SF Opera Lab Announces Addition to Upcoming Season

Release date: 11/2/2016    


Grammy-winning vocal ensemble ROOMFUL OF TEETH,

in their San Francisco debut, performing “Shaw & Shakespeare”

Sunday, April 23, 2017 at the Taube Atrium Theater
Co-Presented with San Francisco Performances’ PIVOT series

Tickets $25. Now on sale at sfoperalab.com | (415) 864-3330

SF Opera Lab adds RofT.pdf  Photos Available 

The “remarkable vocal octet” (New York Times) Roomful of Teeth joins SF Opera Lab’s Season Two lineup with a performance on Sunday, April 23 at 5 p.m. in the Taube Atrium Theater at the Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera. The Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble makes its San Francisco debut in this SF Opera Lab co-presentation with San Francisco Performances’ PIVOT series.

Roomful of Teeth is dedicated to mining the expressive potential of the human voice. Through study with masters from singing traditions the world over, the eight-voice a cappella ensemble continually expands its vocabulary of singing techniques and, through an ongoing commissioning process, forges a new repertoire without borders. The group’s imaginative vocalizing has captured the attention of curious listeners as well as critics from all corners of the music world, attracting standing-room-only crowds at recent appearances. “On the L train from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, after an impressive concert by the vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth on Saturday evening, I overheard a young woman enthusiastically describe the group as ‘like a glee club, but cool in a really nerdy way’” (New York Times).

Roomful of Teeth’s April 23, 2017 program will include the Bay Area premiere of composer/ensemble member Caroline Shaw's Pulitzer Prize-winning Partita for 8 Voices, a four-movement highly polished and inventive a cappella work embracing speech, whispers, sighs, murmurs, wordless melodies and novel vocal effects. The piece was created expressly for Roomful of Teeth and is inspired by Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing 305. Of the premiere of Shaw’s Partita, New York magazine wrote: “She has discovered a lode of the rarest commodity in contemporary music: joy.”

The remainder of “Shaw & Shakespeare” will feature new works set to Shakespeare texts, all West Coast premieres. They include a new vocal piece by Shaw set to text from The Tempest; British composer Anna Clyne’s Pocket Book VIII (setting of Sonnet 8) and Pocket Book LXV (setting of Sonnet 65); and composer/ensemble member Eric Dudley’s QuietUs (setting of Sonnet 60 and text from Hamlet), which highlights heavy metal screamo technique and hard rock belting.


Intimate, eclectic, adventurous—SF Opera Lab, San Francisco Opera’s new programming arm, celebrates the power of the human voice theatrically in intimate spaces, including the Dianne and Tad Taube Atrium Theater at the Company’s new Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera. Season Two explores a rich tapestry of sound worlds that draw thematically on the intersection of personal expression and musical experimentation. In addition to Roomful of Teeth, the season includes:

ŸThe Source (February 24, 25, 26 & March 1, 2, 3, 2017) — Composer Ted Hearne and librettist Mark Doten’s “ambitious, bewildering, stealthily shattering new oratorio” (New York Times) asks how we, as individuals and a nation, confront the information brought to light by Chelsea Manning, the U.S. Army private who disclosed classified military documents to Wikileaks. Through a larger than life four-channel video installation, a chorus of silent witnesses looms. Four singers sing with (at times) electronically-processed voices. Accompanied by a live ensemble of seven instrumentalists, they inhabit an assemblage of Twitter feeds, cable news reports, chat transcripts and classified military video.  [Tickets: $35 general admission]

ŸLa Voix humaine (March 11, 14, 17, 2017) — Francis Poulenc’s 1958 one-act monodrama, with a text by Jean Cocteau, presents the private crisis of a woman spurned by her lover via a shared party-line phone. Riveting Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci brings to vivid life one of her most celebrated roles in a program that also includes a set of French art songs. Pianist Donald Sulzen accompanies Ms. Antonacci.  [Tickets: $95 general admission]

ŸChamberWORKS­ — Members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra curate an eclectic and intimate evening of music and song; further details will be announced at a later date.

For SF Opera Lab tickets and more information, visit sfoperalab.com or call (415) 864-3330.

For the complete press release, including full program and calendar listing, please view the attached PDF.