Opening on September 10, 2011 • Opera House • San Francisco

Susannah Biller
is Lolita the Bridesmaid and Dan Snyder is Dex in San Francisco Opera’s World Premiere of Christopher Theofanidis Heart of a Soldier, opening on the eve of the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Heart of a Soldier tells the story of Rick Rescorla, a British-born adventurer who fought in Vietnam before settling in New York as head of security for a brokerage firm based in the World Trade Center. On September 11, 2001, his extraordinary courage and calmness in a crisis paid off: Rescorla led all of the 2,700 people under his care to safety—literally singing them down the stairs—before heading back into the burning building for one last check. He never emerged.

There are several Heart of a Soldier events scheduled throughout the Bay Area.

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Biller will appear as Daisy and Snyder as Tom, her husband, in Ensemble Parallèle’s world premiere of the chamber orchestration of the opera The Great Gatsby. Composer John Harbison drew on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tragic 1925 portrait of the Jazz Age for the original version of the opera commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera in 1999. Jacques Desjardins re-orchestration provides an intense, intimate audience experience of this masterwork. The opera will be presented on February 10-11-12, 2012 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Save the date.

This is the fourth major presentation of fully staged contemporary chamber operas by Ensemble Parallèle. Gatsby follows last year’s Orphée by Philip Glass, Alban Berg’s Wozzeck in 2010 and Lou Harrison’s Young Caesar in 2007 — all to acclaim from audiences and critics.

Ensemble Parallèle’s artistic team of Artistic Director/Conductor Nicole Paiement and Production Designer/Stage Director Brian Staufenbiel again collaborate on EP’s most ambitious production to date. The cast of 11 singers plus chorus and an orchestra of 30 are featured in an art deco inspired, multimedia staging of this conflict between old money, nouveau riche and working class Americans tangled in a downward spiral of decadence.

Susannah Biller, soprano, is an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera, and appeared as Eurydice in Ensemble Parallèle’s 2010 production of Philip Glass’Orphée.

Eugene Brancoveanu; Susannah Biller

Dan Snyder, who plays Tom, is known for his dramatic stage presence and his adept musicianship. He has performed in major venues throughout the USA, and in South America, Germany and most recently Africa.

The Ring of the Nibelungen: Dan Snyder