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Volti: Open Rehearsal with 2015-16 CAL Composer Tonia Ko
118 Franklin St
San Francisco, CA 94109
As Director of Artistic Planning for the San Francisco Symphony, Spivey will work closely with Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas in setting the Orchestra’s artistic direction and act as a member of the executive management team. He will oversee programming for the Orchestra’s 31-week subscription season, recording projects, commissioning programs, tours, festivals, and provide artistic direction for the SF Symphony’s 200+ concerts and presentations each season. The San Francisco Symphony serves one of the largest concert-going and music education audiences in the U.S.That means that he's the guy to complain to when we get a season that looks like this.
Debating which particular combination of these singers I might want to see; also...surprised to see Guleghina's name in there, for some reason.Roberto Aronica will sing Cavaradossi in the first five performances of Puccini’s Tosca at the Met this season—, 21, 24 matinee, 29, and —replacing Massimo Giordano, who is ill. As originally scheduled, Aronica will also sing the role on , 28 matinee, and .Aronica adds a role to his Met repertory this season with his first company performances of Cavaradossi, a role he has recently sung with Greek National Opera, Opera di Genova, and Deutsche Oper Berlin. His other recent performances include the title role in Verdi’s Otello and Alvaro in Verdi’s La Forza del Destino at Teatro Regio di Parma; Radamès in Verdi’s Aida with Opera Australia; and Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the Arena di Verona. The Italian tenor made his Met debut in 1998 as Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata. His other roles with the company have included the Duke of Mantua in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème, and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly. This season’s performances of Tosca are conducted by Plácido Domingo and Joseph Colaneri and alsofeature Oksana Dyka, Angela Gheorghiu, Maria Guleghina, and Liudmyla Monastyrska in the title role; Marcello Giordani as Cavaradossi; Roberto Frontali, Željko Lučić, James Morris, and Marco Vratogna as Scarpia; and John Del Carlo as the Sacristan. For more information, including casting by date, please click here.
Currently thrilling San Francisco Opera audiences with razor-sharp performances of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,Yes, I did chortle over that.
San Francisco Opera today announced cast changes for the Company’s new production of Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, presented October 8–28, 2015, and for Mozart’s The Magic Flute, presented October 20–November 20, at the War Memorial Opera House. German soprano Diana Damrau has withdrawn from the Lucia production, in order to remain on vocal rest for the next six weeks. American soprano Nadine Sierra—who performed Lucia last spring at the Zurich Opera House to critical acclaim and, more recently, as the Countess in San Francisco Opera’s The Marriage of Figaro—will now sing the title role for all seven performances.
"I am deeply sorry for all of those who had looked forward to my performances in San Francisco and I ask for your understanding,” said Damrau in a written statement. “After 15 years of performing with little or no time for substantial rest and recuperation, along with the demands that come with a beautiful, young family, my body has reached the point when it is now ‘insisting’ that I pause for a short time. … The issue is in no way vocal, but one of exhaustion that the doctors tell me ten weeks of rest will without question fix.” Damrau is currently taking her rest here in San Francisco with her family and husband, French bass-baritone Nicolas Testé who will be making his San Francisco Opera debut in the role of Raimondo.
Sierra’s appearance in Lucia affects casting in the Company’s revival production of The Magic Flute; she was initially to have sung the role of Pamina. Soprano Sarah Shafer, recently seen as Rosetta in the world premiere of Marco Tutino’s opera Two Women, will now take on the first four performances (October 20, 25, 27 and 29) and Sierra will sing the remaining six performances as originally scheduled (November 4, 8, 12, 14, 17 and 20).Wishing Ms. Damrau a swift recovery from the exhaustion!
It's a hot-button issue with me. I do not believe in them, full stop. I believe with all my heart that what Supertitles have done is to train audiences not to listen.
They don't listen the same way - they hear it but they don't listen. I am not here to ruffle feathers about Supertitles, but I am an artist first, I serve the music, the audience, and what I see is that Supertitles have not only changed the way audiences listen, but changed the way singers prepare. It has made it a completely different experience.
Last night, for example [at the dress rehearsal, attended by school audiences], there were several times in the dialog [which is included in the titles] when a had a word slip and I put in something else, I got the gist of the line, and my first thought was, Oh crap, that's not what they are getting in the titles! It shouldn't be that way.
I work overtime in everything I do to be sure, especially in my own language, so that everyone understands me, so they don't have to look. Imagine, put yourself in the body of a singer, who is looking into an audience, and all you see is this: chins up.Where to start? Well, with the idea that somehow audiences that don't have supertitles are better listeners. Blythe might try going to a bunch of symphony concerts, and see what she thinks of audiences there. She could ask them some questions about why they are there and how they listen to music. She might be surprised; lots of them are there for companionship or to hear the pretty tunes. They are not listening in the analytical and attentive way she might imagine they are.
The texts weren’t printed in the program, at Blythe’s request, on the grounds that she would like to see the audience’s faces when she sings to them, and because she feels her diction is good enough that the texts aren’t necessary. This would have been easier for me to swallow if Blythe herself hadn’t had the score and texts in front of her for the duration. As an audience member I found this distracting. Moreover, while her diction was, indeed, largely superb, I had to wait until the distribution of the text during intermission to find out what, exactly, had happened to the horses at the climax of “The Mountain.” (Spoiler: No equines died in the making of the song cycle.)I'd like to remind Stephanie Blythe that she can talk about serving the audience all she wants, but what she is proposing - the elimination of supertitles - and what she does in her performances - deny audiences the printed text - are profoundly anti-audience. I'd also like to remind her that we are paying her fees. And lastly, I'd like to suggest that she spend some time attending opera performances in a language she doesn't understand, perhaps Russian or Hungarian, and then get back to me about how terrible supertitles are.
SANTA CRUZ, CA - September 17, 2015 - Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music announced today that Maestra Marin Alsop will step down from her role as Music Director and Conductor in August 2016, following her 25th anniversary season. The Cabrillo Festival's 54th season runs August 5-13, 2016 in Santa Cruz, CA.
America's longest running festival dedicated to new music for orchestra, the Cabrillo Festival is a preeminent force in new music, both nationally and internationally. Celebrated as a "summer mecca for musicians and a premier musical destination for audiences," (San Jose Mercury News) the Festival attracts some of the world's top contemporary composers whose compositions are shared with an award-winning orchestra and an enthusiastic audience.
Long-time Executive Director Ellen Primack and the Cabrillo Festival Board of Directors have initiated a strategic process to identify new artistic leadership.
"It is with great sadness and after much contemplation that I make this decision but I believe this is the right time for me and for the Festival," said Alsop. "I look forward to the 2016 season when we'll celebrate all that we have accomplished together. This Festival has always been about the new and is championed by audiences and musicians who embrace a sense of discovery and risk and so I am confident and excited about what the future holds for this extraordinary institution."I think this is good; the programming there was better this year than for the last few, but it has seemed stuck in a particular rut and this may shake it loose.