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Opera Parallèle Will Present OVER THE RAINBOW Benefit


The speecial event is scheduled for Wednesday, February 2, 2022 at Saint Joseph’s Arts Society.

Opera Parallèle Will Present OVER THE RAINBOW Benefit

Opera Parallèle today announced details for the company's upcoming Benefit Celebration Over the Rainbow, scheduled for Wednesday, February 2, 2022 at Saint Joseph's Arts Society, 1401 Howard Street. Special to the evening will be the San Francisco debut performance of critically acclaimed opera singer and crossover artist, countertenor John Holiday in a varied program spanning opera to pop, including the artist's heartfelt interpretation of Harold Arlen's immortal "Over the Rainbow." Opera Parallèle Resident Pianist Keisuke Nakagoshi will be Holiday's musical collaborator.

The evening will begin with 5.15 p.m. arrivals for a pre-event sponsor reception with a special sound sculpture presentation by award winning composer Lembit Beecher, whose sonic installations will be featured later in February in the West Coast premiere of his opera, Sophia's Forest. Beginning at 6.30 p.m., Opera Parallèle will welcome all Benefit Celebration guests with a reception of cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres curated by the Hugh Groman Group. Prolific theater playwright and opera librettist Alan Olejniczak is the Benefit Celebration Chair and popular Bay Area auctioneer Michael Tate will serve as the evening's emcee.

Opera Parallèle General and Artistic Director Nicole Paiement said, "When we selected the theme of 'Over the Rainbow' for our benefit celebration - thinking of the dispersion of light and hope in our community, I immediately thought of John Holiday as the perfect artist." Paiement continued, "John's astonishing voice has a myriad of colors that take you from opera and jazz, to gospel and pop music. He is also a powerful storyteller with an amazing life story of his own and a generous spirit on stage. His magnetism will magically pull us together into a colorful evening."

John Holiday has established himself as "one of the finest countertenors of his generation" (Los Angeles Times). His voice has been praised as "a thing of astonishing beauty" (New Yorker), "arrestingly powerful, secure and dramatically high" (Wall Street Journal), "exceptional [and] strong...even in its highest range" (The New York Times) and "timeless" (The Washington Post). Holiday's unique voice and powerful story have been the subject of profiles in The New Yorker, CNN's Great Big Story and more.

During the current 2021-22 season, Holiday's engagements include performances with the LA Philharmonic and Maestro Gustavo Dudamel; a Metropolitan Opera debut under Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin in Matthew Aucoin's Eurydice; Munich Opera in Barrie Kosky's production of Agrippina; Utah Opera and Dallas Opera for Jonathan Dove's opera, Flight; the Messiah at New York's Riverside Church; and a concert at London's Barbican Centre. Holiday's classical music credits include performances at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, LA Opera, Dutch National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and Glimmerglass Festival.

In October 2020, during the 19th season of NBC's popular show The Voice, Holiday made a sensational nationwide debut singing an immortal Ella Fitzgerald arrangement of the jazz standard, "Misty." Holiday was immediately invited to join the John Legend music team for musical mentorship. In August 2021, Holiday released a hit single "Alive in Me" from his forthcoming album, showcasing his amazing crossover talent. The new single takes on a personalized meaning of love surviving through all challenges for Holiday who says the song "brought about a new awakening in my life and helped me to find that place of surrender - to love, to the process of the journey, to life and my pursuit of happiness."

A native of Texas, Holiday holds music degrees from Southern Methodist University, Cincinnati College - Conservatory of Music and The Juilliard School. Holiday has been the recipient of numerous major competitions and award programs including the 2017 Marian Anderson Vocal Award; 2014 Richard Tucker Foundation's Sara Tucker Award; first place at the 2013 Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition; 2012 Sullivan Foundation; 2011 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition; and third place winner in the 2014 OPERALIA competition.

Opera Parallèle's Benefit Celebration Chair is Alan Olejniczak and the Lead Artist Sponsor is Bernice Lindstrom. Over the Rainbow sponsors to date include Donna Dubinsky and Len Shustek, Jerome Roth, Didi and Dix Boring, Philip Goward and Theodore Ueki, and Robert Ripps and Steven Spector. Generous in-kind sponsors include Saint Joseph's Arts Society, SF Proper Hotel, St. George Spirits, Sapphire Hill winery, and San Francisco Classical Voice.

Tickets for the Benefit Celebration begin at $300 per person and may be purchased online by visiting All guests will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and required to wear masks when not eating or drinking. Opera Parallèle encourages attendees to obtain a vaccine booster by January 19 if eligible.

Opera Parallele's 12th anniversary season continues with the West Coast premiere of the critically acclaimed opera, Sophia's Forest, an immigrant family's story of hope and the healing power of imagination by composer Lembit Beecher and librettist Hannah Moscovitch, February 24 - 26, at Grace Cathedral. The season will conclude with composer Philip Glass' La Belle et la Bête, a surreal new take on a timeless tale, fusing opera and film live on stage; presented in collaboration with SFJAZZ, Miner Auditorium, July 15 - 17.

Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez

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