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Merola Opera Program Calendar


Tickets to the Schwabacher Summer Concert, world premiere of If I Were You by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer, and Merola Grand Finale are on sale through the SF Opera Box Office located at 301 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, by phone at (415) 864-3330 or at sfopera.com/buy-tickets.

April

Schwabacher Recital Series

The Schwabacher Recital Series is at the Dianne and Tad Taube Atrium Theater at the Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera in the War Memorial Veterans Building located at 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco. Purchase tickets at sfopera.com/SRS.

Wednesday, April 24, 7:30 pm
Martin Katz, Piano featuring 2019 Adler Fellows
Patricia Westley (Merola 2018), Soprano
Ashley Dixon (Merola 2015/2017), Mezzo-soprano
Zhengyi Bai (Merola 2018), Tenor
Christian Pursell (Merola 2017), Bass-baritone
For tickets and information CLICK HERE
Program:
Hugo Wolf / Selections from Mörike Lieder
Samuel Barber / Hermit Songs
Johannes Brahms / Selections from Deutsche Volkslieder

May

Commonwealth Club Arts Forum - A New Faustian Opera: If I Were You

What goes into creating a new opera, from the initial spark to the first performance? Composer Jake Heggie, conductor Nicole Paiement, and dramaturg Dr. Clifford Cranna share insights into the creation of Heggie’s If I Were You. This innovative new work is a Faustian story that begins with the hero, Fabian, nearly dying in a car crash. The devil, in the guise of a beautiful, seductive woman, offers him the power to breathe his soul into another person. He can live forever this way, if he chooses, moving from body to body. As the shy Fabian becomes a wealthy older man, a young handsome brute, and eventually a young woman, the opera will deal with issues of age, power, sexual politics, and gender identity that are at once timeless and very much part of the contemporary zeitgeist.

Wednesday, May 1, 6:00 pm
Rembe Rock Room, The Commonwealth Club (110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105)
For tickets and information CLICK HERE.

Grace Cathedral Forum

Jake Heggie will sit down for a conversation about If I Were You. Curated by Grace Cathedral, the Forum is a series of stimulating conversations about faith, ethics and culture in relation to the important issues of our day. While guests range from artists, inventors and philosophers to pop culturists and elected officials, the point of The Forum is singular: civil, sophisticated discourse that engages minds and hearts to think in new ways about the world.

Sunday, May 5, 9:30 am
Grace Cathedral, 1100 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
Jake Heggie, Composer
For more information CLICK HERE.

June

The Faust Myth on Stage and Screen

A deal with the devil. An offer he can’t refuse. Countless works of theater and cinema are steeped in the myth of Faust – including this summer’s world premiere opera by Jake Heggie, If I Were You, commissioned by the Merola Opera Program. In If I Were You, the Faust character is a disenchanted young writer and the devil character is a beautiful woman.

Join us at the Roxie Theater as we explore the many faces of Faust and the devil in theater, film, and opera with theater director Carey Perloff, filmmaker Jon Else, and dramaturg Kip Cranna.

Tuesday, June 18, 6:30 pm
The Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
For tickets and information CLICK HERE.

July

Merola Opera Program 2019 Summer Festival

Tickets to the Schwabacher Summer Concert, world premiere of If I Were You by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer, and Merola Grand Finale are on sale through the SF Opera Box Office located at 301 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, by phone at (415) 864-3330 or at sfopera.com/buy-tickets.

Schwabacher Summer Concert

Star-crossed lovers, brothers separated at birth, a deal with the devil, a comic marriage, and a jaded courtesan longing for true love. Some of the most exciting moments in opera come to life as Merola’s young artists perform staged scenes from Lucia di Lammermoor, Il trovatore, Faust, Die schweigsame Frau, and La rondine. Performances in French, German, and Italian (with supertitles).

Thursday, July 11, 7:30 pm
Saturday, July 13, 2:00 pm
San Francisco Conservatory of Music - 50 Oak Street, San Francisco
Craig Kier, Conductor
Jose Maria Condemi, Director
Buy tickets here: $55/$35
This concert is named in memory of Merola's late Chairman, James Schwabacher, and is graciously underwritten by the Grace A. Diem and Alice E. Siemons Foundation, the Frances K. and Charles D. Field Foundation, the Jack H. Lund Charitable Trust, and the Bernard Osher Foundation.
Craig Kier is sponsored, in part, by Darla and Richard Bastoni.
Jose Maria Condemi is sponsored, in part, by Drs. John and Lois Crowe.


If I Were You - Preview Lecture: San Francisco

A 90-minute exploration of the music and development of If I Were You, led by lively opera experts.

Tuesday, July 16, 7:30 pm
USF Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning, 660 Parker Ave, San Francisco, CA 94117
Gene Scheer, Librettist
Kip Cranna, Dramaturg

If I Were You - Preview Lecture: East Bay

A 90-minute exploration of the music and development of If I Were You, led by lively opera experts.

Saturday, July 20, 2:00 pm
Lafayette Library, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA 94549
Gene Scheer, Librettist
Kip Cranna, Dramaturg

If I Were You - Preview Lecture: Palo Alto

A 90-minute exploration of the music and development of If I Were You, led by lively opera experts.

Monday, July 22, 2:00 pm
Palo Alto Library, Rinconada Branch, 1213 Newell Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303
Embarcadero Room
Presented in partnership with the San Francisco Opera Guild – Peninsula Chapter.
Gene Scheer, Librettist
Kip Cranna, Dramaturg

If I Were You - Preview Lecture: Los Gatos

A 90-minute exploration of the music and development of If I Were You, led by lively opera experts.

Monday, July 22, 7:30 pm
Addison-Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032
Gene Scheer, Librettist
Kip Cranna, Dramaturg
Presented in partnership with the San Jose Opera Guild.
Admission: $10. Free for Opera Guild and JCC members. For more information CLICK HERE.

August

If I Were You - Opera on the Couch

Opera on the Couch provides a forum where psychoanalytic insights deepen the meaning and experience of opera. Our discussion of If I Were You will occur immediately after the show on Sunday, August 4, when the immediate visceral experience of music, drama and spectacle will enliven a fuller and deeper understanding of the emotional and psychological aspects of the work
Presented in partnership with the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis.

Sunday, August 4, 5:00 pm
Books Inc., 601 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102
Dr. David Stein

If I Were You - World Premiere

An opera in two acts by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer
Loosely based on the novel Si j’étais vous by the French-American writer Julien Green, If I Were You is a contemporary story of identity with echoes of classical literature, from Faust to Jekyll and Hyde. The lead character is Fabian Hart, an aspiring writer who yearns for adventure and a way out of his stifling existence. Brittomara, a shape-shifting devil, appears to him in many guises, finally offering Fabian a supernatural power that will allow the writer to transfer his soul into other people’s bodies, living their lives as their own souls languish in a shadowy netherworld. Thus begins the journey of If I Were You as Fabian moves his increasingly lost soul from person to person in search of a better identity, leaving a trail of human wreckage and hollow shells. Performances in English (with supertitles).

Don't miss two talented Merola casts: Pearl Cast (P) and Emerald Cast (E).

Thursday, August 1, 7:30 pm (P)
Saturday, August 3, 2:00 pm (E)
Sunday, August 4, 2:00 pm (P)
Tuesday, August 6, 7:30 pm (E)
Herbst Theatre - 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
Nicole Paiement, Conductor
Keturah Stickann, Director
Buy tickets here: $80/$55/$35
Graciously underwritten, in part, by the Bettye Poetz Ferguson Foundation, Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation, Jack H. Lund Foundation, Barbara Bruser & Richard Clark, Mary & Craig Henderson, Scott & Susan Lord, Diane B. Wilsey, and Sue York.
Nicole Paiement is sponsored, in part, by Bob and Terri Ryan.
Keturah Stickann is sponsored, in part, by Ursula Grunfeld.


Merola Grand Finale and Reception*

A triumphant end to our Summer Festival, the Merola Grand Finale features the Merola young artists in a dazzling array of opera’s most captivating arias and ensembles. Conducted by Maestro George Manahan, and directed by 2019 Merola Apprentice Stage Director Greg Eldridge, this evening showcases the extraordinary talent of the Merolini.

Following the performance, join the Merola artists for a celebration in the Veterans Building Green Room.

Saturday, August 17, 7:30 pm
War Memorial Opera House - 301 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
George Manahan, Conductor
Greg Eldridge, Director
Buy tickets here: $50/$40/$25
*Reception tickets are an additional $75 each and can be purchased here.
Graciously underwritten, in part, by The Blanche Thebom Trust, and the Jack H. Lund Charitable Trust.
George Manahan is sponsored, in part, by Darla and Richard Bastoni
Greg Eldridge is sponsored, in part, by the Lotfi Mansouri Apprentice Stage Director Endowment Fund, and the In Memory of Jean Donnell Fund.
Post-concert reception is generously sponsored, in part, by Culinary Excellence Catering.

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