MASQUERADE BALL – New Year’s Eve With SF Symphony

Guest conductor Bramwell Tovey, tenor Alfie Boe, soprano Layla Claire and 15-year-old violinist Chad Hoopes join SF Symphony for operetta, waltzes and songs
Post-concert bash with Peter Mintun Orchestra and 80s cover band Tainted Love, dancing on Davies Symphony Hall stage to welcome the New Year

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Ring in the New Year and the New Decade with the city’s most elegant celebration, the San Francisco Symphony’s New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball. The December 31st event stars soprano Layla Claire, tenor Alfie Boe, and 15-year-old violin prodigy Chad Hoopes. Bramwell Tovey conducts the Orchestra and performs on piano. Arrive when the doors open at 8:00 pm and get a free mask, plus enjoy live music and dancing to The Martini Brothers before the Orchestra concert. At 9:00 the Orchestra performs a full-length program of Viennese classics, operetta, waltzes, songs, and polkas. Continue the party at a post-concert bash with The Peter Mintun Orchestra and dancing on the Davies Symphony Hall stage, 80s cover band Tainted Love in the First Tier lobby, party favors, and a special midnight celebration. Complimentary sparkling wine, desserts, and savories will be served.

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ALFIE BOE, Tenor

The program includes popular waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr. (By the Beautiful Blue Danube) and Franz Lehár (Gold and Silver Waltz); Noël Coward’s “Someday I’ll Find You,” and composer/actor Ivor Novello’s “Waltz of My Heart” (heard on the soundtrack to the film Gosford Park). Tovey will conduct his own arrangements of the Coward and Novello songs. Fifteen-year-old violin prodigy Chad Hoopes joins the Orchestra to perform two Kreisler pieces. Costumed dancers from Dance Through Time, an historical social dance company, appear as part of the program. As always, SFS promises a few special New Year’s Eve surprises.

Special pre-concert dinner packages, including an elegant buffet supper at Davies Symphony Hall with entertainment, or dinner at Caffé Delle Stelle, are also available.

Bramwell Tovey, music director of Vancouver Symphony and principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, will lead the Orchestra and perform on piano, with Alfie Boe and Layla Claire singing his arrangements of Novello’s “Waltz of My Heart” and Noël Coward’s “Someday I’ll Find You.” Alfie Boe made his SF Symphony debut in June 2009 as Thomas, Earl of Tolloller, in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe. The English tenor has just released a new CD of arias by Léhar, and will perform his “You Are My Heart’s Delight,” from The Land of Smiles. He’ll also sing “Vienna, City of My Dreams,” by Sieczynski. Boe’s La Passione, a collection of Italian folk songs including “O Sole Mio,” “Funiculi Funicula,” and “Santa Lucia,” was released in 2007.

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LAYLA CLAIRE, Soprano

Canadian soprano Layla Claire, who makes her debut with the SF Symphony, will perform Léhar’s “On My Lips Every Kiss is Like Wine,” from Giuditta, and “Vilja” from The Merry Widow. Claire, a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, is a 2008 Queen Elisabeth Competition Laureate. She has performed “Fiordiligi” in Così fan tutte at Tanglewood under James Levine, and will open the season there in 2010 with Levine and Boston Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. She will sing the role of “The Countess” in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with Glyndebourne on Tour in 2012. She has also performed with the Russian National Orchestra, led by Itzhak Perlman, and recently made her Montreal Symphony Orchestra debut as “Clotilde” in Norma under the baton of music director Kent Nagano.

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CHAD HOOPES, Violinist

Violin prodigy Chad Hoopes, 15, winner of first prize in the Young Artists Division of the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, joins the Orchestra for two Kreisler pieces, Caprice viennois and Liebesfreud. Hoopes, from Ohio, has been featured on PBS-TV’s From the Top at Carnegie Hall and CBS’s The Early Show. He has performed with the Cleveland, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras, and makes his debut with the California and Peoria symphonies this season. He will perform education concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra in 2010.

Click here for more information: SFS New Year’s Eve

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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”, which is being prepared for publication. 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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