Gala  |  The Little Prince  |  Harriet’s Spirit |  Trouble in Tahiti/At the Statue of Venus

 

WORKS BY RACHEL PORTMAN, LEONARD BERNSTEIN, JAKE HEGGIE AND A WORLD-PREMIERE COMMISSION BY MARCUS SHELBY

THE LITTLE PRINCE, HARRIET’S SPIRIT, TROUBLE IN TAHITI, AT THE STATUE OF VENUS AND MORE HIGHLIGHT THE SEASON OF THREE PROGRAMS AND ANNUAL UP CLOSE AND PARALLÈLE GALA DEC. 1 2017 THROUGH FEB. 18 2018

San Francisco, May 15, 2017 – Innovative productions of Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince, Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti paired with Jake Heggie’s At the Statue of Venus, the world premiere of a new children’s opera by Bay Area jazz great Marcus Shelby inspired by the life of Harriet Tubman, and the annual Up Close and Parallèle gala will highlight the 2017-2018 season of Opera Parallèle just announced. The creative team for all three productions will be headed by founding Artistic Director/Conductor Nicole Paiement, and Creative Director Brian Staufenbiel. The season runs from October 11, 2017, through February 18, 2018, with performances in San Francisco at the Cowell Theater, SFJAZZ, and the African American Art & Culture Complex.

Nicole Paiement_photo by Christina Waters

Nicole Paiement

“Since our beginning nearly a decade ago, we have always taken a bold look at contemporary opera,” says OP founder and Artistic Director Nicole Paiement. “Sometimes this means producing new works from compelling composers, sometimes it involves taking a new look and creating a fresh vision with more familiar operas. Our next season continues this tradition. Our goal is to vary our selection so we continue to bring relevant universal themes and stories to the stage while expanding our audience and collaborating with other artists and organizations. OP is excited to join forces again this year with SFJAZZ, the San Francisco Girls’ Chorus, the African American Art & Culture Complex, and Fort Mason, along with numerous artists including visual artists Sherry Parker and Matt Kish. This season, it is time to bring family and friends to the opera. Two productions will focus on stories that include our youth while still appealing to the “young at heart”. Our third production celebrates the American Voice in opera—honoring Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday along with San Francisco’s own preeminent composer Jake Heggie. In these challenging times, our season will focus on the trials and triumphs of being human in our fast-moving era. We hope to engage new audience members of all ages to fall in love with the expressiveness and emotional power of opera and we know seasoned opera-goers will fall in love with it all over again. Join us for our 2017-2018 journey from the far reaches of outer space to the inner workings of the heart!”

 

Opera Parallèle’s 2017-18 season

 

Up Close and Parallèle Annual Gala

“Make Our Garden Grow”
Guest of honor: Carey Perloff, Artistic Director, American Conservatory Theater, Opera Parallèle Advisory Council Board Member, and Champion of the Arts

DATE
Wednesday, October 11; cocktails begin at 5:30pm

LOCATION
War Memorial Green Room, San Francisco

Opera Parallèle’s annual gala offers another unforgettable evening of dinner, wine, and music by Leonard Bernstein and Jake Heggie. Catering provided by Barbara Llewellyn Catering and Event Planning. Stay tuned for more information!

 

The Little Prince (2003)

Music: Rachel Portman
Libretto: Nicholas Wright, based on the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Conductor: Nicole Paiement
Creative Director: Brian Staufenbiel
Illustrations: Matt Kish
Media Design: David Murakami
Costumes: Christine Crook

 

Produced in collaboration with the San Francisco Girls Chorus and the Cowell Theater

DATES
Friday, December 1, at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 2, at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 3, at 2:00 p.m.

LOCATION
Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture, San Francisco

CAST
Hannah Gonzales and Erin Enriquez as The LIttle Prince (alternating performances)
Aleksandra Romano (mezzo-soprano) as The Pilot
Kindra Scharich (mezzo-soprano) as The Fox
Sabrina Romero (soprano) as The Rose
Maggie Finnegan (soprano) as The Water
Samuel Faustine (tenor) as The Lamplighter/Drunkard
J. Raymond Meyers (tenor) as The Snake/Vain Man)
Zachary Lenox (baritone) as The Businessman
Kenneth Kellogg (bass-baritone) as The King
Members of the San Francisco Girls Chorus as the chorus of stars and birds

Academy Award-winning English composer Rachel Portman’s magical opera in two acts comes to the Opera Parallèle stage with a twist in collaboration with the San Francisco Girls Chorus and the Cowell Theater. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved story of a charming boy who falls from space into the Sahara desert takes on even more universal appeal and a feminist touch with the principal characters played by women and girls. The original production brims with digital magic, animated illustrations, and a cast of fantastical characters including the Prince and the Pilot, stars and birds, the King, a Businessman, the Rose and others. They interact with each other and the animation as they explore the universe in search of love, meaning and the answers to life’s biggest quandaries.

 

Marcus Shelby

Harriet’s Spirit (2018)

WORLD PREMIERE COMMISSION
Music by Marcus Shelby
Libretto by Roma Olvera
Conducted by Lucik Aprahamian

 

 

 

 

DATES
January 18 at 6 p.m.
January 20 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

LOCATION
Buriel Clay Theater at the African American Art & Culture Complex
762 Fulton Street, San Francisco

CAST
Tiffany Austin as Harriet Tubman
Christabel Nunoo as Modesty

Each year, Opera Parallèle partners with school students to create and perform an original opera during an intensive eight-week residency. This year’s world premiere production features an original score by Bay Area jazz great Marcus Shelby and a libretto by Roma Olvera based on the story of a middle school girl who triumphs over the challenges of adolescence with Civil War-era legend Harriet Tubman as her role model and spirit guide. Students of Rooftop Middle School in San Francisco will share the stage with professional singers and Jazz Ensemble in creating the production. OP’s Hands-On-Opera production annually draws capacity crowds.

 

Jake Heggie

Leonard Bernstein

One Story Two Operas

At the Statue of Venus (2005)
Music by Jake Heggie
Libretto by Terrence McNally

Trouble in Tahiti (1951)
Music and libretto by Leonard Bernstein

 

 

 

 

CREATIVE TEAM
Conductor: Nicole Paiement
Creative Director: Brian Staufenbiel
Media Design: David Murakami
Costume Design: Christine Crook
Lighting: Matthew Antaky
Mixed-Media Collage Artist: Sherry Parker
Choreographer: Amy Seiwert
Wig & Make-Up Artist: Jeanna Parham

DATES
Wednesday, February 14,
Love at First Sight preview performance
Thursday, February 15 7:30 p.m.
Friday, February 16 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 17 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 18 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

LOCATION
SFJAZZ, 201 Franklin Street, San Francisco

CAST (At the Statue of Venus)
Renée Rapier (mezzo-soprano) and Abigail Levis (mezzo-soprano) as Rose (alternating performances)
Steffi Cheong (dancer) as Venus

CAST (Trouble in Tahiti)
Renée Rapier (mezzo-soprano) and Abigail Levis (mezzo-soprano) as Dinah (alternating performances)
Kyle Albertson (baritone) and Eugene Brancoveanu (baritone) as Sam (alternating performances)
Krista Wigle (soprano) as Trio Member
Andres Ramirez (tenor) as Trio Member
CJ Blankenship (baritone) as Trio Member

Opera Parallèle and SFJAZZ come together again, celebrating the American Voice in Opera with One Story Two Operas. The 100th anniversary of the American composer and conductor’s birth provide the perfect opportunity to love his work all over again.OP will celebrate the many facets of love and relationships with a seamless before and after pairing of San Francisco’s preeminent composer Jake Heggie’s new orchestration of At the Statue of Venus and Leonard Bernstein’s biting commentary on post-war materialism in Trouble in Tahiti. This program will also feature a dynamic look at other artists who inspired and were inspired by Bernstein. The two operas when presented together eloquently describe a relationship from anticipation and first meeting (At the Statue of Venus) to the ups and downs of matrimony and life (Trouble in Tahiti). OP and SFJAZZ continue their own relationship begun in 2016 with Terence Blanchard’s Champion and present this fully-staged musical mash-up to honor “Lenny’s” centennial.

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