San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus Season Includes Billy Porter and More
Following a historic season of firsts-including a soul-affirming, life-changing tour of the South, a groundbreaking world premiere, a one-night-only homecoming concert, and unprecedented outreach to Bay Area youth-San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus announces the lineup for Season 41.
Featuring the 250 men of the chorus, the season includes TRIBUTE: Our 40th Birthday, a momentous 40th birthday concert at San Francisco's St. Ignatius Catholic Church on Friday, October 26, 2018; Brassy and Sassy, a brand-new festive seasonal show at San Francisco's Nourse Theater on December 7-8, 2018; The Brits Are Coming!, a salute to the musical genres, artists, and bands that have come from the United Kingdom on March 21, 2019 at San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall; and Queens, a celebration of the rebel drag queens of the Stonewall Inn riots era with special guest Tony Award winner Billy Porter at San Francisco's Nourse Theater on June 21-22, 2019. Season tickets range in price from $165-$315 and are available now by visiting www.SFGMC.org or by calling 415-865-3650. Single tickets will be available at a later date.In addition to SFGMC's regular season of concerts, the Chorus will bring holiday cheer to several venues throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including theBankhead Theater in Livermore, CA on December 2, 2018; Freight & SalvageCoffeehouse in Berkeley, CA on December 9, 2018; Green Music Center in Rohnert Park, CA on December 16, 2018; and the classic Home For The Holidays concert at the iconic Castro Theater in San Francisco on December 24, 2018. "Season 41 embodies our mission of being a leader by creating extraordinary music and experiences that build community, inspire activism, and foster compassion at home and around the world," says Verdugo. "We look forward to further expanding our outreach, engagement, and education efforts to communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and across the country!" "Following the tremendous successes of this past anniversary season, we launch Season 41 with great excitement," said Seelig. "The season begins with one of the most monumental moments in our history-the groundbreaking of a memorial to our own chorus members we have lost at the National AIDS Memorial Grove, along with a performance of the first requiem composed in memory of those lost to AIDS. We end the season celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall. In between, we will be singing, dancing, and raising a roof or two with incredible musical offerings." Adds Seelig: "This season will also see the continuation of RHYTHM, our educational outreach that exploded this past season. In addition, we are delighted to be performing at two new performance venues-the acoustical gem St. Ignatius Catholic Church in San Francisco and the stunning Green Music Center in Santa Rosa. It is an exciting time for SFGMC and we look forward to sharing this spectacular season with our audiences!" Season 41 kicks off with two 40th birthday events that pay tribute to the memory of those Chorus members lost over the past four decades. On October 26, 2018, the Chorus will perform "When We No Longer Touch." Composed in 1991, this work is the first requiem dedicated to those lost to AIDS. Featuring the Chorus, orchestra and acclaimed soprano Ellie Dehn (Teatro alla Scala, San Francisco Opera, Metropolitan Opera), this momentous occasion will also mark the first time SFGMC performs at St. Ignatius Catholic Church. On Saturday, October 27, 2018, the Chorus breaks ground on a permanent memorial at the National AIDS Memorial Grove, located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. A tribute to the almost 300 singers the Chorus has lost to the AIDS pandemic, this stunning installation will center around an eight-foot-tall Emperor Chime. This unique aural feature will provide the extended SFGMC family from around the world with a unique place to reflect and remember. The dedication of the completed installation will take place onDecember 1, World AIDS Day. Season 41 continues with Brassy and Sassy, a brand-new festive show celebrating the holiday season, on December 7 and 8, 2018 at San Francisco's Nourse Theater. Few performing groups present the full spectrum of holiday revelry better than the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus. SFGMC welcomes guest star coloratura soprano Marnie Breckenridge (San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, Los Angeles Opera), who will bring her own sass and class to the stage. In collaboration with a brilliant brass quintet, the Chorus will dash from glorious classical fare to swing to Big Band. Plus, the Chorus adds a few new twists on holiday classics. Sing along with your favorites and delight in the breathtaking sound of men's voices performing everything from "Silver Bells" to "Santa Baby," as well as the audience favorite rendition of "Silent Night." SFGMC will next present The Brits Are Coming!, a one-night-only salute to legendary British musicians and the wonderful music they have shared with the world, on March 21, 2019 at San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall. The United Kingdom rocks the world with its incredible variety of musical genres, artists and bands, whose creativity has been celebrated for generations. From The Beatles to Adele, Sam Smith to Sir Elton John, the Chorus has the Brits covered. Influenced by the melting pot of British society, this colorful songbook will take audiences on an unforgettable international musical journey, featuring pop and rock hits, as well as folk favorites "Danny Boy" and "Jerusalem." Closing Season 41, SFGMC will present Queens, a tribute to a group that has stood tall in the face of enormous odds and adversity: Drag Queens, on June 21 and 22, 2019 at San Francisco's Nourse Theater. The San Francisco's Compton Cafeteria Riots, and the 1969 Stonewall Inn Riots in New York City's Greenwich Village marked the beginning of a movement. SFGMC will honor San Francisco's own Imperial Court and Grand Ducal Council, as well as celebrate San Francisco's biggest androgynous star: Sylvester. The grand final is a rousing premiere work commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Guest star Tony Award-winner Billy Porter ("Pose," Kinky Boots, Smokey Joe's Café) brings powerhouse vocals to perform selections from Kinky Boots and more.
Photo credit: Ron Cadiz