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Stars in the Making…San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellows perform “Dramatic Voices, Charming Soubrettes,” at SRJC’s Newman Auditorium this Sunday, March 9

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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.

 

Former Adler, tenor Thomas Glenn (wrapped in blanket) and current Adler, soprano, Maria Valdes, prepare for their performance in Donizetti’s comedic opera, “Rita,” with the New Century Chamber Orchestra (NCCO).  Music Director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg watches from behind the ironing board.  The Adler residency offers many performance opportunities. Photo: Geneva Anderson

Former Adler, tenor Thomas Glenn (wrapped in blanket) and current Adler, soprano, Maria Valdes, prepare for their performance in Donizetti’s comedic opera, “Rita,” with the New Century Chamber Orchestra (NCCO). Music Director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg watches from behind the ironing board. The Adler residency offers many performance opportunities. Photo: Geneva Anderson

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

In Dreams

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

Can’t sleep

At the last lousy moments of love Love in the 30’s

Waitin’ Amor

INTERMISSION

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

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March 6, 2014 Posted by | Chamber Music, Opera | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No Commute! SF Opera’s Adler Fellows are performing classical favorites this Friday, October 12, at SRJC’s Petaluma Campus

San Francisco Opera’s 2012 Adler Fellows. Select fellows from the 2012 and 2013 Adlers will perform a special concert at SRJC’s Petaluma Campus on Friday, October 10, 2012. Photo: courtesy SF Opera

When the Santa Rosa Junior College Chamber Series made the decision to add vocal repertoire to its performances, it went straight to the top, enlisting San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellows, literally the most talented young opera singers in the country.  This Friday, October 12, 2012, 4 talented Adlers will perform opera, art songs and chansons in a rare and exclusive North Bay exclusive presentation at the Carole L. Ellis Auditorium at the Petaluma Campus of SRJC. Performing Adlers are soprano Nadine Sierra, mezzo-soprano Laura Krumm, mezzo-soprano Renee Rapier and baritone Ao Li.  One of the most exciting experiences you can have is seeing these young artists perform early in their career—they are ALL stars through and through—and having the pleasure of watching their careers develop as they go on to perform at most of the world’s opera houses.  Normally, seeing the Adlers perform entails a lot more work—crossing the bridge and parking—but SRJC has brought these young singers to our doorstep.

Program:

Miss Krumm:  Gioacchino Rossini – La regata veneziana: Anzoleta avanti la regatta, Anzoleta co passa la regatta, Anzoleta dopo la regata

Ao Li:  Franz Schubert -3 songs: Die Forelle, Ständchen, Der Erlkönig

Nadine Sierra: Sergei Rachmaninoff – Op. 38: Noch’ju v sadu u menja, K nej, Margaritki, Krysolov, Son, Au

Renée Rapier: Xavier Montsalvatge – Cinco canciónes negras: Cuba dentro de un piano, Punto da habanera, Chévere, Canción de cuna para dormir a un negrito, Canto negro

 INTERMISSION

Laura Krumm: Rossini – The Barber of Seville: Una voce poco fa

Nadine Sierra: Verdi – Rigoletto: Caro nome

Renée Rapier: Offenbach – The Tales of Hoffmann: Vois sous l’archet frémissant

Ao Li:  Wagner –Tannhäuser: O du mein holder Abendstern

Nadine Sierra, Renée Rapier: Bellini – I Capuleti e i Montecchi: Sì, fuggire!

Ao Li:  Heggie – Moby Dick: Captain Ahab? I must speak with you

Nadine Sierra, Laura Krumm, Renée Rapier: Sondheim: You could drive a person crazy

Adler Fellows Performing Friday:

A native of Iowa City, Iowa, mezzo-soprano Laura Krumm is a first-year Adler Fellow. As a master’s student at the University of North Texas, she was awarded the Bill and Margo Winspear Award and was winner of the 2011 Concerto Competition She has performed in concerts and operas with La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy and OperaWorks in Los Angeles, and she was a finalist in the 2011 Dallas Opera Guild Competition.

Baritone Ao Li, a second-year Adler Fellow, is a native of Dezhou, China and studied at Shangdong Normal University A frequent recitalist in China, Li is a past recipient of the prestigious Youth of China award, third prize in both the Shandong Qilu Style Contest and the Taipei World Chinese Vocal Competition, the bronze award in The People’s Republic of China Ministry of Culture’s Eighth National Vocal Competition.

Second-year soprano Adler Fellow Nadine Sierra made her San Francisco Opera debut in 2011 creating the roles of Juliet and Barbara in the world premiere of Heart of a Soldier. Sierra’s recent awards include first prize of the George London Competition (2010), the Gerda Lissner International Competition (2010), the Loren Zachary Competition (2010) and the Stella Maris Competition (2011), as well as second prize in the Mirjam Helin International Vocal Competition (2009).

Making her San Francisco Opera debut this season, American mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier is a first-year Adler Fellow. Rapier holds a master’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa. She has been the recipient of the Chautauqua Studio Artist Award, a winner in the Schubert Club Scholarship Competition, a national finalist of the Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Foundation Competition, and was a national semifinalist at the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions in 2011.

Mark Morash is a conductor and pianist originally from Halifax, Canada. He serves as the director of musical studies for San Francisco Opera Center where he has conducted for the Merola program, the Adler Fellow Showcase and Western Opera Theater. Morash is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he studied collaborative piano with Martin Katz. Morash has taught at the University of Toronto and has given master classes throughout the U.S. and Canada and most recently in New Zealand.

More About the Adler Fellow 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. The Adler Fellows have all been selected from the Merola Opera Program, a prestigious resident artist training program sponsored by San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Opera Center that has nurtured the development of more than 150 young artists since its inception.

There are currently ten 2012 Adler Fellows and thirteen new 2013 Adler Fellows were announced on September 26, 2012.  That list includes continuing Adlers from 2012: Marina Harris, soprano; Joo Won Kang, baritone; Laura Krumm, mezzo soprano; Ao Li, baritone; Robert Mollicone, coach and accompanist; and Renée Rapier, mezzo soprano.  New 2013 participants include: Hadleigh Adams, bass-baritone, from New Zealand; Jennifer Cherest, soprano, from Maryland; AJ Glueckert, tenor, from Portland, OR; Chuanyue Wang, tenor, from China; Erin Johnson, mezzo-soprano, from New Jersey; and Sun Ha Yoon, apprentice coach, from South Korea. Phillipe Sly, bass-baritone, from the Merola class of 2011 is also included.  Unusually, he skipped a year, during which he became a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and appeared in several Canadian Opera Company productions.

Fiday’s SRJC Concert Details:  Friday, October 12, at 7:30 PM.  Doors open at 7 PM, Carole L. Ellis Auditorium, Petaluma Campus, SRJC. Tickets are $25 adult/$15 youth. Parking is included for all performances.  Tickets on sale now through City Box Office or  (415) 392-4400, M-F 9:30 AM to 4 PM.  All ticket orders placed less than 7 days prior to performance will be held at Will Call for pick up on the day of performance

Other Upcoming Adler Fellow Performances:  The Adler Fellows’ 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 2012 Adler Fellows, takes place on Friday, November 30, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.

ARThound’s pervious coverage of Adler concerts: San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellows Perform Opera Favorites for last Sunday’s Marin Guild Gala (August 9, 2011)

October 10, 2012 Posted by | Opera | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment