OPENING NIGHT – SF Symphony, Tuesday, September 7th

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony begin 99th Season with soprano Jessye Norman

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony open their 99th season on Tuesday, September 7th with a festive Opening Gala featuring acclaimed American soprano Jessye Norman.  Highlighting composer Duke Ellington, Miss Norman will sing Don’t Get Around Much Anymore and It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing). The San Francisco Symphony Chorus joins her in Copland’s In the Beginning. The SF Symphony celebrates with Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, and Suite No. 2 from Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé.

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JESSYE NORMAN

Special pre-concert dinners will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the Patrons’ Dinner in the Louise M. Davies Tent Pavilion and the Symphony Supper and Symphonix Dinner in the Rotunda and North Light Court of San Francisco City Hall.  Before the Gala concert all guests are invited to the Promenade to walk the red carpet, mingle, and enjoy complimentary sparkling wine beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Davies Symphony Hall.  Following the concert all guests are invited to enjoy two after-parties in City Hall and the Tent Pavilion with complimentary cocktails, savories, and live entertainment by The Fundamentals, and Jonathan Poretz and a Swingin’ Night at the Sands. Proceeds from the event benefit the San Francisco Symphony’s education, community, and artistic programs, providing music education to more than 75,000 Bay Area children each year.
 
Jessye Norman is one of the world’s most celebrated sopranos.  In February 2010, Norman and Michael Tilson Thomas were among those awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House.  In June 2010, she released her first solo album in more than 10 years, which was recorded live at the Berlin Philharmonie.  Alongside gospel songs and spirituals she performs jazz songs for the first time in her career.  “I wanted to sing something that really inspired me.  These are songs that have accompanied me all my life, songs by Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and others,” she said about her new album.  In addition to Ellington’s “Come Sunday” and “Sophisticated Lady,” and Copland’s In the Beginning, Norman will perform three Ellington songs from her new album at the SF Symphony Gala: “Heaven,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).”  The SF Symphony Opening Night Gala is Norman’s only U.S. appearance this fall.

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MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS

The 2010 Opening Gala Committee includes Chairman Emma Goltz; Patrons’ Dinner Co-Chairs Leona Bridges, Paula Carano, Kate Sheridan Chung, Gail Covington, Angelique Griepp, Lisa Grotts, Becca Prowda, Elaine Shen, and Judy Zafran; Symphony Supper Co-Chairs Michael and Letitia Kim, and Betsy Vobach and Dan Deshon; Symphonix Dinner Co-Chairs Kristen Harper and Maggie Hazelrig; and After-Party Chairs Samuel Leichman and Zen St. Clair.  The Honorary Chair is Genelle Relfe.

Click here to purchase Opening Night Tickets on-line: SFSymphony

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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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