With the departure of Richard Harrell as Director, the Conservatory Opera Program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) will be in transition during the 2013–14 season. Music Director Curt Pajer will serve as Interim Program Director. He will be assisted by Heather Mathews as Associate Program Director and Darryl Cooper as Assistant Music Director.
More interesting, however, is that the major production of the season will involve a collaboration with Portland Opera. The Portland stage director, Kevin Newbury, will come to SFCM to stage Dominick Argento’s one-act masterpiece of surrealism Postcard from Morocco. In this production SFCM vocalists will receive musical support from the Conservatory Orchestra.
Postcard from Morocco will receive four performances in the SFCM Concert Hall. These will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 10, Friday, April 11, and Saturday, April 12, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 13. Tickets for this production will sell for $20 for general admission, with a $15 rate for students, seniors, and Friends of the Conservatory. They may be purchased or reserved online at the Conservatory Web site or by calling the Box Office at 415-503-6275. (Box Office hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday through Friday.)
All other Conservatory Opera Program events will be free. This includes the end-of-year production in December. This season the opera will be the Christmas-appropriate (on the basis of the second act) La bohème by Giacomo Puccini. This will be a fully-staged production in the Concert Hall with piano accompaniment. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 6, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 8. While tickets are free, it will be necessary to make reservations through the Box Office.
There will be two programs of one-act operas. The first will be given two performances on Saturday, November 9, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 10, at 2 p.m. The second will also have two performances, both at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19, and Thursday, March 20.
Finally, there will be three Opera Workshop performances of scenes. The first workshop will be performed twice at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 22, and Tuesday, November 26. The second will be given only one performance on Friday, February 7. The final Workshop will have two performances, the first at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 2, and the second at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 4.
Both the one-acts and the Workshop programs will be given in the Concert Hall; and no reservations will be required for these free performances.