Merolini Spotlight: Alice Chung ('17/'19)
For our August 2021 Merolini Spotlight, we feature mezzo-soprano Alice Chung (Merola ‘17/’19). Alice was described by San Francisco Classical Voice as “a force of nature with a sound both powerful and appealing.” In this interview, we hear what got her interested in opera, what artists influenced her early on in her career, what role she’s looking forward to singing, the highlights of her two summers at Merola, and what she likes to do with her spare time.
Alice is a team member of Wear Yellow Proudly and tells us how she got involved with the organization. She informs us of the Wear Yellow Proudly’s mission and why it was launched, as well as how you can help support their cause. Find out more at wearyellowproudly.org.
Keep up-to-date on what Alice is up to and where she will be performing next at her website: alicechungmezzo.com
Back Home: Through the Stage Door
Watch the Trailer Now!
Merola Opera Program presents Back Home: Through the Stage Door. Back Home: Through the Stage Door is a celebration of the joy of making and performing music together — a joy so many of us have been deprived of during these challenging times. Filmed at San Francisco’s magnificent Herbst Theater and using classics and lesser known gems of the vocal repertoire as its words and music, the film seeks to capture the many moments, small and large, that comprise singers’ lives as they return to creating music together for the stage. Back Home will feature all 2021 Merola young artists as they, too, celebrate a return ‘home’ to the theater and the many precious joys that come with it.
This film is available to Merola members starting August 13, and will be released free to the public on August 27, 2021. For full details on Back Home: Through the Stage Door visit: merola.org/back-home-through-the-stage-door
Getting to Know: Stage Director Audrey Chait
Getting to know 2021 Merola Stage Director Audrey Chait. Audrey will direct the 2021 Merola Grand Finale. In this interview, she shares a few of her personal highlights from the summer program, the challenges of staging a concert at an outdoor venue, and what it was like working with her fellow Merola artists.
See the live performance of the Merola Grand Finale on Saturday, July 31, 2PM at the Bandshell in Golden Gate Park. This concert is FREE and open to the public. Click here for full details.
Merolini Spotlight: Ronnita Miller ('05)
In this month's Merolini Spotlight, we catch up with mezzo-soprano Ronnita Miller (Merola '05). Ronnita is the co-curator, along with tenor Nicholas Phan, of Merola Opera Program's recital "What the Heart Desires." She tells us how a crush got her interested in opera, her opera influences, what role she looks forward to performing, her interests outside of opera, her advice for young opera artists,, and much more including the inspiration behind choosing the pieces that were performed at "What the Heart Desires" and where you can catch her next. Watch this spotlight now! For more info on "What the Heart Desires," click here.
What the Heart Desires
Watch the Trailer Now!
Merola Opera Program presents What the Heart Desires. Celebrating diversity in song, What the Heart Desires was co-curated by mezzo-soprano Ronnita Miller (Merola ‘05) and tenor Nicholas Phan. It explores the many things our hearts desire and features compositions by women and people of color. The program includes selections about romantic desire, physical desire, and the longing for home, for rest, for peace, and for a better world. The recital was performed and filmed live on July 3, 2021 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Concert Hall.
This performance is available to Merola members starting July 16, and will be released free to the public on July 30, 2021. What the Heart Desires is sponsored by Amazon.
Merolini Spotlight: Nicholas Huff ('19)
We kick off summer with this Merolini Spotlight featuring tenor Nicholas Huff (Merola '19). We catch up with Nick and he tells us how he got interested in opera, what he's been up to since his Merola summer, and more. We also get to learn about how he was part of the team that created the Kenosha Opera Festival, and their plans for this summer. Watch this spotlight now! For more info on Kenosha Opera Festival: kenoshaoperafestival.com
Merolini Spotlight: Markus Beam ('02)
The May 2021 Merolini Spotlight features Markus Beam (Merola '02) is the General Manager of the San Francisco Opera Center. Merola Opera Program works in close artistic collaboration with San Francisco Opera Center and San Francisco Opera. In this spotlight video, Markus shares with us what first got him interested in opera, the highlight of his summer at Merola, how he spends his spare time, and what advice he would like to pass on to the next generation of opera artists. He also dives into what Merola members and followers can expect to see and hear at the 2021 Merola Summer Festival.
In this spotlight feature, Markus shares what we can expect to see at the 2021 Merola Summer Festival, how he got interested in opera, and more. Watch it now!
Merolini Spotlight: Elena Lacheva ('12) and Ana Maria Otamendi ('11)
For our April 2021 Merolini Spotlight we feature two of our illustrious alumni, Elena Lacheva (Merola ’12) and Ana Maria Otamendi (Merola ’11). Elena and Ana Maria are the co-founders of the Collaborative Piano Institute. Lacheva serves as the Program Director and Otamendi serves as Artistic Director of the organization which spotlights the needs of the next generation of inspiring collaborative pianists. The goal of the program is to further encourage the passion for partnership by providing guidance, rare insider’s information, and the support of distinguished, as well as emerging artists in the field.
In this spotlight feature, we learn what first sparked these artists’ interest in opera, the highlight of their Merola summers, what inspired them to create the Collaborative Piano Institute, and what they can’t make it through the day without. Watch it now!
Un Gala in Maschera: Watch the teaser!
We hope you'll join Merola Opera Program for "Un Gala in Maschera" on Saturday, April 10, 2021, 5 pm PDT. From the comfort of your own home, you'll enjoy a professionally produced concert featuring an illustrious line-up of Merola alumni. Raise a glass to Sheri Greenawald and thank her for everything she’s given to Merola and the opera world. For more information and to purchase tickets visit merola.org/gala2021.
Merolini Spotlight: Ronny Michael Greenberg (Merola '14)
For our March 2021 Merolini Spotlight we feature Pianist, Opera Coach, and Producer, Ronny Michael Greenberg (Merola '14). Greenberg is a leading innovator in the world of performing arts. In this spotlight, we hear what sparked his interest in opera, what drew him to the piano, how he partnered with fellow Merola alum Christian Pursell in creating a production company, what he can't make it through the day without, and what we can expect at Un Gala In Maschera - Merola's virtual benefit in honor of Sheri Greenawald.
See Ronny Michael Greenberg along with a full line up of Merola alums perform at Un Gala In Maschera, Saturday, April 10, 5 pm PDT. Performers include Leah Crocetto ('08), Amber R. Monroe ('19), Ashley Dixon ('15/'17), Joo Won Kang ('11), Efraín Solís ('13), and Christian Pursell. For more information and to purchase tickets visit merola.org/gala2021.
Getting to Know: Ronny Michael Greenberg (Merola '14)
Pianist, opera coach, and producer Ronny Michael Greenberg (Merola '14) is a leading innovator in the world of performing arts. In this video short, Ronny shares what opera he looks forward to working on in the future, what he likes to do with his spare time, and the highlight of his summer at Merola. Watch it now!
Merolini Spotlight: Issachah Savage (Merola '13)
We kick off our new Merolini Spotlight video series with dramatic tenor Issachah Savage (Merola '13). Issachah has garnered acclaim as a “heldentenor par excellence” with “trumpet-like, clear, open-throated, powerful” singing (San Francisco Examiner). Savage has been praised for his “impressive natural instrument” (Opera News) and has performed in opera houses and halls around the globe. In this feature, we hear what first interested him in opera, how Merola prepared him for a career in opera, and what roles he looks forward to singing.
See Issachah Savage perform at "Anything for Love and Honor," a special free Merola Members Only virtual recital, on Sunday, March 21, 4:00 pm PDT. Joined by accompanist Laurie Rogers, they will perform songs and arias by Strauss, Wolf, and Wagner. Not a Merola member? Memberships start at just $25. Join now: merola.org/donate. For more info visit the Calendar Page.
Getting to Know: Issachah Savage (Merola '13) - Part 1
In this video short, we hear what artists influenced Issachah's interest in opera. Watch it now.
Getting to Know: Issachah Savage (Merola '13) - Part 2
In Part 2 of this video short series, we hear some highlights of Issachah's summer at Merola and what Merola members can expect from his upcoming recital, Anything for Love and Honor. Watch it now.
Getting to Know: Issachah Savage (Merola '13) - Part 2
In Part 3, the final video short of our series, Issachah shares what he can't make it through day without and what he enjoys doing outside of opera. Watch it now!
From Mozart to the Surreal (2021 Season Preview)
Air Date: October 14, 2020
Sheri Greenawald, Director of San Francisco Opera Center and Artistic Director of Merola Opera Program
Kip Cranna, Dramaturg Emeritus of San Francisco Opera
Watch a special behind-the-scenes preview of Merola’s 2021 summer productions, Mozart’s sublime classic Le nozze di Figaro and Dominick Argento’s surreal 20th-century gem Postcard from Morocco, with San Francisco Opera Center Director and Merola Artistic Director Sheri Greenawald and Dramaturg Emeritus of San Francisco Opera Kip Cranna. This virtual event was originally broadcast on Zoom on October 14, 2020.
Merola #MasterChat with Susan Graham
Air Date: Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano
Hosted by Sheri Greenawald
Hailed by The New York Times as “an artist to treasure,” world-renowned American mezzo-soprano Susan Graham (Merola ‘87) rose to the highest echelon of international performers within a few years of her professional debut, mastering an astonishing range of repertoire and genres along the way. A familiar face at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Graham also maintains a strong international presence at such key venues as Paris’s Théâtre du Châtelet, Santa Fe Opera, and the Hollywood Bowl. She won a Grammy Award for her collection of Ives songs, and has also been recognized throughout her career as one of the foremost exponents of French vocal music.
Merola #MasterChat with Francesca Zambello
Air Date: Thursday, July 16, 2020
Francesca Zambello, General Director and Artistic Director
Hosted by Sheri Greenawald
Francesca Zambello is an internationally recognized director of opera and theater, as well as the General Director of The Glimmerglass Festival and the Artistic Director of The Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center. Her American directing debut took place at the Houston Grand Opera with a production of Fidelio. She debuted in Europe at Teatro la Fenice in Venice with Beatrice di Tenda and has since staged new productions at major theaters and opera houses in Europe and across the U.S. Zambello has worked at more than 50 major opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Paris Opera, the Bolshoi, Munich State Opera, Covent Garden, and Australian Opera. Zambello takes a special interest in new music theater works, innovative productions, and in producing theater and opera for wider audiences.
Merola #MasterChat with David Garrison
Air Date: Thursday, July 23, 2020
David Garrison, Actor and Director
Hosted by Sheri Greenawald
Broadway stage and television actor and director David Garrison began his career as a member of the resident company at the Tony Award-winning Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Although he is known for his television roles, Garrison is primarily a theater actor, particularly in musicals. His Broadway appearances include A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, for which he received a Tony Award nomination, Wicked, The Visit, Titanic, Torch Song Trilogy, The Pirates of Penzance, Bells Are Ringing, and A History of the American Film. Garrison will direct Merola’s 2021 production of Dominick Argento’s vivid one-act opera, Postcard from Morocco.
Merola #MasterChat with Eun Sun Kim and Gregory Henkel
Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Eun Sun Kim, Caroline H. Hume Music Director Designate of San Francisco Opera
Gregory Henkel, Managing Director: Artistic of San Francisco Opera
Hosted by Sheri Greenawald
Following “a company debut of astonishing vibrancy and assurance” (San Francisco Chronicle) in Rusalka, Korean conductor Eun Sun Kim has been named the Caroline H. Hume Music Director Designate of San Francisco Opera. In addition to her growing North American presence, Kim is a regular guest conductor at many important European opera houses. Gregory Henkel is San Francisco Opera’s Managing Director: Artistic, casts San Francisco Opera productions and oversees the San Francisco Opera Center.
Merola Opera Program 2019 Summer Festival - a look back
Look back at the Merola Opera Program 2019 Summer Festival through photos and video from the Merolini during their summer in San Francisco at events like Meet and Mingle with the Merolini and master classes with Warren Jones and Kevin Murphy, the Schwabacher Summer Concert, the world premiere of “If I Were You” by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer, and the Merola Grand Finale. Additional photos by Kristen Loken and Frank Wing.
Thank You from the 2019 Merola Artists
The 2019 Merola Artists look back at the Merola Opera Program 2019 Summer Festival and thank you for your support. The Merolini reflect on some of their favorite moments of the summer from master classes to the Schwabacher Summer Concert, the opera world premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's opera, If I Were You, and the Merola Grand Finale. Thanks for supporting Merola Opera Program!
If I Were You (World Premiere) Trailer
What would you sell your soul for? Merola Opera Program presents the world premiere of If I Were You by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. Performances are August 1-6, at the Herbst Theatre. Catch two Merola casts for these world premiere performances. .
The Making of If I Were You - Part 1
Merola Opera Program presents the world premiere of If I Were You an opera in two acts by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, opening at the Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, August 1 - 6, 2019. Watch now to learn about what went into creating If I Were You.
The Making of If I Were You - Part 2
Merola Opera Program presents the world premiere of If I Were You an opera in two acts by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, opening at the Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, August 1-6. Watch now to learn the story of If I Were You and meet characters Fabian and Brittomara.
The Making of If I Were You - Part 3
Merola Opera Program presents the world premiere of If I Were You, an opera in two acts by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, opening at the Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, August 1 - 6, 2019. Watch now to learn more about the character Fabian and his journey in the story of If I Were You.
The Making of If I Were You - Part 4
Watch the world premiere of If I Were You being created. Hear from composer Jake Heggie, librettist Gene Scheer, director Keturah Stickann and her design team about how they see this new opera coming together and what you'll see on stage in August.
The Merola Opera Program is 60 Years Strong!
In 2017, the Merola Opera Program celebrated 60 years of sparking the future of opera. Enjoy an historical account of Merola from some familiar and beloved faces.