It’s always a grand night for singing when the Merola Grand Finale rolls around.
Never been to one? You’re in for a treat. This weekend, the Bay Area’s premier opera institute caps its 12-week training program for singers, apprentice coaches and stage directors with the annual concert at the War Memorial Opera House, where this year’s “Merolini” will present a fully staged program of arias, duets and ensembles from some of the world’s best-loved operas.
The evening is both a tour of opera’s greatest hits and an introduction to the up-and-coming artists who will be singing them well into the future.
Now in its 61st season, the Merola Opera Program has established a phenomenal track record. Named for San Francisco Opera founder Gaetano Merola, it offers training and master classes in voice, repertory, language, acting and stage movement. The program has launched the careers of such starry divas and divos as sopranos Anna Netrebko and Deborah Voigt, mezzo-sopranos Joyce DiDonato and Susan Graham, tenor Rolando Villazon, baritone Thomas Hampson and conductor Patrick Summers.
This year’s Merola artists have already given thrilling performances in fully staged productions of Mozart’s “Il Re Pastore” and Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress.” The Grand Finale, conducted by Dean Williamson and directed by 2018 Merola apprentice stage director Marcus Shields, includes selections from Bernstein’s “Trouble in Tahiti,” Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” Puccini’s “La Rondine,” Massenet’s “Thaïs,” Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” and more.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco; concert $25-$50; separate post-show reception tickets $75; 415-864-3330; www.merola.org.
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment