Stars in the Making…San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellows perform “Dramatic Voices, Charming Soubrettes,” at SRJC’s Newman Auditorium this Sunday, March 9
Lively, eloquent, and intensely determined, this year’s twelve Adler Fellows are literally the most talented young opera singers in the country and many will go on to become opera legends. This Sunday, at 4PM, five Adlers will perform an intimate program of beloved opera arias, classical and cabaret songs at Santa Rosa Junior College’s Newman Auditorium as part of the college’s Chamber Series. Performers are sopranos Maria Valdes and Erin Johnson; mezzo soprano Zanda Švēde, baritone Eugene Brancoveanu (former Adler 2005-6) and pianist Noah Lindquist. (Full program listed at end of article.) Normally, seeing the Adlers perform entails a lot more work—crossing the bridge and parking—but SRJC has brought these young singers right to our doorstep.
In February, I had the pleasure of seeing two Adlers who will perform Sunday— Maria Valdes and Eugene Brancoveanu. They were involved in a rare performance of Gaetano Donizetti’s one act comedic opera, “Rita,” with dynamo Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and her New Century Chamber Orchestra (NCCO). The venue was San Rafael’s intimate Oscher Marin Jewish Community Center where the audience sits at candlelit tables drinking wine and snacking while the performance unfolds just a few feet from them. Soprano Maria Valdes was fabulous in the title role of Rita, a tyrannical and abusive wife who is tormented by two husbands. She sang like an angel, juggling conversation, song, drama and comedy. We had ample opportunity to experience her tremendous vocal reserve along with her ability to calibrate it to the setting, sustaining high notes without ever coming off as shrill or too forceful…a true star in the making. The production was impressively staged and directed by former Adler, Eugene Brancoveanu, who also tweaked the script, adding spoken dialogue in English. His modern set was minimal and included an ironing board and some clever space saving props. Brancoveanu, born in Romania, has an unforgettable baritone and has sung at the Met, La Scala, San Francisco and Berkeley Operas as well for Opera Parallèle. I heard him sing Sam last April in Opera Parallèle’s wonderful production of Leonard Bernstein’s “Trouble in Tahiti, a role which tested his range and acting ability. He was on top of every note, emotionally searing and impossible to take your eyes off…what stage presence Oh, he’s also been mentioned several times in the blog Barihunks, enough said. You’re in for a treat on Sunday.
It’s rewarding to see young artists perform early in their careers and to track them as they move on to the world’s leadings opera houses and concert halls. Renowned sopranos and former Adlers, Deborah Voight (1986) Leah Crocetto (2009), are shining examples. Both are coming soon to Green Music Center’s Weill Hall—Crocetto is in recital on March 9 and Voight on April 10 (Click here for details).
More About the Adler Fellow Program: The Adler Fellows all go through a grueling national competition to enter the ranks of the Merola Opera Program, a prestigious summer resident artist training program in San Francisco sponsored by San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Opera Center. A select few perform so well that they are invited to continue their training in the elite two-year Adler Fellow residency program. Named for the late great San Francisco Opera General Director Kurt Herbert Adler, the Adler Fellowship Program is the Princeton of performance-oriented residencies, offering exceptional young artists intensive individual training, coaching, professional seminars and a wide range of performance opportunities throughout their fellowship. Adler fellows frequently appear in SFO productions.
2014 Adler Fellows are sopranos Erin Johnson, (Washington, New Jersey), Jacqueline Piccolino (Chicago, Illinois), and Maria Valdes (Atlanta, Georgia); mezzo-soprano Zanda Švēde (Valmiera, Latvia); tenors A.J. Glueckert (Portland, Oregon), Pene Pati (Mangere, Auckland, New Zealand), and Chuanyue Wang (Hei Long Jiang, China); baritones Hadleigh Adams (Palmerston, New Zealand), and Efraín Solís (Santa Ana, California); bass-baritone Philippe Sly (Ottawa, Ontario). Johnson, Piccolino, Glueckert, Wang, Adams, and Sly are returning as Adler Fellows. The two pianists selected for Apprentice coach Fellowships are Noah Lindquist (Brooklyn, New York) and returning Adler, Sun Ha Yoon (Seoul, South Korea).
Other Upcoming Adler Fellow Performances: Select Adler Fellows will perform Schwabacher Debut Recitals on March 30 at 2:30 PM and April 27 at 5:30 PM. Individual tickets are $25. Youth tickets are $15 for students with a valid ID or youth, 16 years old or younger, who is accompanied by an adult. Order tickets online or call the SF Opera Box Office at (415) 864-3330. The season culminates with a special year-end concert featuring the singers in an evening of opera scenes and arias with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. This year’s concert, The Future Is Now: Adler Fellows Gala Concert, showcasing the acclaimed 2014 Adler Fellows, takes place in November, 2104, at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.
SRJC Chamber Concert Series Details: An acclaimed annual series of six concerts featuring a musicians performing in an intimate environment, exactly how chamber music is intended to be heard. After this Sunday’s Adler Fellows performance, there is one remaining concert in the 2013-14 series, Afiara String Quartet on Friday, April 25, at 7:30 PM at Newman Auditorium, Emeritus Hall, Santa Rosa Junior College. Tickets are $25 adult/$15 youth. Parking is included for all performances. Individual tickets are $25. Youth tickets are $15 for students with a valid ID or youth, 16 years old or younger, who is accompanied by an adult. Order tickets by Phone: (415) 392-4400. City Box Office Hours—M-F: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM or Sat: 12 noon to 4:00 PM. Order on the Web at www.cityboxoffice.com . Parking is included in the price of the performance.
Details: “Dramatic Voices, Charming Soubrettes” is Sunday, March 9, 4 PM, at Newman Auditorium, Emeritus Hall, Santa Rosa Junior College, 1501 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa. Individual tickets are $25. Youth tickets are $15 for students with a valid ID or youth, 16 years old or younger, who is accompanied by an adult. Order tickets by Phone: (415) 392-4400. City Box Office Hours—M-F: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM or Sat: 12 noon to 4:00 PM. Order on the Web at www.cityboxoffice.com . Parking is included in the price of the performance.
PROGRAM: “Dramatic Voices, Charming Soubrettes” SRJC Chamber Series
Songs of Travel – Vaughan Williams
The Vagabond Mr. Brancoveanu
The Roadside Fire Youth and Love
The Infinite Shining Heavens
Cinq mélodies “de Venise” – Fauré
Mandoline Miss Švēde
En sourdine Green
À Clymène C’est l’extase
from Floresta do Amazonas – Villa-Lobos
Canção de amor Miss Valdes
Cair da tarde Melodia sentimental
from Cabaret Songs – Bolcom
Toothbrush time Miss Johnson
At the last lousy moments of love Love in the 30’s
The Marriage of Figaro – Mozart
Crudel, perchè finora Miss Valdes, Mr. Brancoveanu
Rodelinda – Handel
Io t’abbraccio Miss Johnson, Miss Švēde
Manon – Massenet
Je suis encore tout étourdie Miss Valdes
Falstaff – Verdi
È sogno, o realtà? Mr. Brancoveanu
Le vespri siciliani – Verdi
Mercé dilette amiche Miss Johnson
Sapho – Gounod
O ma lyre immortelle Miss Švēde
The Merry Widow – Lehár
Vilja Miss Valdes, tutti
No comments yet.