Friday, June 24, 2011

Meet the Merolini 2011

At this kick-off event for the 2011 Merola Opera Program, each of the 25 participating young artists took turns sitting at a table with President Patrick Wilken, Chairman Jayne Davis & General Director Sheri Greenawald to answer a couple of questions before an audience of Merola supporters. The questions were designed to elicit artists' personal stories as well as their musical experience, so we learned that baritone Mark Diamond (pictured) played competitive ultimate frisbee in college & aspires to the athletic stage presence of barihunk Nathan Gunn. Baritone Guodong "Gordon" Feng has a wife who is a popular singer in China, & he got a big laugh when he admitted that they fight & then make up by singing "Là ci darem la mano." Baritone John Maynard claimed that he did not start singing until he was in his early 20s & was inspired by CDs of Schubert & Brahms lieder selected for him by an Amoeba employee.

Apprentice coach Ana María Otamendi studied geophysics in college but never gave up her love of playing the piano. Soprano Elizabeth Zharoff (pictured) described a harrowing performance during which she cut her hand just before going on stage as Barbarina. She sung an entire act while bleeding from 2 fingers & eventually required a total of 10 stitches. The mini interviews took about an hour and a half, with a reception following. There is no singing at this event, but we can hear the Merolini in several public performances during the summer, including 4 staged performances of Il Barbiere di Siviglia & a free concert in Yerba Buena Gardens. Donors to the Merola Program have access to additional events such as master classes.

§ Meet the Merolini
Thursday, June 23, 5:30 PM
The Green Room, Herbst Theater

§ Up-Coming public performances:

Schwabacher Summer Concert
Friday, July 22, 7:30 PM
Herbst Theater

Schwabacher Summer Concert
Sunday, July 24, 2:00 PM
Yerba Buena Gardens
Free to the public

The Schwabacher Concerts include scenes from Don Carlo, I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Lucia di Lammermoor, Rigoletto & Eugene Onegin.

Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Thursday & Friday, August 4 & 5 at 8:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday, August 6 & 7 at 2:00pm
Herbst Theater

Merola Grand Finale
Saturday, August 20, 7:30 PM
War Memorial Opera House

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