor David Lomelí will perform “La donna è mobile” from Verdi’s Rigoletto, “Amor vida de mi vida” from Torroba’s Maravilla, and beloved Latin American popular songs. The matinee concert, designed for the entire family, also features music by Mexican composers Daniel Catán, Pablo Moncayo, Arturo Márquez, Eugenio Toussaint and Felipe Villanueva, and Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera. Beginning at 1:00 pm, an hour before the performance, ticket holders will enjoy a host of pre-concert festivities, refreshments and colorful displays celebrating Día de los Muertos in the Davies Symphony Hall lobby. Support for this concert is provided by the San Francisco Arts Commission. For the Día de los Muertos Community Concert, the San Francisco Symphony offers half-price tickets for children age 17 and under.
Click here to order tickets on-line: DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS
San Francisco Symphony Resident Conductor Donato Cabrera works closely with SFS Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and as Wattis Foundation Music Director leads the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. Cabrera made his San Francisco Symphony debut in April 2009 when he conducted the Orchestra with 24-hours notice in a program of Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 and Overture to Le nozze di Figaro, and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. In 2002, Cabrera was a Herbert von Karajan conducting fellow at the Salzburg Festival. From 2005 to 2008, he was Associate Conductor of San Francisco Opera, participating in the world premiere of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic and conducting performances of Die Fledermaus, Don Giovanni, Tannhäuser, and The Magic Flute. He has also served as Assistant Conductor at the Ravinia, Spoleto (Italy), and Aspen Music Festivals, and as Resident Conductor at the Music Academy of the West. He made his South American debut in the summer of 2008 conducting Madama Butterfly with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Concepción in Chile and returns regularly to conduct both symphonic and operatic repertoire. In February 2010, Cabrera was recognized as a Luminary by the Friends of Mexico Honorary Committee, a group led by San Francisco’s Consul General of Mexico Carlos Félix dedicated to celebrating Mexico’s bicentennial in San Francisco. Cabrera was recognized for his contributions to promoting and developing the presence of the Mexican community in the Bay Area.
The Día de los Muertos Community Concert marks Mexican tenor David Lomeli’s first time performing with the San Francisco Symphony. A protégé of Plácido Domingo, Lomelí was a first prize winner in both the opera and zarzuela categories in Domingo’s respected international vocal competition, Operalia. He is a graduate of the San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellowship and Merola Opera Programs and recently made debut appearances as Nemorino in New York City Opera’s L’elisir d’amore and Rodolfo in La bohème at Santa Fe Opera. This season he will make his Glyndebourne Festival debut as Rodolfo in La Bohème, his Houston Grand Opera debut as Alfredo in La traviata and appear with Canadian Opera Company as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto. He will reprise this role under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel in concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in August. Lomelí’s concert appearances this season include Verdi’s Requiem with Sinfonieorchester Basel and a solo recital with the Birmingham Music Club.
Beginning at 1:00 PM, Ensambles Ballet Folklórico de San Francisco and musical group Vinikai will perform dances and music from Michoacan and Oaxaca, progressing from outside the hall into the Davies Symphony Hall lobby. Inside the hall, Daniel Martinez’ larger than life Catrina sculptures welcome audiences to the celebration and invite everyone to enter a village of paper mâché skeletons on the first tier. Bay Area artist Victoria Canby has created a special 25-foot installation of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent Aztec god, made of colorful chilies showcased under the grand staircase. Artists Victor Zeballa, Martina Ayala and Maria de la Rosa have each created musically themed Day of the Dead altars on display throughout the lobbies. Audiences will also enjoy artwork created specially for this celebration by Mexico-based artists La Piztola.
Performers from Redwood City’s Latino theater group Circulo Cultural will roam the lobby costumed as Catrines and Catrinas in Day of the Dead-themed face paint and costumes. Bilingual activities for children will include paper flower activities, face painting, pipe cleaner calaveras making, and decoration of calavera masks coordinated by Elena Finestone and Martina Ayala. Mexican sugar skull artist Irma Ortiz will give a sugar skull-making demonstration and artist ROB-O’S large sugar skulls will be on display. Complimentary Day of the Day bread—pan de muerto—baked by the Bay Baking Co will be served along with Mexican hot chocolate.
The Symphony’s community partner Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (MCCLA) was established in 1977 by artists and community activists with a shared vision to promote, preserve and develop the Latino cultural arts that reflect the living tradition and experiences of the Chicano, Mexican, Central and South American, and the Caribbean people. The MCCLA makes the arts accessible as an essential element to the community’s development and well-being.
The Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco is committed not only to protect and assist all Mexicans in Northern California, but also to serve as the voice of Mexico, its culture and its traditions. This fall, the Mexican Consulate General is celebrating women’s contribution to the aesthetics and poetics, through the project Numina Femenina: Latin Women in the Arts. To this end, the Consulate General will launch a visual arts exhibition in its facilities and will partner with some of the most prominent cultural institutions in the Bay Area, in order to continue strengthening its alliances and sharing the cultural richness of Mexico with Mexicans and friends of Mexico. For more information visit: Mexico In SF
The Día de los Muertos Community Concert is part of the San Francisco Symphony’s ongoing commitment to providing compelling musical experiences for families. The San Francisco Symphony’s Music For Families series offers matinee performances focusing on different aspects of the orchestra and symphonic repertoire. Specially designed to be engaging, informative and fun, these matinee concerts introduce children and families to the world of live orchestral music.
Click here to order tickets on-line: DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS
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