Sean Martinfield Arts Contributor
San Francisco Opera Center presents the 30th season of the Schwabacher Debut Recitals on Sunday, April 22 at 5:30 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El’s Martin Meyer Sanctuary (Two Lake Street, at Arguello, in San Francisco). The series begins with Merola Opera Program alumni tenor Daniel Curran and bass Adam Lau performing an eclectic program of works by Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, William Bolcom, Henri Duparc, Carl Loewe, Paolo Tosti and Modest Mussorgsky. Curran and Lau will be accompanied by San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow pianist Robert Mollicone.
A 2011 Merola alumnus, tenor Daniel Curran’s performance selection will include Schubert’s Nacht und Träume, Schumann’s Mondnacht, Duparc’s Phidylé and Tosti’s Ideale. While in the Merola Opera Program, Curran performed the role of “Count Almaviva” in Merola’s production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia. His recent engagements include a collaboration with the Juilliard Historical Performance Program and the role of “Don Ottavio” (Don Giovanni) with Opera North in New Hampshire.
A 2011 Merola alumnus, bass Adam Lau’s Schwabacher program will include Bolcom’s At the Last Lousy Moments of Love, Fur (Murray the Furrier), Song of Black Max; Loewe’s Herr Oluf, Tom der Reimer, Erlkönig; and Mussorgsky’s Song of the Flea. Lau made his San Francisco Opera debut in 2008 as a Baobab/Hunter in Portman’s The Little Prince. Recent accomplishments include winning the Portland District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions along with the audience favorite award.
The Schwabacher Debut Recitals continue on Sunday, April 29th with San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow Nadine Sierra. Sierra will present a program of works by Bernstein, Grieg, Rachmaninoff and Villa-Lobos with accompaniment by former Adler Fellow and pianist Tamara Sanikidze.
The Schwabacher Debut Recitals have been endowed in perpetuity by the generosity of the late James Schwabacher. A celebrated Bay Area singer, recitalist, scholar and teacher, James Schwabacher was a co-founder of the Merola Opera Program. The Schwabacher Debut Recitals have introduced the artistry of world-renowned opera singers, including Susan Graham, Anna Netrebko, Deborah Voigt, Brian Asawa and Thomas Hampson. The recitals provide an opportunity to hear a wealth of song literature ranging from Baroque masterpieces and Romantic-era classics to newly commissioned works.
MEET THE ARTISTS
Idaho native DANIEL CURRAN is an alumnus of the 2011 Merola Opera Program, where he performed the role of Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Curran performed the role of the Good Samaritan in Benjamin Britten’s Cantata Misericordium at the Florida National Convention with the University Choir and chamber orchestra. He has also had the opportunity to record for film composer John Williams along with members of the Chapman University Choir. A graduate of Chapman University, the tenor’s roles there include Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), the title role of Albert Herring, and Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi). Curran also holds a master’s degree from the Juilliard School, where he performed the Hunter in Conrad Susa’s Transformations and First Commissioner in Poulenc’s Les Dialogues des Carmélites. Other recent engagements include a collaboration with the Juilliard Historical Performance Program and William Christie in Alice Tully Hall and Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) with Opera North in New Hampshire.
Bass ADAM LAU was a 2011 participant of the Merola Opera Program, where he performed the role of Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Other recent credits include Timur (Turandot) at West Bay Opera; Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) at the Symphony and Opera Academy of the Pacific; the Bartender (Bolcom’s A Wedding) at Music Academy of the West; Masetto (Don Giovanni) at Rice University; and Dr. Bartolo (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Leporello (Don Giovanni), and King Louis XVI (Corigliano’s The Ghost of Versailles) with the Aspen Opera Theater Center. In 2008, he made his San Francisco Opera debut as a Baobab/Hunter in Portman’s The Little Prince. Lau placed second in the Western Regional finals of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In 2008, he won an Encouragement Award from the Marilyn Horne Foundation and was the recipient of the 2008 California Federation of Music Clubs Full Fellowship in Voice. In the spring of 2009, he was invited to sing in the Martin Katz master class at Carnegie Hall in the Song Continues Festival, sponsored by the Marilyn Horne Foundation. In 2010, he won first place in the Henry & Maria Holt West Bay Opera Competition and won the Portland District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions along with the audience favorite award.
Coach and pianist ROBERT MOLLICONE is a first-year Adler Fellow. He was a member of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, where he served on music staff for the Young Artist productions of Le Nozze di Figaro and Madama Butterfly, as well as for Don Pasquale, Tosca, and Lucia di Lammermoor on the main stage. He completed his master’s degree in collaborative piano at Boston University as a student of Shiela Kibbe. He has also studied with Maria Clodes, Robert Merfeld, Linda Jiorle-Nagy, and Bertica Cramer. His performance credits include solo engagements, as well as opera, art song, chamber music, orchestral keyboard, musical theatre, and community outreach projects. Mollicone has also performed in master classes for Martin Katz, Margo Garrett, Patrick Summers, Warren Jones, Stephanie Blythe, Phyllis Curtin and Simon Estes, and he has worked with composers Daniel Pinkham, Yehudi Wyner, Michael Friedman, Tobias Picker and Jason Robert Brown. Mollicone has served as a vocal coach and pianist for Boston Lyric Opera, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Boston Opera Collaborative, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and Opera North. He was a Spectrum Resident Artist at Virginia Opera in 2009 and a participant in the Merola Opera Program in 2010. Robert Mollicone will be working on San Francisco Opera’s productions of The Magic Flute and Moby Dick in 2012.
TICKETS & INFORMATION:
Single tickets for the Schwabacher Debut Recitals are $25; a two-recital subscription is $50. Tickets may be purchased by calling the San Francisco Opera Box Office (Mon. 10 am-5 pm, Tues.-Fri. 10 am-6 pm) at (415) 864-3330. Student Rush tickets are available for $15 at Temple Emanu-El 30 minutes prior to each recital (limit of two tickets per person; valid ID is required), subject to availability. Casting, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change.