This week's post is late--mea culpa! But the good outcome of my tardiness is that I can give you the live streaming link for Monday's concert if you can't be there in person, as I just received it...That link and the instructions are at the bottom of this post.
The concert? Ensemble for These Times' composer David Garner's Faculty Artist Series program on APRIL 4, at 8:00 p.m., Caroline Hume Hall at the SF Conservatory of Music. You can also read Stephen Smoliar's article in the SF Examiner about the concert here. Admission is free, but it's open seating, so David recommends folks get there early.This is a bit of a plug post--surprised?--but keep reading for interesting info about civil rights figure, Mary Pleasant.
Monday's concert features four works, all by David Garner:
* Vilna Poems (2014), with texts by Avram Sutzkever, sung by soprano Krista Wigle, and played by cellist Evan Kahn, along with members of the SF Conservatory Faculty.
* Mein blaues Klavier (My Blue Piano, 2015), with texts by Else Lasker-Schueler, performed by Ensemble for These Times, i.e., me, pianist Dale Tsang and cellist Laura Gaynon. This is on our new JMPP CD, Surviving: Women's Words, which will be for sale at the concert and is being officially released on April 8 on Centaur Records (Centaur CRC 3490), already available from the group or online for pre-release sales.
*Judith Masur Songs (2016), written for mezzo-soprano Crystal Philippi, to texts by Berkeley poet Judith Masur.
Second half: excerpts from Mary Pleasant at Land's End (2015), his fabulous, brand-new opera, Semi-staged by Jimmy Featherstone Marcheso, and performed by mezzo-soprano Crystal Philippi, soprano Julie Adams, tenor Michael Jankosky, and bass-baritone Philip Skinner with pianist Kevin Korth.
Here's what David writes:
"Mary Pleasant --one of the most complex, mysterious figures in the history of the nation--comes to life in Mary Pleasant at Land's End...with libretto by Mark Hernandez. The opera traces much of Pleasant's astonishing life, beginning with her days as a shepherd for the Underground Railroad. Arriving in San Francisco, she becomes a beloved leader in the young city. Eventually, this daughter of slaves stands as one of the richest and most influential individuals of the time. Her championing of people and causes, however, brings her into conflict with a familiar face of wealth and power, and the ensuing struggle plays out in a notorious courtroom drama that mesmerizes the public. Sensationalist press coverage demonizes Pleasant, playing on attitudes towards her race and gender. An essential figure in the founding of San Francisco, and indeed the state of Californi, she is forgotten even as the city bursts into world prominence..." More info at David's website.
If you can't come on 4/4x8 (i.e., April 4, at 8:00 p.m.), you can watch the livestream. Streaming will start about 5 minutes before the concert. When it begins, you'll see "Live now" below the name, Caroline H. Hume Hall. Select it to automatically see the video with the live stream...at least in theory.
What I'm reading: M.T. Anderson's Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Seige of Leningrad; Elizabeth George's A Banquet of Consequences; Terry Pratchett's final Tiffany Aching novel, The Shepherd's Crown.
What I'm listening to: Mozart's Jupiter Symphony and Beethoven's First. Also the many, many (did I say many? We received 275!) scores from E4TT's call for scores. Winners to be announced June 1.
What I'm working on: Mein blaues Klavier, of course, along with songs by Winterberg, Sharaf and Garner for April and May.