San Francisco Opera Center and the Merola Opera Program present the 31st season of the Schwabacher Debut Recitals on April 7, 21 and May 5, 2013 at Temple Emanu-El’s Martin Meyer Sanctuary in San Francisco. The annual series showcases artists who have participated in the San Francisco Opera Center and Merola Opera programs and offers Bay Area audiences the unique opportunity to hear gifted young singers perform a varied and eclectic range of song literature in the intimate setting of the Martin Meyer Sanctuary.
The 2013 Schwabacher Debut Recitals begin on Sunday, April 7 at 5:30 pm with Merola Opera Program alumnus and first-year Adler Fellow bass-baritone Philippe Sly performing works by Duparc, Ravel, Ropartz, Schubert and Mahler. Sly, who recently made his San Francisco Opera debut as "Archibald Craven" in the world premiere of Nolan Gasser and Carey Harrison’s The Secret Garden and will sing the role of "Guglielmo" in this summer’s Così fan tutte, will be accompanied by Adler Fellow and Merola graduate Sun Ha Yoon.
The series continues on Sunday, April 21 at 5:30 pm with New York Festival of Song Artistic Director Steven Blier presenting From Bel Canto to Can Belto: Songs by Italians and Italian-Americans. Performing with Blier will be current Adler Fellows Marina Harris (soprano), Laura Krumm (mezzo-soprano), A.J. Glueckert (tenor) and Hadleigh Adams (bass-baritone) in a selection of songs by Italian masters.
The 2013 Schwabacher Debut Recitals conclude on Sunday, May 5 at 5:30 pm with Merola Opera Program alumni mezzo-soprano Sarah Mesko and tenor Theo Lebow, accompanied by current Adler Fellow Robert Mollicone. The program will feature an eclectic collection of songs by Tchaikovsky, Britten and selections from Dvořák’s Gypsy Songs.
The Schwabacher Debut Recitals are endowed in perpetuity by the generosity of the late James Schwabacher and are sponsored by the Jack H. Lund Charitable Trust.
A celebrated Bay Area singer, recitalist, scholar and teacher, James Schwabacher was a co-founder of the Merola Opera Program. The Schwabacher Debut Recitals have introduced the artistry of internationally acclaimed artists including Anna Netrebko, Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Brian Asawa and Thomas Hampson. The recitals provide an opportunity to hear a wealth of song literature ranging from Baroque masterpieces and Romantic-era classics to newly commissioned works performed by up and coming young singers.
All performances take place at Temple Emanu-El’s Martin Meyer Sanctuary (Two Lake Street, at Arguello, in San Francisco). Single tickets for the Schwabacher Debut Recitals are $25; a three-recital subscription is $50. Tickets may be purchased by calling the San Francisco Opera Box Office (Mon. 10 am-5 pm, Tues.-Sat. 10 am-6 pm) at (415) 864-3330. Student Rush tickets are available for $15 at Temple Emanu-El 30 minutes prior to each recital (limit of two tickets per person; valid ID is required; subject to availability). Casting, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change.
About the Artists
Steven Blier is artistic director of the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS), which he co-founded in 1988 with Michael Barrett. Since the Festival’s inception, Blier has programmed, performed, translated and annotated more than 130 vocal recitals with repertoire spanning the entire range of American song, art song from Schubert to Szymanowski, and popular song from early vaudeville to Lennon-McCartney. NYFOS has also made in-depth explorations of music from Spain, Latin America, Scandinavia and Russia. Blier enjoys an eminent career as an accompanist and vocal coach. His recital partners have included Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Samuel Ramey, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Susan Graham, Jessye Norman, and José van Dam in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Milan’s La Scala. He is also on the faculty of the Juilliard School and has been active in encouraging young recitalists at summer programs, including the Wolf Trap Opera Company, Santa Fe Opera, and the San Francisco Opera Center. In keeping the traditions of American music alive, Mr. Blier has brought back to the stage many of the rarely heard songs of George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Kurt Weill and Cole Porter. He has also played ragtime, blues and stride piano evenings with John Musto. A champion of American art song, he has premiered works of John Corigliano, Paul Moravec, Ned Rorem, William Bolcom, John Musto, Richard Danielpour, Tobias Picker, Robert Beaser, Lowell Liebermann, Harold Meltzer, Lee Hoiby, and Mark Adamo, many of which were commissioned by NYFOS. His extensive discography includes the premiere recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles (Koch International), which won a Grammy Award.
Marina Harris, a second-year Adler Fellow, is a soprano from Los Angeles, California. She is an alumna of the 2011 Merola Opera Program, where she performed the role of "Berta" in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. A three time soloist with the Los Angeles Bach Festival, she has performed works such as Magnificat, Johannes-Passion, and Wachet, betet! with the Festival Orchestra and Choir. In 2010, Harris was chosen as a Western Regional Finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions and was the Second Place Winner in the Finals. She was also a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Regional Finalist in 2009, and took home the Special Encouragement Award. Harris was selected as an Encouragement Award Winner at the Marilyn Horne Foundation Vocal Competition in 2010 for her performance of art song repertoire. Harris recently made her San Francisco Opera debut in the role of "Susan Sowerby" in the world premiere of Nolan Gasser and Carey Harrison’s The Secret Garden.
A native of Iowa City, Iowa, mezzo-soprano Laura Krumm is a second-year Adler Fellow who made her San Francisco Opera debut in this fall's Rigoletto and created the role of "Martha Sowerby" in the March 2013 world premiere of Nolan Gasser and Carey Harrison’s The Secret Garden. As a master’s student at the University of North Texas, she was awarded the Bill and Margo Winspear Award and was winner of the 2011 Concerto Competition. Her recent repertoire includes "Charlotte" (Werther), "Sesto" (La Clemenza di Tito), "Cherubino" (Le Nozze di Figaro), "Prince Orlofsky" (Die Fledermaus), and the "Second Lady" (Die Zauberflöte). As a 2011 participant of the Merola Opera Program she was featured in scenes from I Capuleti e i Montecchi and Rigoletto. She has performed with La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy and OperaWorks in Los Angeles, and she was a finalist in the 2011 Dallas Opera Guild Competition.
American mezzo-soprano Sarah Mesko is an alumna of the 2012 Merola Opera Program. Her 2012–13 season engagements include "Dorabella" (Così fan tutte) and "Hänsel" (Hänsel und Gretel) with Washington National Opera and "Amélie" (La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein) with the Santa Fe Opera. Other career highlights include "Alisa" (Lucia di Lammermoor) and "Kate Pinkerton" and "Suzuki" (Madama Butterfly) at Washington National Opera as well as "La Sagesse" and "Sidonie" (Lully’s Armide) with Mercury Baroque and Théatre de Gennevilliers in Paris. On the concert stage, she has appeared as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, Alexandria Symphony, the Washington National Cathedral Choral Society, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. A two-time winner of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant, she is a graduate of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and was a national finalist in the 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Tenor A.J. Glueckert is a first-year Adler Fellow hailing from Portland, Oregon. He is an alumnus of the 2012 Merola Opera Program, where he performed "Mr. Owen" in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco. As a resident artist with Minnesota Opera, he performed "Arturo" (Lucia di Lammermoor) and created the role of the "Crown Prince" in the world premiere of Puts’s Silent Night. He is also a graduate of the young artists programs at the Santa Fe Opera and Utah Opera. A two-time winner of the regional Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, he holds a degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and appeared as the "Drum Major" (Wozzeck) with San Francisco’s Ensemble Parallèle.
American tenor Theo Lebow is a graduate of the 2012 Merola Opera Program where he sang the role of "Contino Belfiore" in La Finta Giardiniera. As a 2012–13 Seattle Opera Young Artist, Lebow made his main-stage debut with that company as the "First Prisoner" in Fidelio, and he starred as "Edoardo" in their young artist production of Un Giorno di Regno. Other recent credits include "a Scientist" in Menotti’s The Last Savage with the Santa Fe Opera in 2011, the encouragement award from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, semi-finalist placement in the Marcello Giordani Foundation, and regional finalist in the Metropolitan National Council Auditions. Upcoming engagements include "Népomuc" in La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein with the Santa Fe Opera.
Bass-baritone Hadleigh Adams is a first-year Adler Fellow and graduate of the 2012 Merola Opera Program. The New Zealand native was a member of New Zealand Opera from 2004 to 2008 and performed frequently as an oratorio soloist. He made his debut with London’s Royal National Theatre in 2011 as Christ in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Awards include a 2010 Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Scholarship and first runner-up in the Australian Singing Competition. Upcoming engagements include "Pollux" (Rameau’s Castor et Pollux) with Pinchgut Opera.
A winner in the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, bass-baritone Philippe Sly is a first-year Adler Fellow who recently made his San Francisco Opera debut as "Archibald Craven" in the world premiere of Nolan Gasser and Carey Harrison’s The Secret Garden and will be seen as "Guglielmo" in this summer’s Così fan tutte. A native of Ottawa, Ontario and a graduate of the 2011 Merola Opera Program, he is a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio. Recent and upcoming engagements include "Marcello" (La Bohème) and "Nick Shadow" (The Rake’s Progress) at McGill University and "Masetto" (Don Giovanni) at the University of Ottawa. Sly appeared with the Canadian Opera Company in the 2011—12 season singing roles in The Tales of Hoffmann, A Florentine Tragedy, Gianni Schicchi, and Semele.
Coach and pianist Robert Mollicone is a second-year Adler Fellow. He was a member of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, where he served on the music staff for Don Pasquale, Tosca, and Lucia di Lammermoor on the main stage. A Rhode Island native, Mollicone has served as a vocal coach and pianist for Boston Lyric Opera, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Boston Opera Collaborative, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and Opera North. He was a Spectrum Resident Artist at Virginia Opera in 2009, and a participant in the Merola Opera Program in 2010. Mollicone worked on San Francisco Opera’s productions of The Magic Flute and Moby-Dick in 2012.
Pianist and vocal coach Sun Ha Yoon is a first year Adler Fellow hailing from Seoul, South Korea. In the summer of 2012 she was participant in the Merola Opera Program. Prior to that, she was a vocal piano fellow at the Music Academy of the West, where she coached Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Don Giovanni. In January of 2012, she collaborated with soprano Megan Hart in a duo recital at Carnegie Hall as part of Marilyn Horne’s “The Song Continues…” series. Sun Ha recently graduated with a doctorate in collaborative piano performance from the University of Maryland and worked as a coach for the Maryland Opera Studio in two world premiere performances: Later the Same Evening by John Musto and Shadowboxer by Frank Proto.