The Witch of Endor- October 2010 conceived
and directed by Chip Grant
Urban Opera, a new opera company in San
Francisco, launches its second production with an
expanded work drawn from an English opera scene by Henry Purcell on October 30th
and 31st with Shawnette Sulker in the title role and Colby Roberts
as King Saul.
performance will take place on Union Street at The Episcopal Church of St. Mary
the Virgin. Set at an historic San
Francisco building beside a natural spring in a white wooded grove, the opera
is brought out of antiquity and into a modern sensibility.
When: October 30 and 31, 2010; Saturday &
Sunday at 4 p.m. Run
time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Where: 2325 Union Street (@Steiner), San
Tickets: $50 Premium Seating (available only in advance) $30 General Admission
Program Details: The Witch of Endor features “In Guilty Night”; Purcell’s setting of
an anonymous libretto, based on a story from The Hebrew Bible. Also featured are selections from
Purcell’s liturgical canon as well as excerpts from two Purcell operas, The Indian Queen and Abdelazar. This “new work” is told in the style of an ancient Greek tragedy.
The opera uses modern
theatrical devises to bring those unfamiliar with The First Book of Samuel up
to speed. Saul, the first king of
Israel, seeks guidance as to what he should do as the Philistine army threatens
to overrun his kingdom. Saul calls
upon God who does not answer; so he goes to Dreams who also does not show him the way. He finally resorts to a medium to call up the ghost of the prophet Samuel for
guidance. The ghost gives him the
answer although it may not be the answer he was looking for.
Urban Opera brings
together singers and actors from across a broad spectrum of the music
world. Featured with Ms. Sulker
and Mr. Roberts are soprano Lindsey McLennan (Dreams), bass-baritone John Minagro (Samuel), The Urban Opera Chorus and String Ensemble.
Modern costume design
coupled with contemporary theatrical devices aid in bringing the opera out of
antiquity and into a modern sensibility.
performance will take place at The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin in
Please note: Due to the intimacy of the venue, there will be no late seating.
DIDO & AENEAS - August 2009
A city that is destroyed by flames, sailors who come and go, and a tragic queen ... very San Francisco
Kindra Scharich as Dido photos Kyle Hailey
written by Henry Purcell libretto by Nahum Tate
directed by Chip Grant developed in collaboration with Kue King
Urban Opera, a new opera company in San
Francisco, launches its inaugural production with the first existing
English opera, Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, on August 21st
featuring mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich in the title role.
Friday, August 21, 2009 Saturday, August 22, 2009 Sunday, August 23, 2009
All performances begins at 7:00 PM, the doors will open at 6:30 PM
Urban Opera ArtSpace 409 - 499 Illinois Street (@ 16th Street) Mission Bay, San Francisco
Dido and Aeneas is Purcell’s setting of Nahum Tate’s libretto, based on a story from Virgil’s Aeneid. The opera mixes gods, heroes, mortals, and evil spirits into a one-hour Greek tragedy.
The opera begins with a spoken prologue (the original music has been lost) between the gods followed by a staged overture designed to bring those unfamiliar with Virgil’s Fourth Book of The Aeneid up to speed. Dido, the powerful Queen of Carthage is shadowed by a malevolent spirit. She is brought out of her despair by her court and by the arrival of the Trojan hero, Aeneas. At first Love seems triumphant however Dido is ultimately undone by the evil forces of the witches, by the fate the gods have set for Aeneas, and her own pride.
Urban Opera brings together singers and actors from across a broad spectrum of the music world. Featured with Ms. Scharich, are sopranos Kimarie Torre (Belinda), Milissa Carey (Sorceress), Pamela Igelsrud (Second Woman), tenor Todd Wedge (Aeneas), counter-tenors Cortez Mitchell (First Witch/Mercury) and Michael McNeil (Second Witch/Sailor). The production is accompanied by The Jubilate Baroque Orchestra.
Kue King’s modern costume design coupled with contemporary theatrical devices aid in bringing the opera out of antiquity and into a modern sensibility.
This site-specific performance will take place in an elevated park sheltered between two beautiful new buildings in Mission Bay. A grove, a meadow, and a spectacular bay view transports viewers out of the everyday and into another world. Told as the sun sets, Dido’s lament, “Remember me, but ah! Forget my fate,” seems timeless.
Photo - Dante Cheung-LaCount as Cupid / Aschanius & Todd Wedge as Aeneas
The Elevated Plaza @ 409 - 499 Illinois Street near 16th Street.
The lovely elevated park features bamboo groves, a sculpture meadow, and a magnificent bay view. It is located near 16th Street directly across from the UCSF Mission Bay Campus.