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"Conductor-director Chip Grant's new company started life in style, with a theatrically vivid and musically splendid outdoor staging of Purcell's opera."

                              - Joshua Kosman
                              SF Chronicle Top 10 Classical Music 2009 In Review

Urban Opera News:

Artistic Director Chip Grant directed San Francisco Lyric Opera's production of David Lang's Pulitzer Prize-winning "the little match girl passion" in March of 2012 at ODC Theater

The production will be off to Den Fynske Opera in Denmark in April 2013.  For more information please go to
http://www.sflyricopera.org/

Featuring Anastazia Louise / Bad Unkl Sista * photo by Neil Girling (theblight.net)
http://badunklsista.com/









PAST PRODUCTIONS

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.  This site-specific 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 Francisco, CA 94123

Tickets:
$50 Premium Seating (available only in advance)
$30 General Admission

To purchase online please click here:  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/129072

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.  

This site-specific performance will take place at The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin in San Francisco.

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.

Performance Information

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



Program Details

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

Location

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. 

Links

Kue King's Website: http://www.kueking.com
More on Dido and Aeneas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dido_and_aeneas

Photos by Kyle Hailey


David Peterson as Phoebus


Margaret Marshall as Venus

Kindra Scharich as Dido

Millisa Carey as The Soceress