OPERA PARALLÈLE PRESENTS UP CLOSE AND PARALLÈLE, ITS 2017 GALA BENEFIT, FEATURING MAKE OUR GARDEN GROW, A PROGRAM OF MUSIC HIGHLIGHTING THE UPCOMING SEASON
COCKTAILS, DINNER, FUND A NEED, AND PERFORMANCE TO BENEFIT OPERA PARALLÈLE’S PRODUCTIONS, EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAMS
SPECIAL HONORED GUEST CAREY PERLOFF
OCTOBER 11 AT WAR MEMORIAL GREEN ROOM IN SAN FRANCISCO
San Francisco, August 31, 2017 – Acclaimed Opera Parallèle will present its annual gala benefit, Up Close and Parallèle: Make Our Garden Grow, Wednesday, October 11, at 5:30 pm, at the War Memorial Green Room, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco. The centerpiece of the evening will be an original program of musical performances celebrating the legacy of Leonard Bernstein, curated especially for the festivities by the OP creative team and featuring music and artists from the 2017-2018 season. Performers include San Francisco Girls Chorus treble Erin Enriquez, sopranos Roslyn Barak and Kindra Scharich, jazz soprano Tiffany Austin, pianist Kevin Korth, and composer/double bassist Marcus Shelby. Excerpts from the 2017-2018 season of operas by Leonard Bernstein, Jake Heggie, Rachel Portman, Marcus Shelby, and additional works will be performed. The gala will also include cocktails, wines from Medlock Ames Winery and Gloria Ferrer, hors d’oeuvres and dinner by Barbara Llewellyn Catering, and a lively fund a need. Tickets are priced from $275 to $500, with tables and sponsorships available for $5,000 to $15,000; all proceeds benefit Opera Parallèle’s productions, education and community outreach programs. For tickets and information, call Roma Olvera at 415.626.6279.
Opera Parallèle’s 2017-2018 season begins with its first-ever holiday offering, a new production of Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince at Fort Mason Center for Art and Culture’s Cowell Theater. Next up will be the world premiere of a new children’s opera inspired by the life of Harriet Tubman and featuring the music of Bay Area jazz great Marcus Shelby, at the African American Art & Culture Complex. The season concludes with One Story Two Operas, OP’s celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s centennial in a double-bill of his Trouble in Tahiti seamlessly paired with Jake Heggie’s At the Statue of Venus at SFJAZZ. The creative team for all three productions will be headed by founding Artistic Director/Conductor Nicole Paiement and Creative Director Brian Staufenbiel.
ABOUT OPERA PARALLÈLE
The award-winning Opera Parallèle develops and performs contemporary operas in a dynamic balance of known and new works, in new productions that shed light on their subject matter and engage audiences’ senses and sensibilities. Opera Parallèle is the only organization in the Bay Area presenting fully cast and staged contemporary operas exclusively.
Opera Parallèle also commissions new orchestrations of contemporary grand operas, to give a sense of intimacy to its productions and to give a new life to works which might not otherwise be performed.
Artistic director Nicole Paiement founded Opera Parallèle (originally Ensemble Parallèle) to perform new music and to collaborate “in parallel” with various artists including dancers, choreographers, visual and multimedia artists. These collaborations have enriched the Company’s productions and appeal to a wide-ranging audience, from seasoned opera-goers and classical music enthusiasts to contemporary art and dance-goers.
In 2007 Opera Parallèle began to focus exclusively on contemporary opera, and in February of that year the organization presented the world premiere of Lou Harrison’s opera Young Caesar. Most recently its productions have included the California premiere of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck in a chamber orchestration by composer John Rea (2010); the Bay Area premiere of Philip Glass’ opera Orphée (2011); Virgil Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts and the world premiere of Luciano Chessa’s A Heavenly Act in collaboration with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in conjunction with the international exhibition The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde. Subsequent significant and successful productions have included the world premiere of its commissioned reorchestration of John Harbison’s opera The Great Gatsby, Osvaldo Golijov’s riveting opera Ainadamar, Dante De Silva’s commissioned work Gesualdo, Prince of Madness; Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti; a double bill of the Weill/Brecht Mahagonny Songspiel with the Poulenc/Apollinaire Les mamelles de Tirésias; Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness; and Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. The 2015-16 season saw a new production of Terence Blanchard’s Champion: An Opera in Jazz in collaboration with SFJAZZ, and Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse; the 2016-2017 season featured Jonathan Dove’s Flight, Philip Glass’ hybrid dance-opera Les Enfants Terribles and a new children’s opera, Xochitl and the Flowers, by Chris Pratorius.
Since its founding, Opera Parallèle has presented more than nearly 200 performances including 32 world premieres, released 14 recordings, commissioned 22 new works, and has performed in North America, Australia, and Asia.