SF Opera Lab to Present VOIGT LESSONS with Deborah Voigt, 5/6-8

SF Opera Lab presents the West Coast premiere of Voigt Lessons, starring soprano and musical personality Deborah Voigt with music direction by Kevin Stites, May 6 and 8, 2016 at the Taube Atrium Theater. The intimate and acclaimed one-woman show weaves songs and arias, ranging from music by the Carpenters to Strauss, into a vivid and moving account of the superstar soprano's life and career.

Voigt Lessons was developed in working sessions with award-winning playwright Terrence McNally and director Francesca Zambello at the famed MacDowell Colony, and takes the leading dramatic soprano's life and career as the basis for a revealing script that incorporates songs and arias of special importance to Voigt. At its premiere at the 2011 Glimmerglass Festival, Toronto's Globe and Mail said: "Working with famous playwright Terrence McNally, director Zambello, and pianist Kevin Stites, the singer has created an intimate show that is both poignant and very funny. The script is a chronicle of her ups and downs, including a failed marriage, and battles with weight and alcoholism. ...The result is an absolute gem and a theatrical love-in. Voigt wins the audience with her vulnerability, honesty and, most of all, her ability to laugh at herself."

Deborah Voigt's relationship with San Francisco Opera started in 1985 when she received professional training as a member of the prestigious Merola Opera Program, which led to her participation in the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship Program for the following two years. Before she rose to international fame, Bay Area audiences first heard her as an emerging artist in the Company's Don Carlos, Jen?fa, Macbeth, Nabucco and Die Zauberflöte. She later returned to perform leading roles in Un Ballo in Maschera, Tannhäuser, Die Walküre, Ariadne auf Naxos and, most recently, in 2010 in the title role of La Fanciulla del West.


Following the performances, meet soprano Deborah Voigt as she signs copies of Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva. In this strikingly honest memoir, Voigt recounts her harrowing and ultimately successful battles to overcome the addictions and self-destructive tendencies that nearly cut short her life. Offering fascinating insight into the roles she has played and the characters she loves, along with hilarious anecdotes and juicy backstage gossip, Voigt paints diverting portraits of the artists with whom she has worked, her most memorable moments onstage and the secrets of her singing. The Associated Press described her autobiography as "a startlingly frank look at the life of one of her generation's most prominent operatic stars." Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva is available for sale at the performances and through the San Francisco Opera Shop at shop.sfopera.com.

American soprano Deborah Voigt is one of the world's most versatile singers and endearing musical personalities. With the singular power and beauty of her voice, and her captivating stage presence, she is internationally revered for performances in the operas of Wagner, Strauss, Verdi and more, besides serving as an active recitalist and exponent of Broadway standards and popular songs. She boasts an extensive discography and regularly appears-as both performer and host-in the Metropolitan Opera's "The Met: Live in HD" series. Voigt's memoir, Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva, was released in paperback in January 2016, and the current season sees her reprise her beloved one-woman show, Voigt Lessons, and star in The Pirates of Penzance at New York's City Center. Having made her name as a leading dramatic soprano, Voigt has given definitive performances of iconic German operatic roles from Salome to Isolde. Also a devotee of Broadway and American song, she has sung with Rufus Wainwright at London's BBC Proms, Kristin Chenoweth at Carnegie Hall, and Barbara Cook and Dianne Reeves at the Hollywood Bowl.

Broadway veteran Kevin Stites recently completed his second season as Music Supervisor/Principal Conductor of the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. He served as Music Director for the Broadway revival of On the 20th Century starring Kristen Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher, and conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic in concerts with Chenoweth. He was music director/conductor for Titanic in Concert at Avery Fisher Hall and music director for the 25th anniversary national tour of LES MISERABLES, as well as musical director for The Producers, Guys and Dolls and LES MISERABLES at the Hollywood Bowl. On Broadway, Stites' extensive credits also include serving as music director/conductor for Titanic, Sunset Boulevard and A Tale of Two Cities. He has conducted the Broadway revivals of South Pacific, Nine with Antonio Banderas, LES MISERABLES, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma!, The Three Penny Opera and the 1999 revival of On the Town. He was also music supervisor for The Color Purple, for which he also composed the incidental music.

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