We are delighted to welcome you, our special guests, to a truly memorable evening. This, our first Opera Parallèle fundraising event, is distinguished by the generosity and support of composer Jake Heggie, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade and our attendees, sponsors and donors. We thank you all. Thursday, October 24th, 2013, 6:30 pm The General’s Residence, Fort Mason Prior to the performance of At the Statue of Venus, our guests will be invited to join in our silent auction. For our grand finale: Jake Heggie will accompany the unparalleled Frederica von Stade. A short, live auction will close our evening’s festivities.
6:30 p.m. Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, silent auction 8:00 p.m. Musical program featuring Jake Heggie and Kristin Clayton in a production of At the Statue of Venus. 8:30 p.m. Special performance by Frederica von Stade and Jake Heggie 8:45 p.m. Live Auction
At the Statue of Venus
Jake Heggie, composer Terrence McNally, librettist A musical scene for soprano and piano, commissioned by Opera Colorado to celebrate the grand opening of the Ellie Caulkins OPera House, Sept. 10, 2005. Rose, a middle- aged woman anxiously awaits her blind date by a statue of Venus in a museum. While waiting, thoughts race through her head. She worries about the appropriateness of her dress to the point of self-deprecation. Rose is equally concerned about her age and looks, frequently comparing herself to other women in the museum. In anticipation, she wonders what her date will look like and she judges men walking her way: one, she notes, is bald and unattractive; another is strikingly handsome. Yet another approaches her to ask directions to the bathroom. She concludes by thinking, “Will I know him? Of course, I will. He’ll be a man I can laugh with and be myself with. He’ll be handsome which only means, when I look at him, my heart will swell. That’s all handsome is: happiness…”
Jake Heggie is the American composer of numerous operas including the recent Moby-Dick. He has also composed more than 250 songs, as well as concerti, chamber music, choral and orchestral works. His songs, song cycles and operas are championed internationally by some of the most celebrated singers of our time. The operas — most of them created with the distinguished writers Terrence McNally and Gene Scheer — have been produced internationally on five continents. Since its San Francisco premiere in 2000, Dead Man Walking has received more than 200 international performances. Moby-Dick will be telecast on Great Performances in the fall of 2013 and is set to receive its East Coast premiere in February 2014 by the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Upcoming projects include Great Scott (libretto and story by McNally) for The Dallas Opera’s 2015/2016 season plus works commissioned by Music of Remembrance, Houston Grand Opera, Pacific Chorale, Pittsburgh Symphony and the Ravinia Festival.
Kristin Clayton is the American lyric soprano who created a sensation when she sang the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally’s At the Statue of Venus for the grand opening of Denver’s new Caulkins Opera House, replacing Renee Fleming, for whom the work had been commissioned. Upcoming and most recent engagements include: The Golden Ticket for Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers with the Houston Grand Opera and the San Francisco Opera, Street Scene with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Don Giovanni for Walnut Creek Opera and a Gala Concert for the re-opening of the historic Asolo Opera House in Sarasota, Florida opposite Susan Graham.
Frederica von Stade has enriched the world of classical music for three decades with her appearances in opera, concert, and recital. The mezzo-soprano is well known to audiences around the world through her numerous featured appearances on television including several PBS specials and “Live from Lincoln Center” telecasts. She has made over sixty recordings with every major label, including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums. Her recordings have garnered six Grammy nominations, two Grand Prix du Disc awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis and Italy’s Premio della Critica Discografica. Miss von Stade was awarded L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France and was honored in 1983 at The White House in recognition of her significant contribution to the arts.
Brian Staufenbiel has piloted the direction and design of Opera Parallèle’s productions since 2007, some of which include Wozzeck, Orphée, The Great Gatsby, Ainadamar, and Trouble in Tahiti. As guest director, he has worked with a variety of ensembles in Korea, Canada and the US. Staufenbiel has directed many world premieres including the final version of Lou Harrison’s Young Caesar. Most recently, Staufenbiel designed and directed the world premiere of Luna Woolf’s staged work, Angel Heart, that was performed in both San Francisco Area and New York City.