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2013 Adler Fellows Yearbook

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2013 Adler Fellows Yearbook - Page Text Content

BC: "The Adlers represent the future of opera ... and why the future of this wonderful art form is very bright." -Barbara K. Jackson


1: On behalf of San Francisco Opera Center and the Adler Fellowship Program, please accept this 2013 Adler Fellows Yearbook in appreciation of your dedication to our flagship training program. Relive the journey of this year's cast of Adler Fellows, knowing that your generous support—both financial and emotional—helped them along the way.

2: 2013 ADLER FELLOWS | Hadleigh Adams | A.J. Glueckert | Marina Boudart Harris | Erin Johnson | Joo Won Kang | Laura Krumm | Ao Li | Robert Mollicone | Jacqueline Piccolino | Renée Rapier | Philippe Sly | Chuanyue Wang | Sun Ha Yoon

3: THE SECRET GARDEN Erin Johnson: Ayah / Mrs. Medlock Marina Harris: Mrs. Lennox / Susan Sowerby Philippe Sly: Mr. Lennox / Archibald Craven Laura Krumm: An Officer’s Wife / Martha Sowerby Ao Li: An Indian Gardener / Ben Weatherstaff Robert Mollicone: Musical Preparation Sun Ha Yoon: Musical Preparation / Piano THE TALES OF HOFFMANN Hadleigh Adams: Schlémil / Luther Joo Won Kang: Hermann Jacqueline Piccolino: Stella Renée Rapier: Nicklausse (cover) Ao Li: Luther (cover) A.J. Glueckert: Hoffmann (role study) Robert Mollicone: Musical Preparation THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDALENE Marina Harris: 2nd Seeker / Tamar / 2nd Girl / 1st Newscaster Erin Johnson: 3rd Seeker / 3rd Girl / 2nd Newscaster A.J. Glueckert: 4th Seeker (Levi) / 1st Preacher / 1st Follower / 3rd Newscaster Hadleigh Adams: Simon / Onlooker / 3rd Follower / 5th Newscaster Philippe Sly: 6th Newscaster | COSI FAN TUTTE Philippe Sly: Guglielmo Ao Li: Guglielmo (cover) Marina Harris: Fiordiligi (cover) Laura Krumm: Dorabella (cover) Sun Ha Yoon: Musical Preparation MEPHISTOPHELES Chuanyue Wang: Wagner / Nereo Erin Johnson: Marta Marina Harris: Elena Renée Rapier: Pantalis DOLORES CLAIBORNE Jacqueline Piccolino: 2nd Maid Marina Harris: 3rd Maid Laura Krumm: 4th Maid Renée Rapier: 5th Maid Hadleigh Adams: Teenage Boy / Mr. Fox A.J. Glueckert: Mr. Knox / Thibodeau (cover) / Mr. Pease (cover) Robert Mollicone: Musical Preparation / Prompter FALSTAFF Renée Rapier: Meg Page Marina Harris: Alice Ford (cover) Joo Won Kang: Ford (cover) Chuanyue Wang: Fenton (cover) | THE FLYING DUTCHMAN Erin Johnson: Mary A.J. Glueckert: The Steersman / Erik (cover) Robert Mollicone: Musical Preparation THE BARBER OF SEVILLE Ao Li: Fiorello A.J. Glueckert: Ambrogio Hadleigh Adams: An Officer Joo Won Kang: Figaro (cover) Laura Krumm: Rosina (cover) Marina Harris: Berta (cover) Sun Ha Yoon: Musical Preparation THE BARBER OF SEVILLE FOR FAMILIES Joo Won Kang: Figaro Laura Krumm: Rosina Philippe Sly: Doctor Bartolo Ao Li: Don Basilio Marina Harris: Berta Hadleigh Adams: An Officer Sun Ha Yoon: Musical Preparation Robert Mollicone: Musical Preparation VERDI REQUIEM Marina Harris: soprano (cover) Erin Johnson: mezzo-soprano (cover) | MAINSTAGE ROLES


6: "Adler Fellows Erin Johnson (Mrs. Medlock), Laura Krumm (Martha), Marina Harris (Martha's mother), Philippe Sly (Archibald Craven, Colin's father), and Ao Li (gardener) are all excellent; with an especially appealing, warm voice and great stage presence, Krumm is performing as first among equals." -San Francisco Classical Voice | THE SECRET GARDEN | "uniformly outstanding" -San Francisco Examiner

7: "Adler Fellow Jacqueline Piccolino's Stella came as a burst of pure vocal majesty at evening's end." -San Francisco Chronicle | "The Adlers did their usual fine service in other roles, especially Hadleigh Adams as Schlémil." -Opera Today | THE TALES OF HOFFMANN

8: COSI FAN TUTTE | "In the ensemble cast of six, the standout performance was the precocious and phenomenally assured company debut of Adler Fellow Philippe Sly as Guglielmo. Adler Fellows don't often get cast at this level, but then again, Adler Fellows this gifted and accomplished are rare indeed. Sly's singing was at once robust and lyrical, with a beautiful range of tonal colors and the ability to combine virility and tenderness in a single phrase." -San Francisco Chronicle | "clearly on the fast track to international stardom" -Opera Warhorses

9: ”Among a large cast there were fine performances by ... the clear-voiced tenor A.J. Glueckert (an Adler Fellow) as one of the modern-day observers." -San Francisco Chronicle | THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDALENE

10: "Soprano Marina Harris, taking a turn as Elena in this performance, reflects the [Adler] Program's first-rate training. An intriguing Elena, Ms. Harris' career will be noted with interest. The remaining Adlers provided enviable support. Tenor Chuanyue Wang, as the young Wagner, has a prodigious range and presence with enviable tonal accuracy and flexibility. Mezzo-sopranos Renée Rapier and Erin Johnson proffer an elegant Pantalis and a comic Marta, respectively." -ConcertoNet.com | MEPHISTOPHELES

11: "Adler Fellows ... shine in ensemble numbers." -San Francisco Examiner | " ... Jacqueline Piccolino, Marina Harris, Laura Krumm and Renée Rapier sang prettily as Vera's maids, and Robert Watson, A. J. Glueckert, and Hadleigh Adams offered a smart comic turn as the upper-crust party guests Cox, Knox and Fox." -Opera News | "a triumph for all concerned" -Opera News | DOLORES CLAIBORNE

12: "Meg Page, Alice's equally mischievous friend, is masterfully interpreted by Renée Rapier as she successfully enlivens Meg's role, staying integral to the inner circle. Ms. Rapier's rich mezzo-soprano is uniquely colored with the hint of menace evoked by the women's conspiracies." -ConcertoNet.com | FALSTAFF

13: "There were strong showings by Adler Fellows A.J. Glueckert—superb and bright toned as the Steersman—and Erin Johnson as the officious Mary." -San Francisco Chronicle | THE FLYING DUTCHMAN | "Adler Fellow A.J. Glueckert sang beautifully" -Bay Area Reporter | "Ms. Johnson is an engaging mezzo-soprano who brings a suitable demeanor to the pragmatic Mary that is good contrast to Senta's fragile dreaminess." -ConcertoNet.com

14: " ... Adler Fellows Ao Li, Hadleigh Adams and A.J. Glueckert added their own comic touches to the evening—Glueckert has a madcap theatrical sense." -CBS SF Bay Area | "2013 Operalia Competition winner and third-year Adler Fellow Ao Li (Fiorello), sang with such handsome tone and had so much fun onstage that it's easy to imagine him scoring major triumphs sooner rather than later." -San Francisco Classical Voice | THE BARBER OF SEVILLE

15: THE BARBER OF SEVILLE FOR FAMILIES | "It was a cast of Adler Fellows with impressive, career-ready stage presence, especially Joo Won Kang in the title role, Laura Krumm as the tall, willowy Rosina, and Ao Li as Don Basilio." -San Francisco Classical Voice | "a cast of Adler Fellows with impressive, career-ready stage presence" -San Francisco Classical Voice




19: "Baritone Joo Won Kang gave an expansive, richly colored rendition of Wolfram's 'O du, mein holder Abendstern' from 'Tannhauser', and bass-baritone Hadleigh Adams' delivery of Billy's final soliloquy from 'Billy Budd' was so sweet-toned and poignant that it left a listener eager to hear him undertake the whole role. Excerpts from 'The Rape of Lucretia' were skillfully sung by mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier and tenor A.J. Glueckert. Yet the afternoon's most arresting contributions came from soprano Marina Harris—first Ellen Orford's 'Embroidery' aria from 'Peter Grimes' and then Elisabeth's 'Dich, teure Halle' from 'Tannhauser', both of them delivered with a knockout combination of vocal power and expressive eloquence." -San Francisco Chronicle

20: OPERA IN THE PARK | "From top to bottom, the artists lavished their most lustrous vocal efforts on music both light and somber ... Two splendidly sung numbers from the world of operetta lightened the tone—the 'Laughing Song' from 'Die Fledermaus,' delivered with pinpoint brightness by soprano Susannah Biller ... The Adler Fellows included soprano Marina Harris (excellent in an aria from Puccini's rarely heard 'Le Villi'), mezzo-sopranos Laura Krumm and Renée Rapier, tenor Chuanyue Wang, baritone Joo Wan Kang and bass-baritone Philippe Sly." -San Francisco Chronicle



24: EDUCATION | "Thanks so much for singing for these 2nd graders. It was a wonderful experience for them." -Judi Burle, Jefferson Elementary, San Leandro Unified School District | "Thank you for your beautiful aria. And you had a very very powerful voice!" -Jose, student | "The piano was so peaceful and lovely." -Laisha, student | "Thank you for singing the aria in a very beautiful voice. I really appreciate the singing. Your song is really beautiful!" -Helen, student | "Thank you for singing for us in your high voice and I like how you told us what it is about and where you came from. Your voice is very nice and I like how you sing." -Mahellih, student



29: Yet again, the aptly named annual Adler Fellows Gala Concert, "The Future Is Now," confirmed that San Francisco Opera’s year-long training program prepares apprentice artists for greatness. Not even the concert’s date, Thanksgivukkah Eve; the distinctly un-central location, the Scottish Rite Temple at 19th Ave. and Sloat; nor the persistence of an annoying electronic hum throughout the evening could dim the luster of some of the finest singing heard from the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows since 2011, when Nadine Sierra, Ao Li, Leah Crocetto, Susannah Biller, Maya Lahyani, and Brian Jagde all participated in the program at the same time. Without discounting the estimable contributions of each of the 11 singers showcased in the 2.5 hours concert, three stood out: soprano Erin Johnson, who begins her second-year residency in 2014; departing baritone Ao Li, whose three years as an Adler equipped him for his 2013 Operalia Competition triumph; and baritone Joo Won Kang, who departs after a phenomenal showing. If these three do not score leading roles in major houses well before the end of the decade, something is very wrong with the world. Given that it’s Thanksgiving weekend, let’s focus on what’s right. Johnson bowled us over with the power, depth, and dignity of Cassandre’s “Malheurex roi” from Berlioz’s Les Troyens. Her bearing is classic, and her voice is prodigious in volume, plush on the bottom and throughout the midrange, and filled with heroic colors. Johnson confirmed her versatility by returning with Hélene’s coloratura showpiece, “Mercé, dilette amiche” from Verdi’s I Vespri Siciliani. Here, her combination of coloratura flexibility and voluminous beauty brought to mind the great Anita Cerquetti. Not everything was perfectly placed, but so much was sensational, and her growth so notable over the year, that another year of training just might propel her to Verona, La Scala, and onto our main stage. Li must have bowled over Plácido Domingo and crew with his handsome, dark sound and gravitas. Beautifully supported by the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, whose glorious sound pealed forth from behind him on the large stage, his performance of “Vyes’ tabar spit” from Rachmaninoff’s Aleko confirmed his excellence. Even in ensemble appearances, Li stood out, not only for the quality of his voice, but also for his absolute delight in mugging up a comedic storm. In Kang’s two Verdi scenes, first as Simon Boccanegra to soprano Marina Harris’ Amelia, and then as Rodrigo to tenor A.J. Glueckert’s Don Carlo in “Son io mio Carlo ... Per me giunto,” he confirmed that he is, if not the Verdi baritone of the next decade, then one of the select few who will inherit that mantle. Not only does he have a tremendous voice that projects a fireworks display of dark colorations, but he also possesses the impeccable control needed to taper Boccanegra’s final utterance, “filia,” to a breathtaking thread. | Two handsome first-year bass-baritones who remain with us through 2014, Philippe Sly and Hadleigh Adams, made a significant impact. Adams’ voice has always impressed with its strength and beauty; to these attributes he added a surfeit of engaging personality in both Count Almaviva’s “Hai gia vinta la causa” from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and “E il dottor non si vede ... Pronta io son” from Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, where he was joined by first-year soprano, Jacqueline Piccolino. Sly’s voice sounded tailor-made for Leporello’s Catalogue Aria from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, but in both it and “Eh, mais, quelle triste observance! ... Dans ce lieu solitaire” from Rossini’s Le Comte Ory, his facial expressions proved more telling than his unchanging color and somewhat deadpan delivery. First-year tenor A.J. Glueckert’s aria from Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride was over much too fast, but his fine rendition of Walther von Stolzing’s Prize Song from Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg evidenced his potential as a Wagnerian lyric tenor. The voice, at present, seems a bit small and lacking bloom at the top, but the intrinsic beauty of his tone in his second foray into Wagner this fall suggests that he will blossom in 2014. If anyone has bloomed in their final year in the program, it is departing mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier. The richness and gravity of her “Fia dunque vero, o ciel ... O mio Fernando” from Donizetti’s La Favorita, graced by impressive low notes and a solid, albeit brief high ending, won us all over. Equally gratifying was her heavenly blend with Harris in Puccini’s Butterfly / Suzuki duet, “Scuoti quella fronda di ciliegio.” She also won the Best Dress of the Evening Award. Beautiful mezzo-soprano Laura Krumm, always a delight onstage, shone in Rossini’s great closing aria from La Cenerentola, “Nacqui all’affanno ... Non piu mesta.” Her tone was handsome, the coloratura fluent, and the trill quite good. But was this showpiece taken at such a fast clip to avoid exposing the shortness of her climactic high note? Harris, who has completed her two-year Adler Fellowship, stole my heart with the sheer loveliness of her tone. The voice isn’t that large, but the fragile beauty and idiomatic inflection she brought to her Boccanegra scene with Kang, Agathe’s demanding “Wie nahte mir der Schlummer ... Leise, leise fromme Weise” from Weber’s Der Freischütz, and the Butterfly duet are major assets. First-year Fellow Piccolino sang with laudable solidity and beauty. Signs of nerves—she was forever adjusting her dress in her duet with Adams—suggest that as confidence grows, the voice will open up. Stephen Lord proved a true singer’s conductor. With the orchestra freed from the confines of the pit, he allowed it to bloom gloriously in aria after aria without ever overpowering the singers. Lord’s acute awareness of his singer’s strengths and limitations enabled each and every Adler to shine. | A FUTURE SO BRIGHT FOR SFO ADLERS | by Jason Victor Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice | November 27, 2013

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