MEROLA OPERA PROGRAM – Schwabacher Summer Concerts At The Herbst and Yerba Buena Gardens

The Season opens this Friday, 7/16, at the Herbst Theatre and presented admission-free at the Yerba Buena Gardens on Sunday, July 25th

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

The Merola Opera Program will present two Schwabacher Summer Concerts on: Friday, July 16th, at 7:30 p.m. at the Herbst Theatre and offered to the community for free on Sunday, July 25th, at 2:00 p.m. as part of the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival .  Tickets for the season opening concert at the Herbst Theater are affordably priced ranging from $25.00 to $40.00, with a special student pricing available. Conductor and Merola alumnus Mark Morash will lead members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and director Ray Rallo, who directed the 2009 Schwabacher Summer Concert, returns this year to stage the production. This special concert includes a mixture of scenes from popular operas and lesser known gems, including Rodelinda, Werther, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, The Bartered Bride and The Merry Wives of Windsor.
To purchase tickets all San Francisco Opera Box Office at 415-864-3330.

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Members of The Merola Opera Program, 2010

“We have a fabulous selection of scenes this summer,” says Opera Center Director Sheri Greenawald. “We will be presenting an excerpt from The Merry Wives of Windsor, with a great bass as Falstaff, but we also satisfy those who prefer a more Baroque style with a Rodelinda scene. The little-known Bartered Bride excerpt is charming, and it’s a rarity to see it produced these days—so that should excite even the most seasoned opera goer. Il Barbiere di Siviglia is certainly a feel good opera with feel good music.  It takes the commedia dell’arte to new heights, with some of the most beloved and well-known music in the world. We have Rossini for sheer comedy and enjoyment, and we will also present the very famous Charlotte aria, ‘Va! Laisse couler mes larmes’, in a Werther scene.” 

These concerts are named in memory of James H. Schwabacher (1920-2006).  Mr. Schwabacher 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.
    
The Merola Opera Program is dedicated to the continuing education and training of the finest young operatic talent and the development of this talent into professional opera singers, coaches and stage directors of the highest artistic caliber. Merola operates in close artistic collaboration with San Francisco Opera but is an independent nonprofit organization. Governed by a separate board of directors, Merola is responsible for its own long-term financial stability and fundraising, and is grateful to the hundreds of loyal members, donors and foundations who support the Program. Click here for more information: Merola Opera Program

The Schwabacher Summer Concerts are graciously underwritten by the Grace A. Diem & Alice E. Siemons Foundation and the Arques Charitable Education Trust. Maestro Mark Morash is sponsored, in part, by Darla & Richard Bastoni and Barbara K. Jackson.

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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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