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San Francisco Opera Center And Merola Opera Present 2019 Schwabacher Recital Series

San Francisco Opera Center And Merola Opera Present 2019 Schwabacher Recital Series

The Schwabacher Recital Series, presented by San Francisco Opera Center and the Merola Opera Program, continues in April with the final two recitals of its 36th season. Showcasing the exemplary young artists who have participated in the prestigious training programs of San Francisco Opera Center and the Merola Opera Program, the series offers music lovers an opportunity to hear opera's next generation of stars in the intimate and state-of-the-art Dianne and Tad Taube Atrium Theater in San Francisco.

On April 3, the Schwabacher Recital Series presents soprano Mary Evelyn Hangley and tenor Christopher Oglesby with pianist and San Francisco Opera Center Director of Musical Studies Mark Morash (Merola 1987). Their program opens with two works by Franz Schubert (Auf dem Strom) and Benjamin Britten (Canticle III Still Falls the Rain ), both featuring San Francisco Opera Co-Principal Horn Kevin Rivard. The artists also survey works by Richard Strauss (Sechs Lieder, Op. 19), Anton n Dvo k (Cig nsk Melodie), Charles Ives and Gabriel Faur (selected songs) and Italian duets by various composers. Mary Evelyn Hangley (Merola 2016; first-year Adler Fellow) recently performed the role of Anna S rensen in Kevin Puts' Silent Night at Glimmerglass Festival and this spring will be featured in the Verdi Requiem at her alma mater, SUNY Fredonia, where she also held a two-day recital and masterclass residency this past fall. Tenor Christopher Oglesby (Merola 2018; first-year Adler Fellow) debuted as Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress with the Merola Opera Program. He recently performed with the Utah Symphony as a soloist in Handel's Messiah and was a Resident Artist at Utah Opera, where he sang Tybalt in Rom o et Juliette.

Morash said: Mary Evelyn and Christopher have come up with a true 'duo recital.' Each singer is featured in a beautiful number with horn and piano, with the horn courtesy of San Francisco Opera's outstanding Co-Principal Horn Kevin Rivard, and each has a solo set of songs. To finish, there is a light-hearted set of Italian duets. It promises to be a wonderful and varied evening of music and poetry.

Martin Katz, the dean of collaborative pianists (Los Angeles Times), leads a quartet of 2019 San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows soprano Mary Evelyn Hangley, mezzo-soprano Ashley Dixon, tenor Zhengyi Bai and bass-baritone Christian Pursell in the final recital of the series on April 24. The program features Samuel Barber's Hermit Songs and selections from Hugo Wolf's M rike Lieder and Johannes Brahms' Deutsche Volkslieder. One of the world's busiest collaborators, Martin Katz has appeared and recorded regularly with celebrated vocal soloists such as Cecilia Bartoli, Lawrence Brownlee, Jos Carreras, Marilyn Horne, Karita Mattila, Samuel Ramey and Frederica von Stade. A pivotal figure in the training of countless singers and pianists for the past three decades, he has taught at the University of Michigan School of Music where he chairs the program in collaborative piano.

A 2018 Grand Finals winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ashley Dixon (Merola 2015/2017; second-year Adler Fellow) first appeared with San Francisco Opera last fall as Annina in an excerpt from La Traviata at Pl cido Domingo in Concert, and made her Company debut later in the season as an Angel First Class in Jake Heggie's It's a Wonderful Life. Zhengyi Bai (Merola 2018; first-year Adler Fellow), who entered college as a piano major in China before discovering his true instrument, won the Los Angeles District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and appeared as Alessandro in Merola Opera Program's production of Mozart's Il Re Pastore. Christian Pursell (Merola 2017; second-year Adler Fellow) appeared in four Company productions last year, including Sir Walter Raleigh in Roberto Devereux, and this April sings Samuel/Doeg in Handel's Saul with Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra at various venues in the Bay Area and at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

Tickets & Information

All recitals take place at the Dianne and Tad Taube Atrium Theater, a state-of-the-art performance venue utilizing the Constellation acoustic system from Berkeley-based Meyer Sound. The Taube Atrium Theater is part of San Francisco Opera's Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera, located on the fourth floor of the Veterans Building (401 Van Ness Avenue) in San Francisco.

Tickets (general seating) are $30 and can be purchased at the San Francisco Opera Box Office (301 Van Ness Avenue) in person, by phone at (415) 864-3330 and online at Student rush tickets, subject to availability, are available for $15 at the Taube Atrium Theater (401 Van Ness Avenue) 30 minutes prior to each recital (limit of two tickets per person; valid ID is required). Artists, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change.

The Schwabacher Recital Series is endowed in perpetuity by the generosity of the late James Schwabacher and sponsored in part by the Jack H. Lund Charitable Trust, Chris and Jennifer Brahm, Jayne and Peter Davis and Ms. Jean Schuler. A celebrated Bay Area singer, recitalist, scholar and teacher, James Schwabacher was a co-founder of the Merola Opera Program.


Presented by San Francisco Opera Center and Merola Opera Program

Recitals take place at the Taube Atrium Theater

(Veterans Building (Fourth Floor), 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco)

Wednesday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Mary Evelyn Hangley, soprano

Christopher Oglesby, tenor

Mark Morash, piano

Kevin Rivard, horn


Franz Schubert / Auf dem Strom (with San Francisco Opera Co-Principal Horn Kevin Rivard)

Benjamin Britten / Canticle III Still Falls the Rain (with San Francisco Opera Co-Principal Horn

Kevin Rivard)

Richard Strauss / Sechs Lieder, Op. 19

Anton n Dvo k / Cig nsk Melodie

Gabriel Faur / Selected songs

Chanson de Shylock

Les roses d'Ispahan



Les pr sents

En sourdine

Chant d'automne



Italian duets (various composers)

Wednesday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Martin Katz, piano

Mary Evelyn Hangley, soprano

Ashley Dixon, mezzo-soprano

Zhengyi Bai, tenor

Christian Pursell, bass-baritone


Hugo Wolf / Selections from M rike Lieder

Samuel Barber / Hermit Songs

Johannes Brahms / Selections from Deutsche Volkslieder

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