San Francisco, CA, August 12, 2019 – Opera Parallèle will celebrate its tenth season with a gala benefit entitled “Because of You” on Wednesday, October 2, at the War Memorial Green Room in San Francisco. The evening will honor founding OP Board member, longtime arts supporter and philanthropist Bob Ellis. Event co-chairs Nancy E. Petrisko and Robert Ripps have announced an evening of food, drink and special performances by soprano Marnie Breckenridge, mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook, baritones Bojan Knezevic and Matthew Worth, pianist Keisuke Nakagoshi and the OP Gala Chorus with proceeds to benefit Opera Parallèle. Tickets start at $300 and sponsorships are available. For information and an invitation, email elaina@operaparallele.org or visit www.operaparallele.org.

“The 10th anniversary is reason enough for a young opera company to celebrate but our theme, “Because of You”, gives us a wonderful opportunity to thank all of the people who have given so much of their time, expertise and financial resources to help us arrive at this milestone, and none more than the evening’s honoree Bob Ellis,” said Gala Co-Chairs Nancy Petrisko (current Board President) and Robert Ripps (Former Board President).

Professionally, Bob Ellis continues to be an advisor, investor, and director of Internet companies. He was a principal of xoom.com, which completed an IPO in 1999 and later merged with NBC’s Internet properties. He founded Compact Publishing, an early digital publisher, which was sold to the Learning Company in 1995, served as the CEO of eNature, which was sold to the National Wildlife Federation, and founded Bonjour Paris, a travel destination site still operating there. Many years ago, he was a Vice President of Time-Life Inc. and a correspondent for TIME Magazine. Bob has continued a lifelong interest in opera as a board member of San Francisco Opera and Opera America and as a founding board member of Opera Parallèle.

Dinner for OP’s 10th-anniversary gala will be catered by Barbara Llewellyn Catering and Event Planning; wines are provided by Foley Family Wines and Hook & Ladder Vineyards and Winery.

Celebrating its tenth season in 2019-2020, 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.

Opera Parallèle’s 2019-2020 tenth season reflects its decade of innovative and provocative commitment to socially relevant, artistically superb opera. The Company’s founders—Artistic Director and Conductor Nicole Paiement and Creative Director Brian Staufenbiel—have scheduled an ambitious, re-imagined version of Stewart Wallace’s and Michael Korie’s 1995 Harvey Milk in celebration of the activist and martyred San Francisco Supervisor who was murdered in 1978, a milestone event in the continuing struggle for LGBTQ rights in America. Wallace and Korie have worked with OP to re-imagine a new two-act version of the work 25 years after its premiere to make it an even more impactful and intimate look at the civil rights icon, his life, and inspiration. In addition, OP will remount Lee Hoiby’s 1989, Bon Appétit! based on two television episodes of culinary icon Julia Child’s “The French Chef” at San Francisco’s famed Hayes Street Grill. The evening, featuring dinner and cocktails during the performance, will culminate in this one-woman tour de force featuring Catherine Cook as Julia Child. The season opens with a recital by tenor William Burden, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, and OP’s own resident pianist Keisuke Nakagoshi. The season runs September 19, 2019, through May 17, 2020, with performances at The Blue Shield of California Theater at YBCA, Hayes Street Grill, Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the War Memorial Green Room. For more information, visit www.operaparallele.org .