Release date: 1/29/2016
Schwabacher Series 2016.pdf
San Francisco Opera Center and the Merola Opera Program present the 33rd season of the Schwabacher Debut Recitals. This season, the recitals move to the state-of-the-art Dianne and Tad Taube Atrium Theater in San Francisco Opera’s new Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera, located on the fourth floor of the Veterans Building (401 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco). The February 28 series-opener—Ports of Call with New York Festival of Song Artistic Director Steven Blier and 2016 San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows Amina Edris, Edward Nelson and Brad Walker—marks the inaugural public performance in the Taube Atrium Theater, which boasts the innovative Meyer Sound Constellation® acoustic system. The 5:30 p.m. Sunday recital series continues on March 6 with bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch and pianist John Churchwell; March 20 with baritone Efraín Solís accompanied by pianist Robert Mollicone; and April 24 with baritone Kihun Yoon and pianist Mark Morash.
Since 1983, the Schwabacher Debut Recitals have introduced rising opera stars and provided significant opportunities for these artists to explore the art song repertoire. The annual series showcases exemplary artists who have participated in the prestigious training programs of the San Francisco Opera Center and Merola Opera Program, whose performance-oriented residencies offer intensive individual coaching and performance opportunities to young professional international artists. The San Francisco Chronicle said of the recitals: “Ever since Sheri Greenawald took the reins at the San Francisco Opera Center … the Schwabacher Debut Recital Series has taken on a different—and more venturesome—cast. More and more often, you come to get acquainted with a promising young singer, and you wind up getting to know a fascinating new corner of the vocal repertoire in the bargain.”
The 2016 Schwabacher Debut Recital Series opens February 28 with New York Festival of Song Artistic Director Steven Blier’s presentation of Ports of Call. Joined by a trio of current Adler Fellows—soprano Amina Edris, baritone Edward Nelson and bass-baritone Brad Walker—Blier leads a musical tour to ports of call around the world. The program features works by Georges Bizet, Edvard Grieg, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Anton Rubinstein, Joaquín Turina and more. San Francisco Opera Center Director Sheri Greenawald commented: “In this eclectic recital, we literally travel from one country to the next through song. We go to South America via Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth and Argentina’s Carlos Guastavino, and we’ll also visit Panama through the observations of Cole Porter. We’ll join Noël Coward at ‘A Bar on the Piccola Marina’ and we’ll learn the ‘Hong Kong Blues’ with Hoagy Carmichael. Back home, the journey continues with Ned Rorem and Harold Arlen. Steven’s recitals are always a treat for our audiences and our singers, and are not to be missed!”
The series continues on March 6 with acclaimed Canadian bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch with pianist and San Francisco Opera Head of Music Staff John Churchwell. The Merola Opera Program alumnus (2002) created the role of Ennis del Mar in the world premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s Brokeback Mountain and Seth Brundle in the world premiere of Howard Shore’s The Fly. He was Joseph de Rocher in the Canadian premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Schaunard in the original Broadway cast of Baz Luhrmann’s La Bohème. In 2016, Okulitch creates the role of Lyndon B. Johnson in the world premiere of David T. Little’s JFK at Fort Worth Opera, and he returns to Santa Fe Opera in the title role of Don Giovanni.Okulitch and Churchwell present an all-American program including music by Ricky Ian Gordon and Emmy Award-winning composer Glen Roven.
On March 20, the Schwabacher Debut Recitals series presents Mexican-American baritone Efraín Solís accompanied by pianist Robert Mollicone. Efraín Solís, a recent San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow and 2013 Merola Opera Program participant, has appeared with the Company in numerous roles including Papageno in last fall’s The Magic Flute and Dandini in La Cenerentola. The program will feature Histoires Naturelles, Maurice Ravel’s witty and charming five-song cycle set to poems of Jules Renard; songs by the pioneering Mexican composer and songwriter María Grever (1894–1951),writer of such hits as "Volveré" and "What a Difference a Day Makes"; music by Franz Schubert and other works.
The final recital on April 24 features baritone Kihun Yoon with pianist Mark Morash, San Francisco Opera Center’s Director of Musical Studies. Kihun Yoon, a native of Seoul, South Korea, is a member of LA Opera's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program and a 2015 Merola Opera Program participant. In the current season, his LA Opera appearances include Sharpless in Madama Butterfly and Schaunard in La Bohème. Yoon made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut in 2014 as a soloist in Beethoven's Choral Fantasy under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel; he joined the orchestra again last year to perform several roles in the U.S. premiere of Unsuk Chin's Alice in Wonderland. Yoon and Morash will present a program of works by Jacques Ibert, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and a selection of Korean art songs.
The Schwabacher Debut Recitals are endowed in perpetuity by the generosity of the late James Schwabacher and sponsored by the Jack H. Lund Charitable Trust. 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 many acclaimed international artists including Anna Netrebko, Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, 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 performed by up-and-coming young artists.
About the Dianne and Tad Taube Atrium Theater
The newly established Dianne and Tad Taube Atrium Theater is a state-of-the-art performance venue designed to be configured in multiple ways, providing both performer and audience members with a very personal approach to the concert experience. The 299-seat theater is distinguished by the Constellation® acoustic system from Berkeley-based Meyer Sound. The Constellation® system—which enables composers, conductors and artists to customize different acoustic environments for their performances—will use 24 widely distributed microphones and 75 small, self-powered loudspeakers mounted discreetly within the theater’s walls and ceiling. San Francisco Opera is the first opera company to use this technology, providing a virtually unlimited palette of acoustic possibilities to create the most compelling sound experience.
The Taube Atrium Theater is the centerpiece of San Francisco Opera new Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera, located on the fourth floor of the Veterans Building. Adjacent to the War Memorial Opera House, the Wilsey Center for Opera opens in late February 2016 and consolidates most of the Company’s operations into a single campus in the vibrant and emerging arts district of San Francisco’s Civic Center. For more information about the Wilsey Center for Opera, visit sfopera.com.
Tickets & Information
All recitals take place at the Dianne and Tad Taube Atrium Theater at the new Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera, located on the fourth floor of the Veterans Building (401 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco).
Single tickets for the Schwabacher Debut Recitals are $30; a four-recital subscription is $100; general seating. Tickets may be purchased at the San Francisco Opera Box Office in person or by phone at (415) 864-3330, or online at sfopera.com (four-recital subscriptions available only in-person or by phone). Student rush tickets, subject to availability, are available for $15 at the Atrium Theater 30 minutes prior to each recital (limit of two tickets per person; valid ID is required). Artists, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change.
2016 SCHWABACHER DEBUT RECITALS
Presented by San Francisco Opera Center and Merola Opera Program
All recitals take place at the Dianne and Tad Taube Atrium Theater
at the Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera,
Veterans Building, Fourth Floor, 401 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco
Sunday, February 28 at 5:30 p.m.
NEW YORK FESTIVAL OF SONG’S STEVEN BLIER PRESENTS PORTS OF CALL
Steven Blier, piano
Amina Edris, soprano
Edward Nelson, baritone
Brad Walker, bass-baritone
New York Festival of Song Artistic Director Steven Blier leads a musical tour to ports of call around the world. The eclectic program includes works by Harold Arlen, Georges Bizet, Hoagy Carmichael, Noël Coward, Edvard Grieg, Carlos Guastavino, Ernesto Nazareth, Cole Porter, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Ned Rorem, Anton Rubinstein and Joaquín Turina.
Sunday, March 6 at 5:30 p.m.
Daniel Okulitch, bass-baritone
John Churchwell, piano
The program will showcase American composers including music of Ricky Ian Gordon and Emmy Award-winning composer Glen Roven.
Sunday, March 20 at 5:30 p.m.
Efraín Solís, baritone
Robert Mollicone, piano
The program will include Maurice Ravel’s Histoires Naturelles, songs by the pioneering Mexican composer and songwriter María Grever, music of Franz Schubert and other works.
Sunday, April 24 at 5:30 p.m.
Kihun Yoon, baritone
Mark Morash, piano
Works by Jacques Ibert, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and a selection of Korean art songs.
For the complete press release with artist biographies, please view the attached PDF.